My apologies. It’s not that there hasn’t been a lot going on, but more a case of writer’s block and laziness. But I do owe you all an update and just a couple more posts before, yes, I’ll wrap this blog up for good. We’re closing in on six years since, with the help of my friend, Gene, we first pulled the Pony out of the woods and began the job of restoring him. Many of you have followed the story from the beginning and a good portion of you have asked me, “What will you do with it when you’re done?” I always shrugged off those questions, because for years it was all about just getting the Pony restored. So my answer was always, “I’ll worry about that when the time comes.”
After Christmas, the longer the Pony sat out in the garage like a big, shiny red, Christmas ornament, it became obvious to me that the time had finally come. At the same time, The Princess and I had come to a decision. We decided that it was time to end the Carolina chapter of our lives and move back north to Philly, a town which we came to love during our years there. The move will bring us closer to our son, Andy, and put a lot of things literally right at our doorstep which will be handy as we move into our 70’s. These decisions made some months ago, got me started mulling, what would the Pony’s new chapter look like?
For years I’ve ridden my bike past a place called Learning Outside at the Triangle Land Conservancy’s (TLC) Irvin Learning Farm just 3 miles down Jones Ferry Road from here. I had never looked into what they were all about, but with the Pony in mind, I wondered if he might be a useful addition to its operations there. I went on line and learned that they run outdoor learning programs for children (emphasizing programs for underprivileged kids), they have a preschool program, they’ve got goats and chickens, so…why not a Pony!
I wrote them a letter offering to donate the Pony, and long story short, I heard back from them that they would be thrilled to have the Pony and use him to do chores around the farm and for hay rides, etc. I met with Wendy Banning from Learning Outside and also with Walt and Kyle from TLC.
Then about a week ago, under a rock on our front stoop I found the change-of-ownership documents that Wendy had left for me while The Princess and I were away from the house. Talk about “full circle.” Some of you may recall that back in 2010 after waiting for months, I found a letter from the land owner (where the Pony had been resting) wherein he turned ownership over to me! How appropriate too, that the Pony will be playing out his later years only 3 miles from where I found him in the woods.
Yesterday Walt and Kyle came back with a trailer to haul the Pony out to the farm. Here are a few photos The Princess was kind enough to take of the load-up and send-off.
Don’t forget, you can click on any of these if you want to see a larger image.
Just before this action took place, I’d been at a going away party for me at Cardiac Rehab, my volunteer gig for the last seven years. It is bittersweet to celebrate friendship and be saying goodby at the same time. Then the Pony leaving, well, that was the same kind of thing. I know he’ll be happy at his new farm, but I felt wistful as I saw him go down the road for the last time. I texted Andy the events of the day and told him that after the Pony was gone, I went straight into the house, took a shower, and poured an oversized shot of 21-year-old Scotch. Good luck Pony, Im sure you’ll make lots of new friends.
Stay tuned. I’m going to do one last post which will include a retrospective slide show capturing the entire Pony restoration. Until then, thanks for reading!