I published "Tails" of a Suburban Cowgirl seven years ago this month and just realized that I don't think I've read it since. I moved here a few weeks after my first order of books arrived and was busy with moving, unpacking, getting through the first winter here, getting corrals and barn set up, learning to live with snow and cold, and then Dawn was born, and through it all I was trying to re-establish an accounting business.
Bottom line, it's been seven years since I read that book.
A funny thing happens when I write. Once I have committed something to paper, I lose the details in my memory. I noticed that when our little dog Rags died. I grieved for months, then finally wrote a story about how we had acquired her and my memories of what she meant to us. Once I had it on paper I could let go of the grief. But when I re-read the story later on, I realized I had forgotten many of those details after I wrote it. It was like once the memories were safely in print (or saved on a hard drive) I didn't need to leave room in my brain for them any more.
The same thing seems to have happened with the stories of my horsey youth. When I published "Tails" in Kindle version last week, I downloaded a copy to my own Kindle, and decided to read it again.
I'd forgotten so many of those stories from my youth. It was like I was reading a book written by someone else, except there was a sense of familiarity about it. But I found myself laughing out loud at the chapter where we had figure out how to give a cow pills . . . and crying when Sandy died.
Sandy is the horse at the top of this blog. I had her for 23 years (that picture was taken two years before she died) and it was a treat to re-live some of our adventures by reading my book again.
It's time now to start recording memories of Dottie, and Dutch, and Zipper, and Dash, and Dawn, and Nevada -- the horses I have owned since I got back into the horsey life a couple years after Sandy died. In the past ten years since my arrival in Norco, I've issued many emails to friends and family that closed with "And that's the latest from the Ranch" that documented the more recent "Tails" in my life.
The other thing that has happened since Sandy died is the proliferation of digital cameras, which has enabled me to include pictures in my writings. So the sequel to "Tails" of a Suburban Cowgirl can be illustrated, which was not possible with the first book.
It's going to be fun, digging out those emails and starting to edit them for publication -- another trip down memory lane.
As much as I loved Sandy, and never thought I would ever say this about any other horse, I love Dash even more.
I hope I never have to write the final farewell to Dash.
And I hope to ride Sandy again some day, in Heaven.
These horses that have shared my life have meant so much to me, and given me so much joy. I hope to convey that to my readers so they can share in that joy.
And once the stories are written down, I won't have to worry about losing them forever to my increasingly failing memory. It will be fun to see what I've forgotten, and get to re-live it.
And that will become the latest from the Ranch. Again.