So, seeing how our marriage lacked both a honeymoon and a wedding present from me, around August or so I decided to surprise Justin with a trip. A trip to a bed and breakfast (as I stumblingly tried to explain to the owners, we seem young but we tend to enjoy things that retired people enjoy), it turned out, at the northern most end of the Chesapeake Bay. It was a roundabout find, sprouted from the seedling of "farm stays," the hot new staycation taking the nation by storm I read about in Redbook (Cosmo for college graduates!). Apparently Maryland has very few farms available for stay, so I went with Fairwinds Farm, a charming horse farm with all the fixins, including horrendous web design. Justin had been slightly hesitant, vaguely understanding that I may have "had something planned" that he was less than comfortable not knowing about. I did all my errands and packed us all up on my furlough day, at the last minute deciding on fruit, hot fudge, and a bottle of sparkling cider in a well-meaning but humorous attempt to make at least part of it a romantic wedding present. Oops, oh well.
|who knew that sparking cider needed a bottle opener? not me!|
Anyway! The house overflowed with rustic country charm, and the town's Main Street held equally charming shops and ice cream places. The property itself was overflowing with animals, most notably, of course, the horse. I do this thing where I'm really timid and actually pretty afraid of animals until I see someone else pet them, preferably the one who owns them. I figure I'll trust the animal after someone I trust trusts it. It's so... transitive! After I bring myself to approach it, and it doesn't flip out, I'm usually pretty okay.
|hello and thank you for not biting me!|
|hello and i will never ride you again!|
The place was owned by this couple, Ted, 55 and JoAnn, 53, who each have more energy and ambition than all the Maryland Teacher of the Year contestants combined. These people run the B&B, host tea parties and birthday parties, board horses and dogs, manage horse shows and give lessons, rent out for weddings, movies (their horses have been in, oh, The Color Purple), and trail rides. She's written four children's chapter books about girls and horses, oh, and she has an agent to land her roles as extras in movies such as The Sixth Sense and Rocky V. They both happen to teach at the local community college, and they travel during their "slow months." They've won bunches of "Best Farm," "Most Beautiful Person," and other town and state awards for excellence in being people. "They don't let the grass grow under their feet," said our stand-in host, a nice gentleman who's been working for them for six years, who was there to make sure various birthday parties and guests found everything okay while each of the actual hosts was at a different wedding. And upon hearing all of that, I was floored with awe. I continue to be floored with awe, but my flooring has taken on different colors in the time I've had to process all this. I started out with lots of envy, but it also makes me exhausted just listing all those responsibilities. Then I start getting mad at my preemptive exhaustion. It's inspiring, of course, but it would be more inspiring with a little more modesty. "They're living the life they love," our very nice man added. But in the end, I just remember that there would be pretty much no more time for this:
|i would miss this|
And that's pretty much where it's at.