Friday, October 5, 2012

Home At Last!

I typically don't mind traveling for work, except that I am often away for 5 days or more. While I hate to be away from home for a week, I was not dreading going to Vienna to attend ESMO. Long flights don't really bother me as I take two Dramamine after the dinner service then slip into a Dramacoma for the duration of the flight. After the mishaps of the original flight I found that I had a bit of difficulty sleeping during round two. Eventually my colleagues and I arrived in Vienna tired and weary. Because of the day delay, we had to head directly to the convention center for the start of the conference. My luggage, however, decided to stay in Frankfurt for a few more hours. We were reunited later that evening.

While I am away Deb texts me nightly to let me know how Suki is. Meghan kept me posted about Nikki. I know that I have plenty of people taking care of my girls, but I still worry! I think that I worry less about Suki than I used to, now that bandaging is no longer required. Suki can be difficult about having her face groomed and moisturized, but she and I have worked out an agreement about this. Basically I feed her gummy bears and she lets me take care of her face. Some days it doesn't require as much effort. When Suki's face gets really itchy I hold the exfoliation mitt up and she scratches it herself, turning her head to get the good spots. Sometimes I hold up the very soft face brush and say "see, it's the brush that you like". The Queen then lowers her head for me. I especially love when she closes her eyes while I do this! It is certainly understandable, when you think about how badly her face was burned, that she gets a little nervous about work around her head. Prior to the fire I could do anything to her head, face and ears. Baby steps....

Nikki did very well in the clinic with Meghan, and they participated the second day as well. I wish that I could have been there to see it, but I am glad that it went so well. She remained at VMF for longer than planned, but that was fine, because she was ridden again before returning home.

On my last day in Vienna, which was a light conference day, so several of my colleagues and I went to the Spanish Riding School to watch the Lipizzaners morning school to music and a tour of the school. It was in the main riding hall, which was really wonderful to see. The horses came out in groups of six, and some had some very young horses in the group. Watching it brought tears to my eyes.....I suddenly realized how much riding defines me. For 2 1/2 hours I was mesmerized, explaining to my colleagues (non horse people) what they were watching. Some of the horses were worked in hand, others under saddle. What a delight!

Thursday I went to see the girls after 8 days away. Getting out of the car after a long absence I always feel giddy in anticipation of wrapping my arms around their necks and taking in the lovely aroma of horse! Of course all was well with both of them, Nikki having returned earlier that day, and happily in her field grazing with Chester. She snuffled me and let me give her big hugs while handing out treats to her and Chester.

Suki gave me a little bit of a cold shoulder, but warmed up to after she was presented with horse-shaped gummies from the Spanish Riding School!

I just did an abbreviated spa treatment because my jet lag was beginning to catch up with me after my day at work. Travel issues leaving Vienna added to the stress, and I was probably STILL nursing a Dramamine hangover! But it was just so good to be home!

Today I had a short ride on Nikki in the 80 degree sunshine, likely the last of such days for awhile. That's okay. I welcome the fall and its glorious colors, and was greeted with a rainbow of leaves showering me and Nikki as we worked through our paces. Before you know it, the trees will be bare and the darkness of winter upon us. Each of the seasons offers a unique beauty, reminding me of why I love living in the northeast!

Suki greeted me with a hardy nicker and blocked Banker from me at every turn, even making snake face a few times! She was not in a sharing mood, declaring me hers, making it clear with her body language! I guess I have been forgiven for leaving...

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