America has lost its heart

Heart

I moved to the US from England in 1995.

The culture here was completely different from that in the UK, but I liked it. Folks were welcoming, upbeat and happy.

Shortly after I arrived there was a dreadful tragedy in Oklahoma, you all remember it so there is no need to go into details, but folks pulled together, and got through it.
Since then terrible things have happened. School shootings, 9/11, terrible times for all. Through the grief and sorrow, folks pulled together, it brought them closer. Even if their politics were different, they were one nation healing together.

For the past two or three years America has changed. Racism is rife. The general mood of the country is that of anger and hatred.

Not everyone demonstrates this mood, but enough folks to make me feel unsafe, a little scared. Hostility is displayed openly. Folks seem to know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

America has lost its heart and it saddens me.

Saddles and Bra’s

Once Joanna started riding, it became an obsession. She rode as often as she could, which was easy because the barn was just across the road. At first it was simple and fun. We took trail rides together. We became familiar with different breeds of horses. There were Arabians, Morgans,  Quarter horses and mustang’s, but the horse we couldn’t take our eyes off was the magnificent American Saddlebred.

Trail rides

Miss Eileen loved Saddlebreds and her barn was filled with them. The kids learned to ride on the older horses. Rocky was a favorite.  As the kids got more competent, they graduated to the younger, more spirited horses. The horse I most remember best was ‘Bo’. His full name was ‘Country’s Bo Diddley’. Bo was older but temperamental. Bo was a big gorgeous horse. He almost killed me once, but that’s a different story.

Magnificent

Neither Joanna or myself were scared of horses. I had been raised on a farm that raised thoroughbred race horses so I had been around horses all of my life. Joanna was just a natural.

I was a little rusty when it came to riding, and was always grateful when, at the end of a trail ride, the stable hand (An intern who wanted to be a vet) helped me dismount.

On one occasion, when my legs just didn’t want to work anymore, I slid off the horse with the help of the kind young stable hand.

My feet didn’t make it to the ground, I was suspended in mid-air. What was holding me there?

The young man tugged at me a little before standing back to see why I was not parting company with the horse. I was laughing and blushing all at the same time. The kids gathered around me, and the horse, to see what was going on.

I was dangling from the horse, suspended from the saddle horn by the  under wire of my bra. Pretty soon the kids were laughing too. The poor stable hand stepped forward and lifted me up whilst I ‘unhooked’ myself, and then gently lowered me to the ground. I was relieved the horse had stood still this whole time and glad when my feet eventually touched the ground.

The poor red-faced stable boy walked off shaking his head. I’m not easily embarrassed and its a tale I tell often. It always makes me laugh. Not many people can claim to be attached to a horse by their bra.

I still have a lot of tales to tell about my becoming ‘Americanized’ so keep checking back. Check out my free e-book on ‘Girl on the Beach’ or download ‘Guy at the Bar’ for $0.99 from the links below

Parker Colorado – Moving Day

On December 9th 1995 we moved to our new home in Country Meadows, Parker Colorado. I had been back and forth to our new home several times during the week with bits an bobs, things I could move in the car. It was so exciting, a brand new house and it was our home. It was much larger than the house we owned in England and had a beautiful big light airy kitchen with a ceramic tiled floor. I was so happy.

Joanna was even happier.

As it was December, the very first thing we put in our new house was a Christmas tree. We assembled it and decorated it and there it stood, alone in our new living room, majestic in its serenity.  It was really hard to sleep the night before the move. Lester has stayed up late packing the moving truck and early Saturday morning, we made our first trip to Parker.

A solitary Christmas Tree

We were one of the first to move into our Court, some houses were in the process of being built and there were still some empty lots. Lester backed the big rental truck onto our new drive way and we started to unpack. It was a wonderful day!

We were soon joined by our good friend Chuck. I gave him the biggest hug because without him, we wouldn’t have the house. He helped make it all happen.

Not long after our other friends, Judy and Bob, showed up. I don’t remember ever being made to feel so welcome. Was it just because we were British, and people enjoyed our accent and thought we were funny? We had made more friends in less than a year in the US, than we had made in the whole time we lived in England and we were enjoying it immensely.

Joanna, Judy and I drove into Parker and purchased a selection of culinary delights form MacDonald’s, which we still enjoyed back then. It made a satisfying lunch.

It was an exhausting, but rewarding day. Joanna’s bed was delivered the same day. A California redwood cabin bed with a matching desk and chest of drawers. For the first time in her life she had a bedroom that looked like it came from a magazine. Her bedding and curtains matched, it was fabulous. For a short while she was the happiest girl on earth. When the truck was unloaded for the last time, Lester took it back to the rental office. Joanna and I just enjoyed the novelty of our lovely new home. The house below is not the one we bought, but is almost exactly the same, on the same street and built by the same builder. Looking at it brings tears to my eyes as I remember just how excited I was when we moved in.

When Lester got back, I opened a bottle of wine and we just enjoyed being there. Some moments are hard to describe and that was one of them. We had been in the US for less than a year and struggled to get used to a new way of life. Joanna had mastered the school system and was excelling in her classes. We were surviving on one pay check as I couldn’t work yet, but we were doing it. We knew there would be other battles to fight, but for the time being, life was good.