mardi 20 décembre 2011

A Brown Christmas and Sunrise on the Solstice

It almost felt like Christmas

Frost. There was frost on the field, on the fallen and unraked leaves, and on the tips of the Cape May Daisies that are still blossoming on the eve of the winter solstice. I meant to write about the discovery of the amaryllis blooming in the first week of December, but I never made the time. But, there is no more frost, just rain and sodden ground that squishes under your waterproof boots. The songs on the CD player sing of snow falling and Christmas "in the air", and I am remembering when this was true and Christmas felt snug and warm, anticipating the , last minute shopping and a hasty trip to FedEx before it closed, wrapping presents and midnight mass (not necessarily in that order) and the sand bag lanterns along the driveways and suburban cul de sacs to guide Santa's reindeer, flying through the night skies to land on the roofs of the houses, covered thickly in new-fallen snow.

This is not helping to get the tree decorated.


Nor, either, is having my mind on Sunrise on the Solstice, tomorrow at Deauville, helping get the tree decorated. Tomorrow will be my first race, ever, in person, and not only my first race ever, but I'll be "backstage" with the trainers and the owners. And, not only will I be "backstage", I will be riding up in the horse van with Satwa Sunrise and her trainer, Gina Rarick. Sunrise will run in the seventh race, a claimer, The Prix des Perrets at 4:20 pm, and she'll be ridden by Fabien Lefebvre, who has ridden for Gina before. I have checked on the dress code; no trainers -- "or what we Americans used to call tennis shoes", not horse trainers (of which there will be lots), and no blue jeans. Black jeans are alright. I fear I am going to have to dress up, though, despite the weather forecast, which means the required rain gear would hide the color of everyone's jeans, since all my jeans are blue.

We'll have to see if my stepdaughter's stomach virus will have passed so that she can come, too, as planned. It's either the candy or the fish at her friend's house the other evening. If not, she needs to recover for the end of the week, because once Sunrise will have gotten some of her oats out on the track tomorrow, she's on to ride her in exercise.

Looking at the photo again, I realize I need to add one more thing to my list of things to do: rake. Christmas, and I am facing a carpet of wet, dead leaves. If the frost returns, it will have to do.


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