I know, right?! But sometimes, it really is the seemingly random little things that can either annoy us half to death or give us a reason to smile. And when we put all of those smile-worthy things together, we realize that even in the midst of stormy waters, also known as a pandemic, there really are plenty of reasons to be happy. Here are my five things.
Happy Thing #1 – Yesterday morning, as I was bringing the dogs back after a very short walk, I found this amazing sign nestled in my front yard. I didn’t realize how much I needed a good thing from the outside world. A positive statement from someone I am not married to, related to, or bound to via genetic material. Knowing that people outside of my immediate circle care about me and are thinking about me, was as good as any bear hug, something I am sorely missing.
Happy Thing #2 – While this might seem like a shameless plug, it’s really something I am just happy to be doing. The California Dressage Society (CDS) chapter that I both belong to and serve on as Vice-Chair, Tehachapi Mountain Chapter (TMC), has worked really hard to get ourselves a bit better known here in Kern County and beyond. We’ve launched a Facebook page (Like and Follow us!) and a new website, and now, we have a commemorative t-shirt for sale. This puts a smile on my face because it’s the product of a group of wonderful ladies all trying to serve the equestrian community. And, they’ve done it in a way that promotes inclusivity, fairness, and accessibility. 
Happy Thing #3 – Native, and definitely ubiquitous in Kern County, are Cottonwood Trees; they truly are everywhere. In the spring, the “cotton” floats in the air and piles up beneath the trees. If you didn’t know better, it might look like snow. It also looks like Speedy’s shedding winter coat. After a good roll, there is always a pile of white hair littering the ground. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the two mounds of white apart. Maybe Speedy would stay cleaner if he rolled in the white cotton?
Happy Thing #4 – generous ranch owners. I really cannot express the extent of my gratitude at having landed at a ranch where the horses’ health and well-being are of the highest importance. I know my horses aren’t the easiest to care for. Speedy requires daily medication, and he’s a picky eater who frequently eats the yummiest parts of the hay while discarding those pieces he finds less palatable. Never mind that every other horse on the ranch gobbles up every last morsel. The ranch owner accommodates his picky palate and tosses his “leftovers” to the other horses. 

While Izzy isn’t nearly as picky, he does seem to have a bottomless stomach which the ranch owner continually tries to fill. This mound of hay is what’s left over from his breakfast. If he happens to eat it all by lunch time, which happens with some frequency, she always gives him more so that he’s never without hay. Both of my boys are lucky to live with someone who cares for them as if they were her own.  

Happy Thing #5 – I don’t think I even need to explain why this makes me smile, but I will. This horse just charms me to pieces. You can see how the Bedouins might truly have welcomed the Arabians into their tents. I don’t know if those stories are true or not, but Speedy says they are. He knows who in his tribe, and he knows he has the run of the place. There is no doorway through which he is not welcome – in his mind anyway. Every once in a while, I do need to shush him outside where he is decidedly safer. All I need is for him to knock over the broom or that pile of buckets – oh, the chaos that would ensue!

​I hope you are finding random reasons to be happy, or at least moments in the day when you are able to forget about all the chaos that we’re experiencing. Maybe we all need to take a moment to “back out of our own feed rooms” and go for a walk. Happy Friday!

See, right there is a reason to smile!