Fri Sep 11, 2021; Case Note No. 16
Well hello again, it’s me, Ms. AAngyl, the blogging, flying, service unicorn. Sorry, I am a little behind in my writing. But it’s for a good reason. As I mentioned in Case Note No. 15, my patient Margaret and I are on a grand journey, spending time with our family members and friends in Canada and the United States. We have spent the past nine days in California, and are writing this blog at 34,000 feet, on a flight to Portland, Oregon. We are en route to Canada, this time on the west coast of that vast country, where Margaret’s son lives with his family.
Our reason for going to California was to meet up with some relatives of mine that I had only known from online photos. We stayed at the ranch where my grandfather was born and raised, and met some wonderful people and horses who are continuing the family traditions. I saw the stall where his brass nameplate is still on the door, and spent time getting to know a handsome stallion who is my first-cousin-once-removed.
Of course, of course, there’s always more than a little magic when unicorns plan a family get-together. Shortly after Margaret learned that I was preparing to cross the Rainbow Bridge, she asked for my help in finding her next therapy horse. Unbeknownst to her, I was already working on that. A few months ago, my cousin the stallion and I had arranged for a lovely Arabian mare from Texas (who is unrelated to us) to be brought to his ranch. (She's a dark bay with a star who looks a lot like me when I was a horse. That's how we got Margaret's attention LOL). My studly cousin really knows how to dance and impress the ladies. So predictably, as soon as she laid eyes on him, the mare fell madly in love. Now she is carrying his foal, who is of course, of course, related to me. I am so excited! I can hardly wait to meet the newest member of our family, who is due to arrive next spring!
While at the ranch, we stayed in the beautiful little guest house, where the walls are decorated with lots of photos of my family members. The back deck overlooks a huge paddock, and in every direction we were surrounded by peacefully grazing Arabian horses. Margaret spent a lot of time talking to the horses, and shadowing an amazing trainer who works with them. He kindly took her under his wing, and shared some of his special ways of communicating with these sensitive animals.
Right from the get-go, we were treated like family. Shortly after we arrived, we were invited to a big family party thrown by the ranch manager, and were warmly welcomed by many people we met who also love Arabian horses. Within minutes of being introduced at the ranch, they seemed like old friends with much in common, and lots to laugh about. So we unicorns were quite pleased at how well the reunion of the family tribe turned out, for all concerned.
While we were busy at the ranch, there was little time for touring the famous central California landscapes. But I found a way. With a pandemic going on, international travellers need to get a "molecular test" no more than 72 hours before leaving on a jet plane for Canada. I knew there was some impressive scenery to the south of where we were staying. So I arranged for the schedules of the nearby rapid testing centres to be fully booked. The only site available on short notice was located at a fairground about an hour’s drive south of where we were staying. That gave us the opportunity to pass by some beautiful vistas along the way, and even take in a local swap market held on Thursdays in the fairground parking lot. At the market, even the horses wore face masks, unless they were safely tucked away inside protective clear plastic containers. On the way home, we stopped to take pictures at a beautiful dam on a lake, with the mountains in the distance.
Naturally, when staying close to Highway 101 in California, one cannot miss the opportunity to visit the charming coastal towns and fishing harbours. Near the end of our visit, we were invited to stay two nights with a wonderful new friend who lives in one of these towns, and was happy to show us around. In the language of the indigenous Chumash people of the area, the name of the town means “hole in the sky.” Needless to say, it was a delightful experience. Her dog is friends with some seals that live by the wharf of an oceanfront restaurant we visited. So we had fun watching as they took turns barking at each other, while we enjoyed our dinner on the outdoor patio.
And then it was time for us to say goodbye to all of our family and new friends in California, with our hearts overflowing with joy and gratitude for their gracious company and hospitality. See you all in Cape Breton!