I Married A Horse Woman…
And I knew that sometimes I would be the center of her
universe and other times that role would be filled by a nine year old Arabian
named Star. If I were the first husband
to take a backseat to a wives horse it would be the lead story on the 11
o’clock news, but as any good husband knows it is difficult to compete when you
don’t have hooves and a mane.
Truth be told, although I don’t ride I do enjoy the beauty and grace of a well groomed horse. Star is all that and more. So when my wife asked about replacing the roof on “our” aging horse barn, I agreed that it was to be a labor of love and no more than a Labor Day weekend project. On a hot, Friday afternoon I started my weekend job.
My early assessment was to just replace the corrugated metal. However, by dusk I soon realized that the trusses would also need to be replaced. As I ripped the old roof off, I was accosted by a diverse group of soon-to-be displaced critters including, but not limited to: a family of sparrows, several swarm of bees and enough spiders to give me at least one disturbing dream that night.
It was shortly before 5am on Saturday when I attacked the next step with enthusiasm. I soon became well acquainted with a crow bar, and my back bent at a 90 degree angle for the better part of the day made me question my commitment. Not to the task at hand, but to that horse grazing lazily in the pasture.
Advil is a good thing.
After my twelve hour marathon the day before, I stared at a stack of 17, pre-built trusses while I sipped that first cup of coffee on Sunday morning. Working by myself, I realized that this day would test my mettle. After two hours and thirteen minutes the first one was in. By my quick calculations, if I worked at this pace I could compete this phase just in time for my funeral. Naturally, the more I did, the quicker it went. However, by the end the day (and I mean that literally as it was just after midnight) I prayed for a Labor Day rainout.
The next morning I awoke to an unanswered prayer, the smell of breakfast and a blue sky with brilliant sunshine. There was a faint hint of dew, but clearly not even a remote chance of rain today.
Happy Labor Day.
As I approached the final day of my endeavor, simple tasks were becoming more challenging. The only thing left was to attach 8x10 sheets of metal roofing. Granted they only weighed sixteen pound each, but they may as well have been 16 tons. As I slowly lifted each one to the roof, they seemed to defy physics and actually increase in weight. Logically, this couldn’t be the case, but as fatigue began to consume my body it also crept into my mind, is there a government sheet metal conspiracy? Maybe corporate America is behind this? Or what if it goes all the way back to the big lie of 1976 when my teacher said we needed to learn metric because that would be the standard measurement within ten years? Around noon that day, the crazy thoughts finally left when I seriously considered opening the lower gate and “shoo-ing” that miserable beast out. Once the guilt and remorse set in, I was confident that this project was going to be completed and a lifetime later (about two hours- metric), the barn roof was finished.
Since I had lost track of my “second winds”, I left my tools where they dropped with no regard to pending weather or potential thievery. As I slowly made my way up the path to the house, I wondered about the incline of the grade and never remembered it being this steep before.
As I looked up I saw the familiar smile of my wife accompanied by a woman I had never seen before. “All done?”, she asked.
An exhausted, “You bet” was all I could muster. The polite thing to do would be to introduce myself to this stranger and although I was curious, I had neither the energy nor desire to make even brief small talk with my wife’s acquaintance. And when I finally got to the house, a cold beer and the corner of the couch felt better than a winning Powerball ticket.
About an hour later, my wife returned to the house. Alone at this time, I asked about her new friend. My jaw just about hit the floor when she shared that it was a masseuse and that she just gave Star a massage.
That’s when I realized, I married a horse woman!