Thursday, July 28, 2011

As The Barn Turns

You know you got to go through hell before you get to heaven.
 --Steve Miller Band

Drama can creep up in areas of your life where you least expect it. There is very little drama around Casa Del Verde because it's just the three of us and we're all passive/aggressive. There's no yelling, door slamming or fighting, just maybe an occasional disagreement that might even look like playful banter from the outside. Afterwards we all retire to our separate corners and quietly plot our heinous revenge on each other. The problem is in addition to being passive/aggressive we're also inherently lazy so we never actually get around to carrying out our elaborate revenge plans. Eventually we get bored with the revenge and we forget what the original fight was even about so we go along our merry way like nothing ever happened. It works for us. Well, it works for us as long as we all stay heavily medicated and believe you me...we do.

There is always drama back home with my Mom, Dad, and sister but it's hard to get too wrapped up in it from 350 miles away. I feel bad that my sister has to shoulder all of the parent drama for us but I'm not sure what to do about that. She and I have talked about the situation and how unfair it is that we not only have our own families and children to raise but we're also having to raise our parents because they've both made a mess of their lives. And it's not like they're feeble and elderly, it would probably be easier on us if they were. They're still healthy enough to fight back and give us lip when we're just trying to help them to do the right thing. They both just need to be grounded and lose a few privileges so maybe they'll learn some of the lessons they failed to learn 40 years ago.

My current drama is barn related. When we moved here we left our horse, DeeDee, in Lafayette until we could find a barn for her. It took us months to find a barn in the Cypress area that we could afford and was close to our house but we finally stumbled upon one we'll call Barn One. We don't own a horse trailer so one of the owners of Barn One, we'll call him Bob, helped us to find someone to haul her here. When we were ready to make the move, I emailed Bob to let him know that we were ready and he didn't reply. I'm the patient type so I gave him some time and about a week later the co-owner of Barn One, we'll call her Sue, called to let me know that Bob was no longer part of the barn and she'd be handling everything from now on.

That was fine with me, whatever, I just needed to get my horse here and get her settled in. Sue gave me the number for a man who she thought might be able to move DeeDee so I called him. He was a very nice man and the timing just didn't work out but we did find a nice woman who was able to get DeeDee here on Thursday of last week, two days before her health certificate expired. Why plan ahead when you can just wait until the last minute? That's my motto.

From the time Sue first called me she's been giving me regular updates on everything that Bob has done wrong and the changes she plans to make, etc. I had not heard from Bob in quite some time so I believed what she said even though I was uncomfortable hearing about their personal business. I'm basically just a customer, I don't need to know the details of their business arrangement. I just want my horse taken care of.

I hoped everything would eventually blow over but realized that was wishful thinking when Taylor called me from the barn on Sunday afternoon. She said, "Um, Mom? There's 3 police cars here. What should I do?" I wanted to say, "Shoot me. Just shoot me in the head so I don't have to deal with anymore drama that doesn't even belong to me!!" But instead I told her to get her horse and go on about her business. If the police were there, she was safe. After the police left, Sue filled Taylor in on why they were there, of course it was Bob's fault. I couldn't understand how this could be happening. Bob seemed like such a nice man when I met him and everything I was hearing now just didn't make sense. 

To add to my confusion, on Monday morning I got a call from Bob saying that he was back, even though he technically never left, and he would be taking over everything now. Then he proceeded to share with me everything that Sue had done wrong and all the changes he planned to make at the barn.

I don't know either of these people and each one is telling me that the other one is not good for my horse to be around and I was so confused I didn't know what to do. The only person I knew of who knows both Bob and Sue was the first guy I called about moving DeeDee. I sent him a text message (since it would be easier for him to ignore a text than a phone call if he chose to do so, and I wouldn't have blamed him!) telling him that I was confused about the Bob and Sue situation, I was beginning to think one of them was half crazy but I couldn't tell which one, and I asked if he had any advice. To my surprise he called me right back and we had a nice conversation. The first sane conversation I'd had with anyone in at least a week.

I told him I really felt like we just needed to remove ourselves from this situation and let them work things out but I had no place to put my horse. I asked if he knew of someplace we could go that wouldn't require me to sell any major organs to pay for it. As luck would have it, he said we could put DeeDee in the barn where he kept his horses, just down the street from Barn One. The price was comparable and he guaranteed me no drama. I couldn't get her there fast enough.

Yesterday I called Sue and told her that we would be moving DeeDee just because of the situation with Bob and the tension it causes, etc. I like Sue, I have no hard feelings toward her at all and I think she understood. She is looking for land of her own and I hope she can find something suitable.

Just before dark, Taylor and I went to Barn One to pick up DeeDee and walk her to her new home: Barn Two. Bob was there, along with a bunch of other people, so I told him that we'd decided to move DeeDee and he understood. I like Bob, I have nothing against him either. He plans to use the barn more for his family and grandchildren rather than boarders and I hope that works out well for him.

Barn Two is quite different from Barn One. They don't have a large pasture but they do have several small arenas and round pens for working with your horse. The barn is 30 years old so it's showing its age but it's still the nicest barn we've ever used.  While we were showing DeeDee around and talking to the owner, my cell phone rang. When I answered, Sue asked me if I was okay. I said yes and asked her why. She said that someone at Barn One told her that Bob was yelling at me and was mad because we were moving DeeDee. At that moment, I wished I'd had two forks: one for each eyeball. I told her the information she got was completely false and that I'd had a nice conversation with Bob and he wasn't angry at all. When she hung up I made a mental note to get my cell number changed.

DeeDee is used to living in a pasture so she will have to adjust to spending her days in a stall. She will go out for a few hours every day but it's completely different from what she's used to. Fortunately, she's so good natured that she won't have any problems I'm sure.

This barn is so peaceful, there's only a few boarders and the owners are just about the nicest people I've ever met. My only concern is a stupid one. The barn is full of show horses. The first horse we saw had a blinding sheen coming off its coat. I kid you not, I could see myself in that horse's coat. His mane was perfectly groomed and the braid in his tail looked like it was silk. He didn't even have the decency to have any eye boogers! What kind of horse never has an eye booger??

The other two were just as gorgeous and I started feeling like trailer park trash had come to town! DeeDee rolled in mud earlier in the day so it was caked on her back, her mane was a tangled mess and I can't remember the last time her tail was braided. She couldn't have looked any more out of place if she'd had curlers in her hair and was wearing a ratty housecoat.
DeeDee in Louisiana looking pretty fine.
DeeDee in Houston looking like trailer park trash.

She does clean up beautifully and will be back to her glamorous self soon but right now she's looking pretty rough. It will be worse in a few days when the rest of the horses come back from whatever show they're attending.

So what's the point of the story? Just to share some barn gossip? No, that's not the point, that was just a bonus. The point is that I'm usually a fairly good judge of character. I don't always get it right but I can usually tell when I need to stay away from someone. I didn't get any of those signals from the folks at Barn One and ended up making a bad decision to board our horse there.

Or was it a bad decision? Barn Two doesn't advertise for boarders. It doesn't even have a name. You have to know somebody just to even find out about it. I would never have found out about it had I not called the man that Barn One recommended to move Dee Dee. I would never have met that man without the folks at Barn One. So you see? All this drama, which is SO minor in the overall scheme of things, was necessary in order for us to find the place where we're supposed to be. It was all planned out ahead of time, we just had to wade through the muck to get to the lush pasture on the other side.

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