Tag: Horses

Family Reunion

“On a stormy sea of moving emotion, tossed about I’m like a ship on the ocean. I set a course for winds of fortune, but I hear the voices say..” Carry on Wayward SonKansas

(July 18-22) Riding through Kansas and Missouri didn’t really pose much excitement, however these COWBOY BOOTS were awesome that I purchased. Miriam got two pair and I believe her excitement supersedes mine in this “cowboy boot endeavor”.

At this point in the journey my excitement level for scenery somehow dissipated into the wind as the now big adventure and goal was to get to Cowden, Illinois as soon as possible. We were very eager to see some of our family members, especially my cousin Rick 🙂 This guy is THE storyteller.

As soon as we rolled into the farm, it was beauty and country craziness.

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After blowing up old and worn out washing machines, we headed over to an iconic spot for Cowden: the Covered Bridge.

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We were already off to a great visit. I haven’t visited Cowden, Illinois since 1999.Cowden has a population of around 584 (2015) so needless to say this is an extremely small town. Everyone knows everyone. There is a post office, a bank and a gas station. My family and I would visit for the family reunions. My mother’s mother was a Hooper and from Cowden. My grandmother had 12 brother’s and sisters of whom had children, who had children who have children. It’s a rather LARGE family. There are a few that I know well and have a close relationship with. 🙂

Riding horses has never been an activity I have experienced often nor an activity that I’ve really enjoyed. However, on this glorious, fam-filled occasion I decided to take a crack at it.

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And then this….

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I fell off the horse. Not my proudest moment and honestly it was quite embarrassing, though I am of the great understanding that not everyone is capable of riding horses and do not possess that skill and that we possess other skills. 🙂

For the next few days we hung out with family and caught up on the things we’ve missed while Rick tended to the horses.

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Nearing the end of our visit Rick needed to shoe his horses. So he called the local farrier.

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There were a few time where the horses weren’t having it but in the end everything worked out and they all received their shoes.

It was hard saying goodbye as this was one of the big stops I was looking forward to the most. We caught up with family members we haven’t seen in many years. It felt good to scan those old memories and add new information. It had been many years since we had seen Rick and reuniting with old family members makes for a fantastic trip 🙂

The Storyteller

“I tried to go back, as if I could, all spec house and plywood.” CopperlineJames Taylor

I woke up this morning with an agenda. My mother and I planned on attending Greenville’s, “Pirate Festival” located downtown Greenville. I had thought about it for roughly a week before the event was to take place, and contemplated whether or not it would be something I would follow through with. Well, it seemed that I WAS going to go through with this today. I was about to get ready when mom said, “I really don’t feel well.” Knowing that she felt bad, I knew it probably wouldn’t be a good idea. So there wasn’t anything really lost by not attending and I wasn’t trying to put mom through something that was probably going to torture her.

So as I drank my coffee I started thinking about the conversation I had with my cousin Rick via text – by the way I feel like I should add into this that when Rick texts, he uses no commas so it takes a minute to decipher the text lol (I still love him). He lives in a very small town in Illinois called, “Cowden”. The population, last I heard, was around 400. I’m sure that number has grown since 1999. Let me check with the almighty Oracle………okay Google says it’s around 599. So there are roughly 600 people in this small town. The last time I was there, I was only aware of a post office, gas station, band stand and cemetery. Even though it was a small town, I was young and it was new so it has fond memories with me.

Rick

Rick is my mother’s first cousin. Have you ever heard someone say, “That guy is a trip!”? If you have, well, I’m most certain they were speaking of Rick. He’s hilarious. There’s no getting around that. As his reputation holds honest and true, he is funny and can tell a story that is out of this world interesting. He INSISTS he is NOT lying when he comes up with a tall tale that seems flabbergasting. No matter what tale he’s telling, you’re always entertained and it will stay with you forever. Not only are his tales outrageous, but he lives on a quiet little farm that is home to several horses and recently some baby chicks! The most recent news I became privy to was that he and his son Luke put up some fencing for his baby chickens that he purchased.

I’ve been to Illinois three times, and all of those times I stayed in Cowden at Rick’s farm. The first time I was 13 yrs old and attended a family reunion? I’m not entirely sure it was a family reunion but I’m almost positive. The second time I was 16. It was also my first plane ride! I stayed on the farm for around 2 – 3 weeks and it was really great. We rode 4-wheelers and visited people and went places. The third time I visited I was 18. That was even cooler because I was familiar with my surrounding and in a different age bracket so I enjoyed different things like hanging out with other people my age and riding around and doing silly stuff. Since 1999, I haven’t been back. Thinking about that makes it a little sad.

SO…what my parents and I have decided is that we will actually stop in and visit Rick on our way back from WA! YAY!! I’m REALLY excited about that and today I kind of sat back and day dreamed about what we will do when we visit. Will we ride horses? Yes. Will we ride 4-wheelers? Maybe. I’m not sure if he has one, but I’m pretty sure he does. Will we visit people? Yes. Will we enjoy our time with Rick? Absolutely. I’m hoping that we may even get to see Luke and Kim (Rick’s son and daughter in-law). It’s been many years since we’ve all seen each other. I would love to get ahold of those chickens. 🙂 But the one thing I’m most ready for is…

Rick’s story telling. 🙂