Married with Horses: Giving Thanks

Jeremy Law gives thanks for food, family, horse sitters, his column readers and more.

| © Andy Myer

I’m definitely thankful for any holiday that focuses on food, friends and family–they’re my three favorite things.

It was an extraordinarily glorious Thanksgiving holiday this year–even better than usual. It’s a little sad that it’s over. All we have left here at the farm is a freezer full of turkey and ham bones. I spent this morning making a big batch of turkey stock and stood over the pot thinking about the holiday meal and all the things for which I am truly thankful. It’s easy to forget all the thanks we should give for the good things in life as it rushes past during us the rest of the year. A wise man once said, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” How true.

I’m thankful for my wife, our life together and her family.

Kimberly and I invited her family over to the farm for food and festivities. We bought a natural turkey and ham from a fantastic, local farm. We brined the turkey, ensuring that it might actually survive its time in the oven. We boiled potatoes, made sage and pork sausage dressing and cooked up a mean pot of roasted pumpkin soup. We ate and ate and ate. Kimberly made a couple of pecan pies, and I whipped some cream with sugar and vanilla. We ate those, too.

I was in a complete post-gorge stupor as the 12 of us sat around discussing plans for Christmas. We all decided that instead of giving each other a bunch of gifts, we would donate money, time or gifts to some of the local charities. Note to self: remember to donate money, time or unneeded belongings during the summer, too. That’s when the charities feel forgotten and their people are probably the most in need.

I was still delirious with digestion when the family left a few hours later. Kimberly and I headed out to the barn to feed the horses.

“Ugh. Are you sure you want this-(burp)-entire bucket of food?” I asked Vander. “Personally, I’m stuffed.”

Vander doesn’t always get my jokes. We fed the horses and then made sure that all the cats and dogs each received some table scraps.

I’m thankful for our animals. Each of them has something to teach.

We put away a grand meal that day, but our Thanksgiving holiday was just beginning. Kimberly and I were lucky enough to get to visit my parents in Denver this year. It had been too long since last we saw them. I spent part of that night typing out some totally unnecessary animal-care instructions for our friends and fellow horse owners, Jack and Claudia.

I can speak for Kimberly, too, when I say we are very thankful for Jack and Claudia.

They’re always eager to feed our zoo (or else they fake it really, really well). If we are delayed at a show or traveling like we did this Thanksgiving, they’re there for us. When we return after Jack and Claudia have taken care of our farm, the animals look at us as if to say, “Welcome home. Where are Jack and Claudia?” I don’t take it personally. It makes me feel better to be 110% certain our crazy animals are in the best hands possible. Having friends like that is as important as having the animals in the first place. I genuinely hope all of you reading this know that feeling.

So, it was thanks to Jack and Claudia that Kimberly and I were able to spend a few days with my parents.

I’m thankful for my parents. They’ve always been good to me. When Kimberly and I got together, they bought me a library’s worth of horse books that I still read. I’m also thankful my parents didn’t make me clean my room during our visit with them.

My old room has become a catch-all for a lot of stuff that should probably be donated or just burned. My father was career military–Vietnam and the whole deal. We used to move around enough to get rid of the unnecessary items every year or so. After 21 years in the military, my father retired and entered the private sector. My parents have been in their current house for 14 years. Some things have accumulated–a lot of it in my old room. I promise I’ll get around to cleaning it one of these days.

I’m thankful for my father’s military service. Wait–that’s a bit ambiguous. What I mean is I’m proud of my father for serving. He’s also the animal lover, and his influence is ultimately responsible for these columns I keep writing.

It was good to be in Denver. The Thanksgiving spread at home was amazing. My mother’s meals have always reigned supreme and she’s responsible for my love of food and cooking. I’m eternally thankful for that. Thankfully, too, her cancer is in remission, and she has a solid handle on her multiple sclerosis. I actually trusted her when she said not to worry. I believed her when she said she’d take it easy this Thanksgiving. She didn’t. The food was incredible–the best I’ve had. Every dish you’d expect, every flavor profile, everything perfectly seasoned and expertly cooked. Amazing.

Also, it was cold in Denver. I like cold, winter weather. Yes, I am thankful for being able to freeze my tail off now and again.

I was a philosophy/English major in college. So, I’m fully qualified to talk your ears off, or write your eyes off, as the case may be here–but I won’t. Simply put: I’m thankful for my life.

That definitely includes this column. It’s probably against the rules to write directly to the reader, but thank you. If you weren’t reading I wouldn’t be writing. My knowing you’re there–and that you understand me–makes me feel a little less crazy for all the things I think and feel about being married with horses.

Jeremy Law and his wife, Kimberly, live on a small farm in North Carolina with their two cats, two dogs and two horses.

Read Jeremy’s other columns in’s Humor section and share your comments in the forum.

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