Thursday, February 24, 2011

Patience and Disappointment

Lessons Learned

My Township is investing nearly a half million dollars in artificial turf for some playing fields at a municipal park. Rationale during this time of tight economic purse strings makes no sense to me, but part of the explanation is that when it rains the fields become unusable, sometimes for days.

That means that baseball games, or soccer games have to be canceled.  While the township does make a little money renting out the space, I'm pretty sure it's not enough to cover the cost of the turf.  But, somehow, we need the fields. Our kids need a place to play.

When I was a "kid" if it rained, we didn't play, or go to the shore, or whatever. Disappointment was just a part of life.

I haven't been able to ride or even work my horses all winter. Lessons learned as a child watching the rain have taught me that's just the way things go.  Sure, if I had a bundle of money, I could have an indoor arena, solving part of the problem, but what about all those days when my horse was sore from an abscess, or all those times when for one reason or another, I simply couldn't ride. I might be caught at a meeting after school so I got to the barn after dark and there were no lights. I might arrive at feeding time, the only open window in my schedule that just didn't coincide with the boarding barn's schedule. It might not be raining, but it might be well below zero, or up into the hot summer temperatures. The B52 bomber flies might be swarming. The hunters might be blasting away in the woods.  My truck might have a dead battery so I can't trailer to a lesson on time--or a horse show. A thunderstorm might roll in.

If I had a half million dollars to spend on "artificial turf" for my barn, I could have a climate controlled indoor with perfect footing and bionic horses that never had a physical issue.  I'd have all kinds of replacement parts for potentially broken tack, several trucks and trailers in case one didn't work on a day I needed it.


Then again, maybe not.

I have learned to be patient, to accept disappointment and to take things as they come. Blessed by having the horses in my backyard so I know they are well cared for no matter what the weather, it's OK if I don't ride.

Sometimes things just don't work out the way you plan.  Sometimes the game just has to be canceled.

I wonder if the "artificial turf generation" is ever going to learn that lesson.

Side note:  The grackle is a blackbird native to North America. They arrive here in huge flocks, cleaning out my bird feeder and anything else bird edible that is not nailed down. It does appear that they also eat the brown marmorated stinkbug which has invaded our area, so despite their devouring all my bird seed, I might learn to welcome them to my property.

Addendum: Another winter blanket bit the dust or was bit by Chance...pretty sure. So Tucker is now on his 4th blanket of the winter.  I think I can repair at least two of them but this one is a total loss as part of the fabric is somewhere in the paddocks or pasture. Good thing they were on sale. *sigh*


  1. I have long said that "handling disappointment" was one of the best tools I ever gave my daughter. Sometimes we couldn't do things we had hoped to do. We explained why and moved on to other things.
    I heard someone this morning quoting her Grandmother: "If things don't work out the way we wanted, at least we had the pleasure of the anticipation".

  2. Bring on the grackles! I'm still finding those wretched stinkbugs hiding out in the barn and even the house!

    The only positive I can see for the artificial turf is cutting down on water, pesticide and herbicide use. Turf grasses are notoriously water hungry, and we certainly don't need any more chemicals in the water supply for something so frivolous. Not to mention it should save on maintenance costs for the township.

    Still, it does seem silly. Where I grew up, there were no parks or municiple ball fields. We played wherever we could, rain or shine. I turned out OK. Kids these days!

  3. when we were young, we were allowed to play out and no one complained; these days, people complain if people let their kids play out in the street (even assuming the street is safe, which it probably isn't!)

    but it does seem bizarre spending what you haven't got on astroturf!

  4. wow... half a million on artificial turf.

    I don't even know what to say about that!

  5. I love your comment that it is ok to not ride. How true is that! ...and it's something that took me a long time to learn. Having horses on our own property helped, I think.