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Saturday, February 19, 2011

White Out in Orange Land

In addition to being our horses indentured servants, we're also slaves to our passion for Syracuse University basketball. Last Saturday, the Orangemen were away playing Louisville. For the week prior to the game, our anticipation was building as we'd not beaten Louisville away in close to a decade.

However, our dreams of victory were seemingly squashed within milli-seconds of the tip off as the result of some insane 3 point shooting by the enemy Cardinals from Kentucky. Rick Pitino, the Louisville coach stood smugly on sideline while Syracuse's coach, Jim Boheim, tried to calm his team by screaming profanity at them (I'm sure he's warm and fuzzy on non-game days). Unfortunately, Syracuse was down by about 20 points by half time.

When the second half began, I happened to glance up quickly from the TV to check on the horses outside in the pasture and noticed that it had started snowing lightly and that there was a slight wisp of a breeze. They seemed content and my attention turned quickly back to ESPN.

Then something magical began to happen. Ever so slowly, Syracuse, with some wild three point shooting of it's own, clawed its way back into the game. Down 20 ... became down 17 ... down 13 ... to about down 9 or 10 with 3 or 4 minutes to go.

During a commercial, I noticed that the wind had picked up incredibly (35 to 40 mile an hour winds the newspaper noted later) and the snow was coming down hard enough that it was getting harder to see the horses in the pasture.

Normally, we'd see the horses out in that nasty gale and we'd race with our coat tails hap-hazardly dangling behind us to bring them in. But ... but ... there was less than 4 minutes to go in a game that had momentum clearly moving in our direction. What we couldn't see in the pasture couldn't hurt us ... right? Through the gust of whiteness, it seemed that the the horses just hunkered down.

With 1:35 left in the game, Syracuse had pulled within 3 points. I was standing in the middle of the living room so I could see the horses with one eye and the game with the other.

Fortunately or unfortunately (depends on your perspective) the horses were in a complete white-out. You couldn't seem them at all. They quite literally had disappeared. Oh well... at least I had the game.

"They'll be fine. It's far too dangerous for us to go out and bring them in now," I said to my wife as the seconds passed in the game. Unfortunately, Syracuse's comeback also disappeared and they ended up losing the game 73 to 69.

As the final buzzer sounded, we quickly grabbed our coats and boots and ran to the pastures. By the time we reached them, the horses bay coats were plastered in whiteness and icicles dangled from their whiskers, like great Arctic explorers about to plant a flag at the North Pole.

Yes, some turn their horses out for the winter, but our pampered pansies were about as happy about being sacrificed for the "love of the game" as a turkey would be for the "love of the meal" on Thanksgiving day.

Bobbie (the pony) had an incredible look of disdain and as if he were thinking, "Well, I hope your happy ... because I'm @#&@ing mad you stupid &@*#." Yes, he has a bit of a trash mouth. He's also a bit more warm and fuzzy when it's not game day.

While we had a bit of February thaw earlier in the week and one could actually see some grass, in spots, poking through the snow yesterday. Today is once again game day and the winds have picked up again to 50 mph (plus). Syracuse plays Rutgers at home at 4:00 pm and the horses are sitting warmly in their stalls. We don't want to risk Bobbie's wrath again.


  1. I hope you at least lied to them about the final score...


  2. Of course I lied. By the way ... Syracuse beat Rutgers in overtime today.

  3. Hello, bobbynosocks. You're a HORSE! How exciting! I don't think I have any horse friends though I sometimes see them in the park.

    I wanted to say something clever here but I don't know what basketball or Syracuse is. I saw another story you wrote about a double dog but it's not about 2 dogs at all. It's about how your tongue got stuck in icy stuff, so all I can say is... OUCH!

    I hope you're having a good weekend. It's almost all over here already. Tooroo :)

  4. The wind and snow here was miserable too. 60mph winds made it sound like a jet was landing on the roof. Our herd toughed it out until dinnertime but were none to happy about it.

  5. Hahaha, I can picture them giving you that talking to. Funny!

  6. None of mine would be happy to be left out in snow or rain either. AND if perchance such a thing did happen due to what was on TB, I'm pretty sure there would me some bad language here too.

    Glad to hear they're tucked in snuggly and warm.

  7. So, Bobbienosocks, do you like to romp and play in the snow or watch basketball better? Which is it?
    Marsha Hubler, author of the Keystone Stables books