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[RC] Endurance, Carolina Style: Part Eight - Howard Bramhall

OK, I may have lost ya'll with that last line.  I can hear some of you saying, "Gee, Howard, are you really that crazy?" or, "I know a good therapist who's reasonable," or, "It's not rational to say you would give your life for a horse, no matter how you may feel about him."  Here's my answer to the above: 1) Yes, 2) I have one, 3) I truly believe life is not rational. 
Think about that last idea for just a moment (oh, man, here he goes).  Has everything in your life made sense?  Do you have it all under control all the time?  I know, some of you may think you do, but, do you really, or is that just some sort of illusion you've been able to portray to yourself or the outside world.  My personal life has rarely been rational; it's normally quite chaotic and confusing.  I guess I like it that way and I don't see any other way it could ever be. 
Do things like 9/11 or this war with Iraq or that sniper thing in DC make any kind of sense at all to anyone?  And, even before 9/11, things like Vietnam, JFK, Martin Luther King and Bobby's assassinations, the year 1968, Nixon, Spiro Agnew (remember that guy?), George (dubya) Bush's election, the Clintons, Tampa Bay winning the super bowl, the list is endless.  Is any of that rational?  Please, if you think so, someone explain it to me, because I cannot even attempt to try.
There are two horses who are so much a part of my life, America and Dance Line, my Saddlebred, who mean so much to me, who do make sense and do bring me such incredible happiness, I cannot describe the feeling with mere words, no matter how hard I try.  If someone were to try and steal them from me I would risk my life to prevent it.  If I got into a situation out there on the trail and it became a decision between my life or theirs I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I chose theirs, so, I would chose mine.  Of course, I'm not suicidal and would try to save my life too, but, I would save theirs first or die trying.  Crazy?  You bet.  Delirious or delusional (pick one)?  Most likely.  Serious about all of this?  Most definitely.
Well, if you're still with me after all that, and God Bless you if you are, I'll try and press on.  Leatherwood, here we come!
I loaded up the sub, backed up the monolith with the horse trailer without hitting anything, drove to the dump station (I find it hilarious they actually call it that) adjacent the arena to unload five days worth of crap, loaded the horses, honked the horn on my way out of camp to say good-bye to Patsy and Officer Murphy (he ran the place and we had talked, quite often during my stay at Sand Hills, about the war; Patsy, when I ran into her at Leatherwood, later, told me he was quite concerned about my mental well being.  lol), and headed west.  Man, did I go the wrong way because it took me almost two hours driving through Charlotte to finally reach the Interstate.
Five hours later, in a drive that I should have made in half the time, I was in Ferguson, made a right turn on a magical, winding road that parallels Elk Creek, taking me and my three buddies to Leatherwood.  After a near miss with a school bus, two large trucks and several mail boxes, I pulled into what has become my definition of Paradise. One of the things that I had forgotten about this area is all the folks driving their cars, traveling in the other direction, on this very narrow road, the locals, waive to you, from inside their vehicle, as you drive by them.  Quite unique and it takes awhile to get used to, but once you do, you realize this is the only way to be.  I had returned to the place I hope to someday call home.  If you've ever considered the abstract notion that God could very well be a horse you would, also, believe that he lives here too.