Brought up as an only child with a brother nine years older than me, I lived in my own little world filled with a love of nature, animals, and running around outside.
My family lived in a converted WWII housing project. Sharing walls with our neighbors required quiet behaviors inside, so I lived outside as much as possible. This provided my first contact with the wonderful outdoors. Nature in the city was limited to a grassy field, with beautiful blue flowering weeds, an occasional butterfly and lots of ants. Even pets were restricted, but through my devoted blue parakeet I learned how awesome animals are.
Books and television fueled my interest and love for all animals. But, I especially loved horses. Perhaps this love was ignited from the abundance of Westerns on TV. Or from the books my teachers read about the ponies of Chincoteague, or a book called, Frog, the Horse That Knew No Master. Perhaps it was a combination of both that fanned the flames and created a horse-fanatic.
One day, my parents made the mistake of taking me for a pony ride. The stables had a group riding lesson that began as I dismounted. At home my constant begging finally wore my parents down and they relented to my request. At the age of eight, I learned to ride.
Little did my parents suspect how this would effect their lives. Parenting me became so much easier. With the power to withhold a Saturday’s riding lesson, they soon realized that their daughter practiced piano without complaining, finished homework without nagging, ate her less favorite meals without pouting, and so on. Riding a horse became their magic wand to create a pleasant, well-rounded and ecstatically happy child.
I embraced it with all my heart.
There was a 25-year interval where horses were not in my life. During these years I graduated from college, married my high school sweetheart, and followed my teaching career for five years before becoming a mom to a wonderful son and daughter.
I returned to the elementary classroom and had the time of my life teaching second through six graders until retiring after a total of thirty-nine years.
During the years of raising my children and returning to teaching, horses and riding reentered my life unexpectedly. My husband knew how much horses had meant to me. He kept this love of mine, in his heart. When life’s circumstances were favorable, he reestablished riding and horses into my life.
(Little did my husband realize his decision to reintroduce horses into his wife’s life would result in reduced whining, pouting, and overall crankiness in his wife’s behavior.)
I still love nature, animals and especially horses. My experiences with horses has led to a closer relationship with God. I write to share the wonders of the world in which we live.
These are organizations that Sue enjoys being involved with in both her writing career and in her personal life.
NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)