33 "The Saddle"-Part 1
Part 1 of 3
Jim hadn’t taken a vacation of more than a day or two at a time in so long he couldn’t remember when the last time was. So, early in 2003, he had been thinking a lot about his dad and because of the fact that he hadn’t seen him in a lot of years, he knows it had been well over 20 years, he had decided to take the trip to pay a visit. He did know that his dad had been battling prostate cancer and was right around 90 years old. He felt this deep need to see him because was afraid his dad didn’t have much longer.
This would mean a drive of well over 3,000 miles round trip. He would be traveling alone and meant a lot of driving. That part he didn’t mind, he enjoyed driving. Anyway, he put in for the vacation time and was granted whatever time he needed. He figured 11 days would be enough. He started his trip.
He left Thursday afternoon, stopped in Needles for the night. Left the next morning drove through to Santa Rosa, New Mexico. He stayed there the night because he wasn’t feeling well. The next morning he hit the road feeling better, and arrived at his dad’s early evening on Saturday. To Jim’s surprise his sister and her husband had driven up from Southern Arkansas to see him. He hadn’t seen his sister in a lot of years either. So this was a welcomed surprise. Jim stayed at his dad’s house ‘till late Tuesday. He followed his sister down to where they lived in Southern Arkansas. Also, while visiting, Jim had the opportunity to see his half sister that he hadn’t seen since she was around 15 or 16. She lived close to their dad and helped to take care of their dad and her mom.
Before he left, his dad was insistent on giving Jim a saddle that he had been storing. Really, Jim had no use for a saddle since he had no horse at home. His dad really wanted him to take the saddle and was disappointed when Jim convinced him that he just really had no room to take it at this time and promised him he would take it the next visit. His dad said what he would always say in the past, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” They said their good-byes and parted once more.
Jim followed his sister and brother-in-law down to their home. He really would have liked his sister to ride with him so they could talk. She explained that her husband couldn’t see well enough to drive. That was another long drive alone.
Anyway, they arrived there that evening. Jim stayed there for 2 days and visited some nephews and nieces. And he stayed for 2 days and headed home on Thursday. He arrived home Saturday evening. During his entire trip home he felt bad about not having taken the saddle his dad had wanted him to have so badly. Oh well, he would go back soon and make sure he takes it the next time.
To be continued.