#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller


Horses in Transit

Yesterday, my four beloved horses, Banjo, Buck, Skye and Coco, set out for the family ranch in northeastern Washington state, near Northport. They are traveling in the skilled and loving care of my “cousin”, Steve, and his son, Andy, whom I usually refer to as my nephew. (This family is complicated. Many titles are honorary.) Andy is a genuine horse whisperer–he’s studied with Monty Roberts and has a natural way with all animals. (Kids love him, too. And women.) So, even though it was a powerful wrench for me to see that trailer pull out, I know the horses are in good hands. Steve’s wife, Debi, and Bo, his other son, are along as well, and accompanied by the cutest Yorkie puppy since Bernice.

Do I miss my four-legged friends? YES. I didn’t realize quite how much they affected the energy here at Springwater Station. Knowing they are not in the barn at the other end of the property is like having someone jump off the other end of a teeter-totter while I’m up in the air. There was a crash–even though I know this is best, and a major first step in the move home. Right now, I’m processing. As I said, I know this is the best thing for all of us, right now, but I don’t aspire to leap from seeing them go to being reunited with them in the new place. The steps in between must be taken. They are part of the process, and will supply the emotional support structure that is vital to building a foundation for the next stage of our lives.

Plenty of things to celebrate in the meantime. The Lael family reunion is this weekend, and I love getting together with that bunch. I’ll be putting the polish on “Deadly Gamble” today and tomorrow, and that’s a pleasure. My wonderful daughter, Wendy, gave me tickets to this Thursday’s Neil Diamond concert (he got the way to move me, he got the way to move me to heaven) for Mother’s Day. And I gotta brag on her here–Wendy is a gifted writer, and she was admitted to a graduate program at UCLA–without benefit of a bachelor’s degree. I’m so proud of her!

So there is a lot to be grateful for.

The horses will arrive at the ranch sometime today. I get a lot of pleasure out of imagining how delighted they’ll be with the cooler weather and room to run. And it helps that I will see them next week, if only for a brief visit. When the time is right, we’ll be together again. In the meantime, they’re like kids, off on an adventure. I’ll think of it as a version of summer camp.

In the meantime, I will celebrate my many blessings, and when I get nervous, I will reach for my courage. Change is ultimately good. It’s also inevitable. Might as well learn to love it.

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Cattle drives rarely went more than ten or twelve miles a day, as the cattle had to be given time to rest and graze. A drive from Texas to Montana could take up to five months.

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