A Windy Sunset Sky
Grey dappled horse
I was reading in my bedroom in Los Angeles, California when my mom called us down to a family dinner that would change my whole life. Rainey, my older sister, wasn't happy about having to have a fancy dinner tonight, she had been planning to go to the skatepark with her friends. Rainey started skateboarding when she was like 4, so she’s really good. Her and some of her skater friends get together every Monday, Wednesday, and pretty much any other day that they can get together. Rainey was still whining when I came down and sat in the chair to the right of daddy, and on the left of a grumbling Rainey.
“Rainey, we don’t mind if you go to the skatepark with Andrea and the other girls on weekends and some school nights, but this is a family dinner day.”
“But, mom…” Rainey said. “They were going to go to this new skatepark today, it’s supposed to be really cool.”
“Rainey, you can go another day. If it’s so good, i’m sure they will be happy to go again. Sit down.”
“Listen to your mother,” Daddy warned. Rainey sat. But she sure wasn’t happy about it. Mom had made a special dinner today, that was pretty normal for a family dinner night, but when she got out the fancy candles and lit them, I started to smell something. I piled my plate high with mac and cheese, broccoli, (yes i like broccoli) and sweet potato mini pancakes. In the middle of dinner, when people were just finishing up, or getting seconds in Rainey's case, mom and dad dropped the bomb. And it sure wasn’t a small bomb, it was big, and covered lots of ground. It exploded anything in its path. That was not the kind of bomb I liked.
“Your father and I have some news for you,” Mom started. “This house has been getting too expensive, California is not a cheap state. So, we decided that it was time to sell this place and move somewhere else. We bought a house and estate in Montana. Lewistown to be exact. It's much cheaper there, so we can do a lot more things for you kids. We got a big house with 4 acres!”
Rainey’s mouth was starting to hang open, but then she came out of her shock and kind of exploded. “WHAT!!!!!” She yelled. “How can you expect us to be happy about it if you’re basically ruining our life? How will I skate with my friends if we are in a whole different state?”
Then she jumped up and ran to her room, I could hear her angry stomps all the way up the stairs. I finished my dinner in silence, I didn't know how to feel. On one note, I didn’t really have any friends, but on another, I didn't want Rainey to stay so angry. She had a life here, and while she could be annoying, I didn't think it would be good for her to be angry all the time.
The next day, I was reading again. Rainey had been grumpy and quiet at breakfast, and had gone out to skate with her friends soon after. I was alternating between slowly packing up things, waiting for the day to come. They were leaving in one week exactly. Thank god we were flying to Montana, to reading on my bed. The moving truck would have to drive all the way. I moved slowly around her room, looking at everything. Most of the stuff that I wasn’t going to need during the week was packed.I decided to be done for the time being. And instead got into my bedroom chair and started to read a horse book. But that got boring quickly, with so much going on it seemed wrong to do something as normal as reading. So instead I got out the old laptop and googled Lewistown, Montana. It wasn’t very interesting at first, but there was some stuff about the local wildlife, and so on. Then, a brochure popped up for Moranne Ranch.
I clicked on it and the website said that they did Horseback riding lessons, agricultural clubs, and other farm things. Horses! This was a dream come true. I was sure mom would be interested in the farm fresh produce, that would be a perfect way to introduce the prospect of riding lessons. Maybe moving wouldn’t be too bad after all.
The next few days passed in a blur of packing, stress, a slowly emptying fridge, and Rainey being gone all the time. I was getting bored without Rainey to do stuff with, so I helped mom with packing a lot. When Saturday finally came, we were off to the airport and were soon lifting off the ground. I put back my tray, and fastened my seatbelt. We were off!
A couple of hours later, we were in a cab and on our way to our new house. I looked out the window at the farmland passing by. There was so much of it. Everything was so green. Nothing like the city. “Mom?” I asked.
“When will our car get here? Or will we get a new one?”
“Your aunt will drive it down here when she comes to visit in a few weeks.”
“Oh. Okay.” Summer was almost over. School would be starting again. I would be in 7th grade. Not much time to look into horseback riding. Maybe someone at the school could help me. 10 minutes later, they pulled into a large driveway. I saw a large house surrounded by grass, and there was a shed on the right side of the house. It looked fine. The house was much bigger than our last one. I unbuckled my seatbelt and got out of the car. I walked up to the front door and got the key out of the lock box using the code mom had written down for me. Inside, the house was large and cavernous, empty without furniture and other things inside of it to make it homey.
Mom came inside with the rest of my family. We spent the rest of the day unloading. That night, I had a hard time falling asleep. I was too excited. Tomorrow I was going to go exploring to try and find that horse farm!
The next day the movers were arriving after a long drive the day before. The house was already feeling homey, so it was especially cheerful with morning sunshine streaming through the windows.Dad was cooking pancakes, because we had missed our usual Saturday pancake breakfast because of the move. Rainey was sitting at the makeshift table, and texting someone on her cell phone.
I sat down on the boxes we were using for chairs until the movers got here. Dad was clunking around in the kitchen looking for things. There wasn’t much in their car to cook with, so he had to make do. But he was clearly having a little trouble. I went and sat at the table, and in 20 minutes there was a plate of steaming pancakes in front of me.
“Thanks dad.” I said, my mouth full. I finished them off quickly and hurried up to my room. I pulled on a pair of blue jeans, and a t-shirt with a horse head on it. I went downstairs and into the kitchen.
“Dad, can I go exploring?”
“I don’t know, just around. I want to see what's here.”
“You can go as long as you stay close.”
I ran from the room and pulled on a pair of heeled hiking boots. I grabbed my bike and biked down the road, the morning was cold, with only a hint of the afternoon sunshine to come. The bike was slightly longer than I thought, I had looked up the stables and some directions before I left. Soon there was a dirt road, with a sign in front of it reading: Sunset Circle Horse Farm & Riding School.
I couldn’t believe it! I was here. I could see horses grazing on frosted grass, hear horses neighing and pawing for their breakfast. I got off and parked it by some bushes, then walked up the road to the barn. I saw someone hand walking a horse out to pasture. I walked over to her and called out. “Hello, ma’am,”
“Hello there,” She called back. “Do you need something?”
“Yes, thank you. Um. Do you do riding lessons here?”
“We do. Are you interested?”
“Yes, do you have a price?”
The woman nodded, and took a piece of paper out of her pocket. She handed it to me. “Here, take this. You can talk to your parents and call me.”
“Thank you.” I said. I ran back to my bike and biked as fast as I could all the way home.
The next few days, I held off from asking mom and dad for riding lessons for two reasons. The first was that they were so preoccupied with unpacking, the moving truck had come and deposited all our stuff, so they couldn’t really think about anything else. The second reason was that Rainey was still angry at them. So, while I wanted to burst sometimes.
I stayed quiet. They were trying to entice Rainey to go explore with me, or even participate in dinner conversation. She wouldn’t budge. That didn’t mean that I wasn't getting time with horses though.
I biked to the farm anytime I could, and watched people do chores. The horses were beautiful. I even made up names and stories for each horse. There was one in particular, that was my favorite. I named him Wind Dancer. Windy, for short. He is beautiful. He is a dapple gray-ish white, with some silver too. His mane is black. He is a great riding horse. But he is also young, and spooks easily. I draw the horses, watch them, and listen to people talk about them. Soon I came up with a plan to talk to my parents about it. I decided to wait until everything was unpacked.
TO BE CONTINUED.....