You know you’ve hit the summer zenith, when you finally set up that horseshoe game, the one you got for Christmas five years ago, the one that’s been collecting dust in the tack room all this time. I moved my round pen back twenty feet this spring, that left me with a forty foot strip of arena sand, just pound the stakes, not that there’s anyone to play with here besides Robin.
The thunder storm season has arrived, yet precious rain eludes us, cumulus clouds connect earth and sky in a wall of dark rain that hammers the fortunate, while we sit on the porch wishing it was us. These storms plow over the landscape only to dance around our ranch at the last minute, if it does rain; it’s usually ten drops, just enough to cast dust spots on a clean car and soil the windows in the sun room.
The horses are all lined out and trail ready, trouble is I have no one to ride with, so most days I saddle all three and ride them all, some days it’s in the arena, or to the river, some days it’s both. It’s not that I’m lonely in paradise, someone will eventually come along who appreciates straddling a sturdy mount down in to the canyon, to the spot where the river eddy’s into a deep pool, where the box elder shades a stand of tall brome grass at the rivers edge, it’s there you’ll find horse and rider reflecting on their good fortune.
The garden is thriving; I haul all the water to keep it growing. You heard me. I haul all the water for our garden, which happens to be the size of Road Island. It’s a pretty eccentric chore; hauling this much water, but you know how I love those big red beef steak tomatoes, the ones that slice so perfect and dress-up a plate of olive oil and chopped basil. There’s bushels of Kentucky pole beans on the vine, the variety that steams up so nicely, and acorn squash, the ones we stuff with butter and brown sugar, wrap in foil and simmer in the coals of an open fire.
My bow shoots like a rifle, which is good; archery elk hunting starts in about three weeks. I am tuning my gear for what surely will be the super bowl of bow hunting. In the morning calm I shoot the bow like I have done for thirty-five years mastering my craft waiting for the moment of truth to arrive. I walk past my tipi poles stacked in waiting, soon they will display the canvas and provide shelter once more, and friends will come to feast, laugh, and play in this wilderness Shangri-La.