Sunday, November 11, 2012

Eating humble pie

Friday and Saturday night, Leah and I drove to San Antonio to watch our horses run. We’d only recently acquired Badness, a five year old mare, through a claiming race. She had previously run at higher levels, even winning a stakes race in January of this year, but had dropped in class of late. Figuring to take at least one shot at a valuable allowance race, we entered her to see if she could return to past glory and earn a dollar or ten in the process.

Badness drew outside post position, not good, considering her running style. Badness runs best on the lead, with an uncontested pace. Away from the gate she got into a speed duel with another horse and was carried wide through the first turn. Badness hit the home stretch after the second turn, battling for the lead, and got caught by closers. The outcome, though not to be unexpected, left me a bit pensive, but still hopeful. I had another shot the following day.

Lazy Boot Lady was entered into an allowance race Saturday night. According to form, she should have been considered one of the race favorites. Our filly broke a touch slow but made up ground and was in perfect stalking position just off the lead coming into home stretch. A hole opened on the rail, the jockey pointed her to it and….

She backed out of contention.

After the race, we discovered she had injured a knee and retired her from racing.

The pecan crop I had such high hopes for a few weeks back is failing to deliver. The nuts are large but yields are low, just barely enough to justify harvesting in places. Insects, disease and climate issues figure into the equation. We’ve had one mechanical set-back after another. Harvesting by modern methods requires an array of equipment; any one piece that fails sidelines the entire operation and damn near everything we own has broken, some multiple times.

I’ve had personal issues of late, some of my own making, some the work of others. Living with myself has never been easy, getting older doesn’t seem to help much.

As I young man I thought I’d maintain strength through exercise. A few months back, I tore a tendon or a ligament in my left knee and it’s not going to repair short of surgery. You can’t exercise muscles attached to worn out joints. There was a time, not so long ago, when I did squats with hundreds of pounds on my back; nowadays getting down to and back up from the toilet has become a painful chore.

As I smile at my predicament, realizing full well the issues I face are minor, you may notice I’m missing two front teeth.

I suppose I should be thankful. I can still smile.


  1. You keep right on smiling cowboy..., and keep right on writin'. This one sure brought a sweet smile to my face. I know what you mean about getting older..., I think that Camper Barn took a year or two off my timeline !!!! I guess we just got to realize our limitations and work around them. But somehow we have to get the job done..., and we will..., to the best of our abilities.

  2. Seem to get 'dinged' more often and it takes longer to heal. The good thing about getting older is that it beats the alternative, if sometimes just barely.
    Keep on truckin'.