We hated to see the day come, when we had to say goodbye. In the months that Tomoko had been coming to the barn, we all got to know her a bit, and came to admire her alot. She was determined — English was not her first language and she was taking dressage lessons, difficult enough for a native speaker! (how would you say 'haunches in' in Japanese, anyway?) — quietly brave, and, as we found out, very funny. Sitting on the deck one morning, we were laughing about some spousal blunder — don't worry, Dave, it wasn't you! — and she said, "Oh yes. Sometimes Japanese wives like it when the husbands are gone a long time."
And, she's a horse person, for sure, married to a non-horse person, for sure. No matter: He got dragged along to the expo — like a true horse husband, someone had to carry the wallet. She had shopping to do! A new saddle, ca-ching.
We couldn't let her go home without marking the occasion. She wanted us to meet for lunch, so we started off tastefully enough one afternoon at Origami for sushi, saki and silliness:
A few days later, on the day before her plane left for home, we had a party at the barn. Happily, it was one of those perfect Minnesota days, so we spent it outside. She rode Niamh, her favorite horse, coming:
... and going:
Then, more fine dining, this time on the Caille Farm veranda:
What better way to digest chips, dip and cheap wine than with a spin on Barb T.'s four-wheeler:
Maybe it was a bit of a hootenanny, but we had a good time -- and I hope she won't forget us.
We'll leave a light on for you, Tomoko. Come on back, you betcha.