Over 30 years ago, when I met and fell in love with my future husband, we talked about a lot of things. We could talk for hours on end. We talked about ourselves, each other, our plans for the future and how many kids we would like to have. We talked about his call into the ministry. I was good with that as I had always felt called to be a minister's wife. I envisioned ourselves living in an attractive parsonage located in the suburbs of a big city.
But I don't ever remember talking about my husbands love of all things horse.
In fact, I can tell you that I had no idea at all that my husband was a "closet cowboy". I never guessed that he dreamed of someday having his own horse. I had no idea that he would love to get into breaking and training horses. For Pete's sake, I didn't even know he would like to have a pair of cowboy boots! I don't know why that never came up. But it didn't.
In the first years of our marriage we lived in cities. My husband was still in school when we got married and we lived in a dormitory where we were the Resident Director's. No room for a horse there.
We then moved to Kansas City to attend seminary. I loved living in the city. I worked right in the middle of the downtown area - and it was wonderful. For me. My poor husband nearly had a nervous breakdown trying to live and drive and survive in such a large city. He looked forward to the day when his first church would most certainly land us in a small, rural community.
It didn't happen. Our first church with attached parsonage, was smack in the middle of metropolitan Provo, Utah. Lots of people wouldn't think of Provo as a large city but it may as well have been New York City as far as my husband was concerned. We lived right off the interstate on a very busy street. Our apartment was attached to the church. There was ZERO privacy.
Three very long years later God finally planted us in a very rural, very unpopulated, very cowboy area. My husband thought he had died and gone to heaven. It took him all of about 3 months to acquire a horse. We have lived cowboy ever since!
I discovered that I can live most anywhere and be content. (However, I do need to be close enough to population that I can drive there in a reasonable amount of time.) I have learned to love and even crave the solitude that living in the country brings. I would miss it if I had to move away from it. But what I love the most is seeing how happy my husband is. He loves working with his horses. Many people in our church have working ranches where he gets involved with brandings and cattle drives and all sorts of western things. This last weekend we drove to the Oregon coast to watch a friend from our church compete in a Wild Mustang Challenge. The BLM gave him a mustang and he had 90 days to break it. All the competitors met in a large arena to show what their horses could do. There were also famous horse trainers there and we sat in on some of those sessions too. I really enjoyed myself. Of course I brought my knitting along so I could accomplish something too. My word, I think even I could break a horse now!
I guess I just say all of this to say that even though we don't know where life will lead us, there is much to enjoy along the way. If someone had told me that I would attend horse seminars and actually enjoy myself, I would have laughed in their face. I had no interest in horses or many outdoor activities. But it is what my husband loves. And because I love him - I enjoy watching him enjoy himself. He is a very busy pastor who needs a physical outlet to balance his very mentally straining occupation. I'm so thankful God has provided for him by where we live and who we live among.
I learned early that my husband would never survive in a city. He needs the outdoors. I surprised myself by learning that I can be happy living in a rural desert. My hobbies and activities can be done anywhere.
So last weekend as I was happily knitting away and at the same time learning from famed horse trainer, Craig Cameron, how teaching and requiring flexibility and balance in a horse is the secret to breaking it - I realized that maybe breaking horses and surviving a marriage aren't all that different. Flexibility and balance are the secrets to successful results both in horses and in people.
On our way home we passed through a town that has a fabulous quilting/yarn shop. My husband was more than willing to stop so I could spend as much time as I wanted browsing and enjoying myself. He shopped with me and even though I know he has absolutely NO interest in fabric or yarn or patterns, he asked questions and showed genuine interest in what thrills me. He even stood in line at the counter getting my fabric cut for me so I could check out the yarn shop. We had a great time.
I'm pretty sure there will be more horse events in my future.
I'm also sure there will be more quilt shops.
Life is good.