My brother and I, as well as each of our two sisters, received a small legacy from my wonderful, hardworking father. We’ve all been deliberating on how to spend it in a way he would approve of–family vacation? Fancy sewing machines? (My sisters sew. I’ll have to be put into Witness Protection if I even attempt to stitch a seam!) He worked so hard to put aside this money, and we all want something we can point to and say, “I have that because of Dad.”
I decided on new, sturdy front doors for the main house, and a saddle. Do you know how difficult and time-consuming it is to buy two simple doors? I was fit to chew nails by the time I got through to the guy at Loew’s. He was working very hard, bless his heart, and he was unfailingly pleasant, even though dealing with a half-mad, hungry woman who’d already written the first chapter of a new book that day and was in No Mood. It was as though we spoke different languages, but I ask you, how hard is it to work your way through, “This door, in this color”, while standing next to the display model?
I don’t expect to have nearly as much trouble with the saddle. But maybe I’m being naive. Saddle. Goes on the horse. Has to fit my backside and be comfortable for the other animal.
Anyway, I got to thinking about Dad’s real legacy, which is much more than money. True grit. Persistence. A love of justice. Pride in being American, respect for the high price so many other people paid to allow us to make decisions (even annoying ones about doors) for ourselves and complain about the President to our heart’s content. In my case, a devout love of horses in particular. (The love for dogs came from Mom, as did a quick wit, a passion for books and a good vocabulary.)
When the doors are installed, beautiful and weather-proof and planet-friendly, I will think of my dad each time I pass them, each time I turn the key in the lock, each time I go in or out. Yes, sir, my dad would like the idea of those doors, and as for the saddle, well, that goes without saying.
A cowboy, or cowgirl, places a very high value on good gear. It’s second only to a good horse, and April surely is that.