Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Jitters

I came down with an awful case of the jitters tonight, which isn't surprising considering I chased several glasses of wine with a cappuccino, which was delicious, by the way. However, anyone who knows me knows that I should NEVER be caffeinated. Anyway, as I'm bouncing off the walls I happened upon a memory from a million years ago.

The crazy, can't-sit-still feeling took me back to the early eighties when I felt this way often, no caffeine required, but I had a beautiful outlet for it . (I may have recognized I was lucky at the time, but I didn't realize how lucky.) When the jitters hit, back in the day, I just whined to my mother until she gave in and drove me to the barn (thanks mom, 15 minutes each way with two young kids wasn't exactly quick and easy, especially considering that you had to do that round trip drive twice every time).

Once I got there, I saddled up the horse and went out into the desert. Lucky for me the tanks (yes, actual tanks, please see previous comments about being a military brat) created a perfect track, no holes to worry about. So, we could run as fast and as far as possible until we were both tired, although I usually pooped out before she did. It was truly amazing.

I'm not sure I can adequately express the sense of freedom inherent in giving a young horse it's head and hanging on for dear life. Trust me, even an experienced rider can't think about much other than staying on at that speed. The only fly in the ointment was the day we rounded a bend and came face-to-face with a tank. Even now, I'm not sure who was more surprised, me, the horse or the poor kid driving the tank. Still, those crazy afternoons were an outlet I'd give anything to duplicate these days. Alas, it's water under the bridge. Besides, I don't think it's possible to completely recapture that sense of freedom when you're paying your own medical expenses. Growing up is a bitch.

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