A special light was dimmed with the passing of Steve Jobs. His grasp of being the master of his own fate presents a tremendous challenge for us all. Every day we encounter mavericks that are following their own path in life. Here is a short story about a special friend of mine. She has accepted the challenge and is living her dream.
The sun glistened against the copper red hair of a the seven year old. She sat on the top step of her home, watching, waiting, and preparing to strike. As she stood up, clad in her favorite western shirt with fringe dangling on the pockets, she tugged on her tan cowgirl hat, and she slapped the tiny whip on the palm of her left hand. With her patience at an end, she spoke. “My daddy didn’t hire you to sit around. You have work to do. Now do it.”
The three middle aged men turned to see who was giving them such harsh instruction, and then laughter erupted. The senior man in the group shouted to her, “Now little lady, your daddy hired us to load this truck with your things and move you and your family across town. We’ll get it done in plenty of time. Now, you get.”
She stood in silence, lips pursed, hands on hips, and the whip continuing to move in her hands. “Time is being wasted. I heard my daddy say he pays you by the hour. That’s for work, not taking breaks.”
“Okay little lady. We’ll end our break if you go inside. I think I heard your momma calling you. “
Just then, her mom did call out, “Pam honey. Please come in and help me. Leave those fine men alone. ”
“’I’m getting a pony after we move,” she shared with them as she whirled around, skipped up the front steps, and raced into the house.
Within three years, her heart broke. Pam learned her parents were getting a divorce. She could no longer have her daddy come home every evening. The family couldn’t afford to keep that wonderful pony she rode every Saturday. Her life would change for ever.
As a victim of a broken family, Pam and her younger brother grew up under the tender care of their single mother. The money was tight and times were challenging, but her work ethic remained strong. She became a shift supervisor at a local drive-in restaurant by the time she was sixteen years old. She and her brother also ran their own paper route. All money earned helped support the family of three. There was no time for a pony, even if there had been money to buy and care for one.
She worked to put herself through college. Her family of three joined together to purchase a home and settle into life. She began her teaching career with a zeal to educate her students not only in the required material, but by sharing life’s’ lessons. Her goal ever present – help the children understand that they may have been dealt a bad hand, but they have the choice to deal fresh cards.
Pam’s daily route to school passed a large home with pasture land occupied by over sixty miniature horses. She never missed an opportunity to slow on the curve of highway to capture the vision for as long as possible. How she yearned to have just one miniature horse.
One day she heard a friend of hers mention that he owned miniature horses and was close friends with the lady whose property held the herd she passed daily. Pam shared her passion to be around the minis and he offered to introduce her to the owner.
After meeting the owner, Pam volunteered to come by the ranch when she had time and clean out the barn. As her visits at the ranch increased, a common bond grew between the two women. A passion to own her own mini burned inside her. But on a teacher’s salary, how would this ever work?
Pam visited the minis daily. She soon graduated from barn cleaning to feeding, brushing, and bathing the younger horses. Her tender way with the babies helped them socialize with humans. She learned all their names and developed an understanding of their ways. Her love of the minis exploded.
The rational side of her fought her dream for almost a year. Then Pam made the bold move. She put her house on the market and began to search for a small ranch where she would be able to have one little horse. She found a new born stallion that captured her heart and purchased him. He would board at her new friend’s ranch until she could find the right property.
Within six months of stepping out on her lifelong dream, Pam purchased ten acres of pasture land. A three bedroom red brick ranch style home sat facing a meadow and woods. The location was perfect. And now she required all ten acres. Her love of minis had grown from one little boy to a small heard of eighteen miniature horses, some for pets, some to show, and some to breed. Her life would never be the same again.
Her dreams realized. She knew the path less chosen would bring her the joy. She could recapture the lost years when her family broke apart and her pony had to be sold. God is good. Yes, you too can have the dream come true. But you have to deal yourself a new hand. Have faith. It works.
Here is my son, Jeff. Now you can see how “mini “these wonderful creatures are.