In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.


This has been a hard winter.  Snow fell just after Christmas and has lain on the ground since.  At the new year, temperatures dropped into the single digits and only visited the teens on the occasional afternoon.  Mornings dawned in negative numbers.  Frost-free spigots froze.  Black horses shimmered silver with daylong frost.

Before and after work, I hauled buckets of hot water from the house, up the icy path and down again, to supplement the efforts of tank heaters and a t-post dedicated to smashing rims of ice.  On weekends, I managed to finish the new pasture fence — bundled in wool socks and ski pants and fleece and gloves that I changed periodically as they soaked through — so the horses could get out to play.  I stacked a load of hay on a day so cold the snow wouldn’t stick to the bales.  The physical effort was sufficient to keep me warm for reasonable periods.  But riding?  That wasn’t going to happen.Jammer12-30-12d

This has been a hard winter.  I’m running this farm on my own again.  What happened was a deep shock, like an earthquake that comes without warning and leaves devastation in its wake.  Everything is stark.  Bleak.  The trees are stripped bare.  Freezing fog muffles the view.  Color vanishes beneath the bleaching, blinding snow.

Yesterday, it rained.  Temperatures soared to mid-thirties.  Earth appeared in a few places, like finger holes in a vast duvet.  The blood of four lambs, slaughered last week, glistened in crimson pools that refused to sink.  Then, overnight, it froze.  Grief is like that.  Anger, too.  Today’s forecast is warm again.  Drizzly.  The kind of day that stirs together drift and berm and turns it all to frigid mud.

But warmer is warmer.  Time takes winter with her, in the end.  I want to ride again.


15 responses

  1. You are in my thoughts and hopes for a warm a beautiful summer.

    January 26, 2013 at 9:13 am

  2. Big hugs

    January 26, 2013 at 10:04 am

  3. Kathy

    “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”—Winston Churchill

    January 26, 2013 at 10:12 am

  4. Debby

    Warmer weather is just around the corner! Hoping things get easier for you! I too, am looking forward to lots of riding and trail riding!

    January 26, 2013 at 10:23 am

  5. John

    I’m so sorry to hear your news. Take care of yourself, as you care for your horses.

    Spring will arrive, for both, in its own time, but it will arrive.

    January 26, 2013 at 11:02 am

  6. The cold is hard enough to deal with…so sorry to read that you are back to running the farm on your own. I know that you are a very strong woman, but this can’t be easy. I wish you an early spring.

    January 26, 2013 at 2:24 pm

  7. Jan Brandvold

    Tamara, I am so sorry to hear this. I had a hunch, based on fb. But you are the strongest woman I know, both literally and figuratively, and you will survive the long cold winter and emerge even stronger. You’re in my prayers. Love you!

    January 27, 2013 at 11:50 am

  8. Katelynn

    Back in october I had the devistating loss of my little mare and there was a song that came on the radio that by no means made everything better but has since provided me a little comfort and givin me a new spark to life and riding- its Gary Allens “every storm runns out of rain”. Know that spring IS coming and so will new life and a new start!

    January 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm

  9. Rosanne

    So sorry to hear this news. Winter can seem bleak and endless…but Spring will come! Sending good thoughts your way.

    January 27, 2013 at 10:30 pm

  10. Kim

    I was thrilled to see a new posing from you since it ahd been a while, but I wish it could have been more positive for you. I’m sorry to hear that this winter has not treated you well. 😦 I will keep you in my thoughts.

    January 28, 2013 at 7:00 am

  11. Horseman

    I appologize for missing some posts. What happened to Ironman? Don’t reply, if you don’t want. I admire you for working at tasks many would be broken from.

    January 28, 2013 at 2:08 pm

  12. I am sorry to read such a sad post from you. I have seen you FB posts occasionally and knew you were having arough winter, weather wise atleast.. but this sounds a bit more serious . I know we have never met but I do consider you a friend. If you ever just need to vent, or need some advice… you know how to get a hold of me. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs. Jonna

    February 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm

  13. oh no!

    February 9, 2013 at 9:54 am

    • Thank you for your kind words, all. I’d found my way around the corner before I found a way to write about it. Spring is here. 🙂

      February 16, 2013 at 8:01 am

  14. Liane

    So much loss and change this winter, friends and family. I am very sorry to hear this, Tamara. Feel free to contact me anytime. Hope to see you on the trail somewhere this year. I would definitely like to visit again. Warmest regards, Liane

    March 27, 2013 at 10:28 am

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