She was trying to come home without the dogs chasing her off. She had been gone for a week. We found her mangled body behind the barn. Her cat collar with the little bell still attached to her neck. I had heard the combine running around the field a week before. I thought I had heard a shrill scream but thought it was my imagination.
Charles had talked to a farmer's wife north of Troy and told her about the puppies and Bobby. She said if we wanted to give her away she would take her. When she came to see Bobby we gave her to the woman and said our goodbyes.
Charles wanted another horse too. We saw in the paper a man had an Arabian gelding he'd sell for 250.00.The horse was green broke but like red before him he showed considerable affection for Charles and he wasn't leaving without the grey Arabian we named Silver. They loaded him in the trailer with the help of some kind of prod. They delivered him to our home. Stony was thrilled and Silver reciprocated. Every morning early he would ride the "silver glider" before he left for work. I, too, attached a very long lead and practiced turning him in circles. Around and around I made him go. First he would go one way and then the other. I’d stand in one place and pull the lead, about twenty feet long, one way or another. He would go one way easily but the other way he reared up and didn't want to go. We figured his wolf teeth in the back of his mouth needed filed and that was probably why. Even after his teeth were floated he still didn't want to turn that certain way. With many weeks of this training and Charles riding him every morning he was safe to ride and Jenny even rode him. He was so smooth to ride you could hardly feel any jolt at all, even while trotting. Terre had been "five gaited" but even she didn't have as smooth a ride. I still preferred Stony because he was fine broke and neck reigned like Terre. Like Red, I couldn't ride him and Charles didn't like riding Terre or Stony. Neck reigning meant that just placing the reins against the neck opposite the side you wanted to turn. If you wanted to turn right, you pulled the reins to the right and the rein on the left side of the neck would signal the horse to turn right and vice versa. Red and Silver had to be turned with each reign.
We enjoyed our little house, it was easier to heat and we didn't have to cut wood every weekend. One weekend we put Stony in the back of the pickup we had with stock racks, no problem. Silver wouldn't go in the truck no matter how hard we tried. We wondered how the man got him in the trailer when we bought him and that was when I remembered they had used an electric prod. I had always heard one could not use a cattle prod on a horse, they could die instantly. We didn't have one but by the time we finally got him in the truck and got the tail gate up I'd wished I had had one! Charles couldn't get the horses to do what he wanted because he had no patience and always depended on me to do the job. Charles was a lot stronger than me. Together we managed in time to get them to the parade in Troy. We rode them in the parade and Stony was used to the noise of loud honking and of course they put us behind a fire truck that blew its loud horn every block. Silver jumped with every noise. Charles was riding him and he wasn't worried about it. It took awhile to get him back in the truck but it seems like we had help this time with the more experienced horsemen at the parade. It was just too much work, so we didn't go again. We sold the horse trailer Charles had made for Terre with her picture drawn on the side of it and painted when we had sold Terre and Red.
In March of 1984 we had gotten word that Steve, Thelma’s youngest boy who was 22 years old then had been killed in a motorcycle accident in Omaha Nebraska where he worked as manager of Godfather's pizza. He was late for work and ran out without his helmet. He had always promised his mother he would be careful and never go without his helmet and he had kept that promise until that day. He was a block from his work when a car pulled out of his driveway right in front of Steve. He had slammed on the brakes and skidded, hitting the car flying over it and landing on his head. He was on life support when his brain started to swell. The brain stem gets squeezed and shuts off the involuntary reflex that keeps the heart beating and the lungs breathing without you having to remember to do it. They removed his life support on Sunday and the wreck happened on Friday. We headed for Nebraska for the funeral.
It was a very sad time in our family. Thelma had lost her youngest son. She and Steve did everything together. Her husband, Bob, was working then and she was retired. Steve still lived at home and he was her best friend. We went home with heavy hearts.
It was getting more difficult to keep up with the rent payments. The rent at this house was 125.00 a month. The highest rent we'd ever had to pay. There was a little house in Highland in the bluffs of the Missouri river. It was surrounded by hills and about a mile east of highway 7. The Whetstine family owned it but the flood of '84 destroyed the iron bridge over Wolf River that you had to cross to get to the property. There was a back way from the town of Fanning but it was a dirt road. When it rained it was a deep muddy mess. They wanted us to wait until the new cement bridge was finished before they rented it. When the bridge was finished they called and said we could move if we were ready. We notified our current landlord we were moving. The rent in Highland was 175.00 a month but it was so much closer to his work at Gordon's construction company. It was the nicest place we had ever lived. The yard was huge. There was a little creek in back. Charles built a little bridge across it. The house had an attached garage with a remote control. It had a foyer that opened to a carpeted living room, a huge picture window that had three paned glasses to keep out the cold. It not only had a furnace that ran on propane but it had a square wood stove in the kitchen we used most of the time and only used the furnace if the temperature went below 60 degrees. This way we didn't have to get up in the night to rekindle the flames and add another stick or two of wood.
There was a deep cistern and they had told us they couldn't remember a time it ever went dry. If it was a really dry year it might get low but tell them and they would bring us water to put in it. You had to step up a step to get in the kitchen. It was carpeted too with "indoor and outdoor carpeting".The kitchen was modern with solid wood cabinets and a double sink. The bedroom was not real big, but much bigger than what we had. There were three other bedrooms so the kids had
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