When I return home from the cruise, I am surprised by the changes already underway on the property. The concept we had briefly discussed before I left sounded nice, but I had to admit the actual was looking even better. Now that Helen had this fancy horse and the two quarter horses from Stella, it was expected that she would want to use the back property for her own horses. I probably also shouldn’t have been surprised that she could get men to move quickly once the idea got started. She seemed to have that kind of effect with men …

She had a fence in from one side of the property to the other cutting off the back twenty-five acres for the horses. The fence that was added was a wooden split rail fence that looked very nice. On the side closest to Harry and Juli’s was a gate wide enough for a pickup, tractor, or horse trailer. On both sides was an opening I couldn’t figure out until Helen showed me. Horses apparently have a difficult time with tight spaces and turns. Because our normal running route takes us around the entire property, she had installed an opening on each side that was wide enough for us to get through and requiring a sharp angle towards the outside. We would have to slow down at these spots but we could keep moving and the horses wouldn’t be able to navigate them. The gate would be used for taking the horses in and out and for taking in hay and supplies. In the back of the property and to the side near the trees I saw a building being built that would be large enough for the three horses and storage for saddles, blankets, reins and other necessary equipment.

The fence was already in and so were the horses. I was only gone for a week!

The first few days back, Helen was spending quite a bit of time with Stella. Helen indicated at dinner that the older woman was moving slow and seemed to be suffering from something but in typical Stella fashion was not going to complain or make a fuss. All we could recommend was to be the friend she already was and keep an eye on her. She knew who her doctor was, so if she felt it necessary, she could contact her, too. We all knew that the feisty Stella would object strenuously if anyone else tried to interfere.

The rest of the time, except for school and a couple hours a day in the Kennel office and computer, she was with Dr. Anna. Suddenly, it seemed her work got busy. Or so it seemed given the amount of travel that was happening suddenly. Again, at dinner, Helen posed a question to us that made us all stop and consider our girl all over, again. It is amazing some of the conversation we get into as we sit at the dinner table like any other family, I suppose. The difference, of course, is that most families aren’t sitting at the table with all the women wearing next to nothing as they have these discussions about their day and life events.