*chokes back tears*
...drop off my boxed saddle at a Fedex outlet.
*stifles a cry*
No seriously, I know it sounds crazy and a little materialistic but...
When I walked in to the office with my saddle in a big white box and I realized that at any moment I was going to have to hand it over and I'd never again in my life see that beautiful piece of leather, I got pretty choked up about it. So much so that, when it came my turn at the counter, I found I couldnt let the box go! The big sweaty fat man behind the counter looked at me funny when I became all flushed and wet eyed and told him I needed to say good-bye "just one last time"... and he didnt look too impressed when I opened up the box to steal one last tender stroke of that soft cream leather seat. So what if I clasped my hand around that worn-smooth horn and gripped it tight in a final embrace! That wee horn hand saved my hide a time or two! Maybe I went a little far when, blinking back tears, I traced the lines of that beautiful acorn and floral tooling with my fingertips, pausing over those rough patches- each blemish a chapter in the story of a saddle well used. Finally I nodded my head as a graveside widow would to que the casket to be lowered. And he began to seal up the box. With every pull of the tape I could feel the memories of my time in that saddle unwind... the good and the bad.... Lundbom, Shaunti. Abby, Kari, my first ride on Princess... of those lonely horseless days where I would slip into the garage, pull out my Bob's and find my lost cowgirl self in it's plush deep seat.
Because I am a fool. A fool to have ever thought I could let it go as if it were nothing but a tool. A fool to think it could be replaced. A fool to, when I realized my mistake, not refund the buyers money and cancel the sale....just because "it does feel like the right thing to do"....damn those morals shmorals. So what the saddle didnt fit Princess! It wasnt going to kill her!
It is just a saddle. But I really did love it. So, I've decided that rather than buy another saddle as I had planned, I am going take that money and fulfill a lifelong dream of mine...
I am going to Europe this spring.
Italy. France. Spain. Maybe even Egypt.
I tried to keep that in mind as I walked out of the post office empty handed.
As we drove away my Mom said, "When you are standing on the shores of Santorini you'll look back at this moment and you wont regret that you sold the saddle."
I looked her, burst in the tears and said, "I sure the hell hope so!"
Reba says cowgirls dont cry. But.... as right now all I've got is a big paint horse named Princess and an black English saddle, I think I'm pretty much exempt from that rule.
Farewell my friend! Thanks for the good rides.