Thursday, July 8, 2010

It Starts with a Dream

“Horses,” said The Voice. I immediately knew it was the answer to a question I had been asking.

I had known the answer wouldn’t have been “money” and probably wouldn’t have been “links to fame” or “travel opportunities”; after all, it’s us I was asking about: my husband and me, just two regular, middle-class human beings.

My question had been:  What can I offer my grandchildren? I knew I would love them and try to be a good example to them. But I wanted to give them something more (ha, like links to fame, money, or travel opportunities) that would potentially be a special advantage and also provide great memories. Horses. It immediately felt right to me. I settled into this new idea comfortably and naturally, as if it were a cozy, overstuffed chair. My dream began.

I told my husband about it. I could tell by his slow nod that he needed more time to process this idea. At that time, we were living in a small home in a depreciating neighborhood. We had intended for it to be our “starter” home, and frequently said, “In a couple of years, we’re going to move,” but for twenty-nine years, we stayed put. Though he nodded his assent, he was thinking about the obstacles of financing, of leaving the known, of moving twenty-nine years of accumulated stuff.

I told my mother. She sent me the book Horses for Dummies with the inscription, “2005. Dear Doris, I hope your dream comes true! Love, Mother.”

We listed the house that had been our home for almost three decades. Eight days later it was sold. We found a VA Repo home in a lovely neighborhood, bought it, improved it, and moved in as an investment property. Two years later we found a HUD home in a rural area on three acres, all pasture. “Perfect for horses,” I thought. We won the HUD bid and began the refurbishing/remodeling process all over again before we moved in.

The dream moved us forward. We called it “The Horse Property.”

Last July, I bought a two-horse bumper pull trailer. The seller asked me about my horses. “Oh, I don’t have any horses yet,” I said, “But I will pretty soon.”

In May, a former client from my KPMG days contacted me because she had too many horses. She wanted to give the youngest two to a good home, and wondered if I would be interested.  I hesitated. Though the owner said they were good-natured, these two were young and unbroken, not even halter trained. I had imagined getting a 10-12 year old kid-broke gelding that we novices could all just jump on and ride. I expressed my concerns to my dad, who exclaimed, “Well of course you’ll take them! You prayed for horses and the Lord is just dropping them right into your pasture! They’re the horses for you!” So two weeks ago, my husband and I loaded up two young paints into our trailer, drove home, and introduced them to our sweet grass.

I remember a conversation with my parents when they were in their late 50s. They were planning construction of a new and bigger building to expand their business. I asked my mother, “Do you really want to build that now, when you and Daddy could be looking toward retirement?” Mama replied thoughtfully, “Oh, well, you always have to be building and dreaming something.” 

Time will tell if we are able to train these two and later ride them. But if not, and we acquire other horses for ourselves and the grandkids to enjoy, that’s okay. Having these two in our pasture has propelled us forward light years with new experiences and pleasures. The dream continues.

Having horses for my grandkids is only one of my dreams. Other dreams seem impossible. But five years ago in 2005, when this idea first washed warmly over me, having horses seemed pretty darn impossible.  Just goes to show you:  new possibilities start with a dream.

What's your dream? You should have one, because, you know, you always have to be building and dreaming something.