The Healing Horse, Ch. 8, Scene 18: Back to the Car

After arranging for Tex to bring Pegasus to his new home at Sierra Nevada Stables, Mama and Karen return to their Bel Air for the ride home. They are both in good moods, full of gratitude and love.

Scene 18: Back to the Car

A few minutes later, Mama and Karen got into the Bel Air. As Mama turned on the motor and shifted into gear, Karen reached out with her exquisite, disabled arm and pulled Mama close for a hug and a kiss.

“Thanks a lot for doing all this for me, Mama. It really shows you trust my judgment. I mean about how important Pegasus is to me, and how important giving him a good home is.”

“You’re more than welcome, sweetie. Pretty soon, Pegasus will be in his new home. I’m so happy for you both!”

“I love you, Mama.”

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 8, Scene 17: Sierra Nevada Stables

Karen’s intuition turns out to be right. She and Mama find the perfect home for Pegasus and begin the process of moving him to it.

Scene 17: Sierra Nevada Stables

The pavement ended just before a towering post and lintel gate bearing the name Sierra Nevada Stables. Mama stopped the car, and they craned their necks to look up at the sign on the gate. It was twenty feet tall. To their right, a smaller sign made of wooden planks stood at eye level. It read Welcome to Sierra Nevada Stables.

Karen looked at Mama. In spite of her insistence on not making hasty decisions, Mama was smiling as she eased the Chevy onto the gravel lane. White wooden horse fences paralleled their path on both sides, separating them from the beautiful horses they saw grazing in green meadows.

After a short but bumpy ride, they parked in front of a spacious ranch house. Karen immediately pulled on her door handle, but Mama stopped her.

“Let’s wait for the dust to settle, before we get out.”

Karen realized that their car was sitting in a brown cloud that the tires had stirred up. She settled back and admired the ranch house. It was painted light blue with white trim around the windows. A tall man stood up from a rocking chair on the full-length front porch and walked toward them. He did not seem to mind the dust.

“Howdy!” he said, as they got out of the car.

His deep voice burst up from his broad chest. Under his big western straw hat, his face was tanned and hard from many years spent caring for horses. The crow’s feet crinkled as he smiled. Kitten recognized the Texas accent.

“Y’all must be the folks who called in earlier, today.”

“That’s right. I’m Katie Hearshstein, and this is my daughter, Karen. Pleased to meet you.”

“Same here, ma’am. You can call me Tex, ‘n’ it’s a pleasure to meet you and the young lady. I understand you have an Arabian that’s finer’n frog’s hair, as we used to say back home, and you’re lookin’ for a home for him.”

“Yes. My daughter has an Arabian stallion we would like to stable, and the woman I talked to told me that you had room. Is that so?”

“That’s right as rain, ma’am,” Tex said. “You talked to my wife, Babbs. She works in our front office. She told me you called and were on your way over here.”

Tex laughed and added, “If you have an Arabian, I’m sure you must have called a lot of stables.”

“Yes. I called every stable listed in the Yellow Pages, and then we visited most of them, one after the other. We haven’t been happy with what we’ve seen. We want a home for Pegasus. We’re not looking for a horse prison.”

Kitten piped up, “We’d very much like to see your facilities, if we may.”

“We’ve got the best stables around, little lady.”

“Please, may we see them now?” Kitten insisted. “Pegasus is home in our garage, waiting for a proper home. We need to find something for him, soon.”

Mama put her hand on Karen’s shoulder and said, “Sweetheart, slow down. We aren’t making any snap decisions. Let the nice man show us around. You can ask your questions, and then we can decide.”

“Okay, Mama.”

Tex laughed and said to Karen, “Why don’t we mosey over to the house, and we’ll start there, darlin?”

Hmmmm. Joshua called me that, too, with the same tone of voice. Is this day somehow mystically connected to my friend at the carousel?

Tex gave them a tour, beginning with the ranch house that contained the business office, so they got to meet Babbs, who explained costs and levels of care. She added that some of the horses were owned by movie stars who wanted them close-by for their own exercise and horseback practice, but were often away because of their work. Those horses often felt neglected. The happiest horses were owned by children who visited them frequently. Karen beamed.

In the barn, they saw the stalls where the horses stayed at night and in bad weather. A young man was cleaning them.

“He doesn’t look much older than me,” Karen said. “Is he one of your ranch hands?

“No,” said Tex. “That’s my son, Rocky. He’s in high school and he’s affixing’ ta make a career with horses, for when he grows up. You can count on him to take good care of your Pegasus.”

The young man smiled and waved. Kitten instantly took a liking to him. She already liked Tex and Babs. Even though Mama cautioned her to be careful, her intuition told her that these people would become like family for her.

Behind the barn, Tex pointed out some of the pastures, the grazing land and a few of the most popular riding trails. The ranch had the prettiest fall foliage Karen and her mother had ever seen, as well as flower and vegetable gardens.

As the tour ended, Tex asked if they had any final questions.

Karen replied, “How often are the horse groomed, and what are they fed? How often are they exercised?”

He answered, and then added that all purebred Arabians got the first three months rent for free.
Mama’s eyebrows went up, when he said that. She told Tex that they needed a few minutes to talk alone.

“I’ll be over there, if you need me,” was his cheerful reply, as he walked back to the porch and relaxed in the rocking chair.

When he was out of earshot, Mama asked, “Well, Kitten, what do you think?”

“Mama, I adore everything about this place. It’s a real ranch with real pastures and everything a horse needs. It’s even better than what I pictured in my mind. I don’t want to look any further, Mama.”

“That’s good, sweetheart, because this is the last place on my list. If this one didn’t work out, we’d be up a creek without a paddle. Those other places were all hat and no cattle!”

“Mama! You’re talking Texan!”

“Yupp!” Mama laughed.

Tex stood to meet them as they approached the porch.

“We’re ready,” Mama said. “We’re ready to bring our horse to stay with you.”

“All right, then,” Tex said. “What time can we expect our new guest to arrive?”

“Would sometime later this afternoon be all right?” Mama asked.

“Yes. You can fill out the paperwork, now, and we’ll be expecting you. When you arrive, I’ll introduce you to our ranch hands.”

“Could you send a truck to pick him up?” Mama asked.

Karen saw Tex hide his surprise. She knew that most horse owners had trucks and trailers, but they had not ridden their horses home from a carousel.

“Of course we can. I’ll drive over with our horse trailer. After you, ladies!”

With a flourish of his hat, Tex opened the door to the ranch house office. Karen proudly followed Mama in.

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

 

The Healing Horse, Ch. 8, Scene 16: Visiting Stables

Mama leads Karen on a day of adventure as they tour a series of dismal stables that demonstrate the low regard in which humans hold other animals. But as the sun passes its zenith and the afternoon begins, they drive up out of the valley and find hope.

Scene 16: Visiting Stables

After Karen got into the car and fastened her seatbelt, her mother showed her a map with the locations of all the nearby stables marked in red. A few were crossed off as not worth looking at.

“Krana Layala,” she warned, “this may take some time. I’m sure we’ll find a nice stable for your horse, but we may have to look at a lot of them before we find the right one. We mustn’t let ourselves get discouraged. This is going to be an adventure, a journey. It’s probably not going to be easy. This isn’t the day to turn into Miss Sarah Heartburn. Understand?”

Looking at the map with the red marks for stables and green lines showing routes, Karen saw that Mama was as organized as ever, but she hoped her mother was being pessimistic to avoid building up false hopes. Mama was big on not getting their hopes up. Karen did not want to think about what would happen if they had to go home to Pegasus and tell him that he would be living in the garage, permanently. She knew that Pegasus would adjust, but what about Mama?

Beginning with the stable closest to home, they spent a few minutes at each one. With every stop, Kitten felt more discouraged. She had dreamt of a beautiful country setting for Pegasus—a ranch with green pastures full of fresh plants for him to eat, a blue sky full of clean air for him to breathe, and flowing creeks of sweet water for him to drink. Instead, the stables they visited consisted of fenced dirt lots stinking of manure and urine. Flies crawled over the horses, in spite of the DDT that the ranch hands sprayed everywhere. All day, the horses stood under the brown smog sky in the hot sun. At night, they were crowded into ugly barns for a dinner of dry hay and oats. Anything green had been eaten long ago. Each stable had a riding arena, where the horses’ owners could exercise their animals, but this was to benefit the owners, not the horses. The horses were treated as if they were inanimate and without feelings.

Mama made careful notes of what they learned. Between stops, Karen refined her mental list of questions, and they discussed what they had seen. Karen thought of constructive, concise ways to find out exactly what she needed to know. Unfortunately, she did not have to ask many questions to decide that these stables were completely unsuitable for her precious, spiritual Arabian. Her favorite became, “How often do you brush the flies off the horses?”

Her heart ached for the horses, and she swore to herself that she would never look at Pegasus or any other animal as a piece of property without its own mind and feelings and rights. Her eyes burned from compassion as well as from the smog and the stench. She held back her tears as Mama drove on. When she looked at Mama, she saw that she, too, was holding back tears.

“No Sarah Heartburn,” Karen whispered to herself.

As the sun reached its high point and the morning ended, Mama drove them up into the foothills. At each curve the road narrowed, the trees grew taller and the air sweeter. On one side, a creek accompanied them, and on the other, a majestic oak smiled down from a grassy hill. Karen found herself inhaling deeply and savoring the pure air above the valley smog. Her heart told her that, after hours of searching, they were approaching the place they sought, the perfect home for Pegasus.

“It sure is pretty up here,” she said. “It would be so neat for Pegasus! It’s calm and lovely. It would be perfect for me to exercise my leg, too, on these steep slopes. Look at the watering hole over there. It’s like a beautiful painting.”

“That’s true,” Mama replied. “This is beautiful, but we need to examine the stables and grounds for ourselves, and we need to interview the staff just like we did at the other places.”

Mama was using her calm, rational voice, and she was being strong, too, but their next stop would be the place for Pegasus. Karen’s intuition was clear.

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

6 Tips to Help You Find the Right Accessible Home by Jillian Day of 508assist.org

Photo credit: Unsplash

[Editor’s note: Jillian Day created 508Assist.org to help people all across the web make their sites accessible to individuals with disabilities. She was inspired to start 508Assist.org when a close family member, who happens to have a visual impairment, had trouble finding a dinner recipe online that he could read easily. When she’s not chasing after her little ones, Jillian enjoys being outside, whether she’s fishing, hiking, or geocaching with her family.]

6 Tips to Help You Find the Right Accessible Home

by Jillian Day

Are you in the market for an accessible home? When you have a disability, you’ll have considerations that other home buyers don’t necessarily think about. First-time home buyers with disabilities generally have a lot of questions about working with a qualified real estate agent, choosing the right property, and paying for modifications.

These guidelines, brought to you by 508Assist.org, will help you on the path to finding an accessible home that meets all your requirements.

Find an Experienced Real Estate Agent

You’ll have to be rather selective while searching for a real estate agent. An experienced and dedicated agent knows the ins and outs of your market, and they can provide you with exceptional service for all your home-buying needs.

Apply for a Mortgage

If you have a disability, and you’re planning to buy a home, you might be worried about the additional costs of remodeling certain rooms for accessibility. In addition to working out your budget and applying for a mortgage, you may want to find additional funding resources to help cover those costs.

Choose Safe Flooring Material

Before you research movers and prepare to move in, you may need to hire contractors to tear up carpeting and install wood floors. Not only are wood floors safer for people with mobility aids, they’re also easier to clean and maintain. The cost of this project can vary widely. You should plan to pay for the removal of furniture and old flooring disposal, as well as repairs to subfloors.

Your final bill for installation will depend on which flooring materials you choose. Pine and bamboo are more affordable options, while exotic and engineered woods will be more expensive. Since wood flooring can actually boost your property value, consider it an investment.

Redesign Your Kitchen

You’ll spend a lot of time in your kitchen, so you’ll want to prioritize kitchen modifications. Yes, you’ll likely need to lower your countertops and install appliances that are easy to reach, but don’t forget about ensuring you have bright lighting, especially along the floor and under your cabinets. This detail is often overlooked, but it’s crucial for your safety.

Update Your Bathroom

A bathroom that has not been modified for accessibility can be a dangerous place for a disabled person because there is a high risk of slipping and falling. Better Homes and Gardens recommends creating extra space in front of each fixture so that you have more than enough room to move safely, and installing a vanity specifically designed for wheelchair users. Grab bars in key places are also essential additions.

Modify Your Entryway

Finally, you’ll need to ensure that you can safely enter and exit your home. If you use a wheelchair, you will need a properly sized ramp. Verywell Health suggests choosing a wood ramp with a non-slip surface, which is both sturdy and aesthetically pleasing.

Keep in mind that when you’re redesigning your kitchen, bathroom, and/or entryway, you can find freelancers to help you put together precisely what you’re looking for. Architecture and interior design freelancers are available to help through online job boards, allowing you to check out reviews from their previous clients before you choose one.

Searching for an accessible home can take a while, and you might deal with some setbacks along the way. For home buyers with disabilities, knowledge is power. Understanding where to go for help and which modifications you should plan for will help you select the right house!

You will probably need to move forward with several remodeling projects before you move in, and it will be more difficult to complete those renovations in an older home. Therefore, purchasing a newer home is a better option.

Links to Related Information

The Web has lots of excellent information to help people modify their homes, and even their home offices, to make them accessible. Here are links to some of them:

Grants for Handicapped-Accessible Home Modifications

https://www.thebalance.com/disability-grants-for-home-improvement-4802349

 

Supporting Aging in Place with the Right Home Lighting

 

How to Set Up a Disability-friendly Home Office

 

Adapting your home: the bathroom

https://www.dlf.org.uk/factsheets/adapting-the-home-bathroom

 

Kitchen Hacks for At-home Chefs with Disabilities

 

Aging in Place: Making Your Home’s Main Entrance Accessible

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/aging-in-place-making-your-homes-main-entrance-accessible-426693.htm

 

Home Security Measures that Will Help People with Disabilities Stay Safe at Home

 

Building a Wheelchair Ramp: What you should know before tackling the project

 

How to Create a More Accessible Garden

https://www.gardentech.com/blog/gardening-and-healthy-living/gardening-for-everyone-creating-accessible-gardens

The Healing Horse, Ch. 8, Scene 15: Kitten Tells Mama About the Transformation

The story continues to build momentum, as Karen tells Mama that Pegasus is now fully alive, and they hurry to find a stable for him, since he cannot live in their garage.

Scene 15: Kitten Tells Mama About the Transformation

Kitten hurried into the kitchen and called, “Mama, Mama, where are you? I need to talk with you! Mama, please come quick!”

“What is it, Kitten?” Mama said, as she rushed in from the living room.

“Something happened to Pegasus, last night. Somehow during his sleep, a—what is that new word?—oh, yes, a metamorphosis. A great metamorphosis took place. Not only is Pegasus no longer wooden, he has been transformed even more! He is fully alive, and he is a pure Arabian.

“Oh, my!” Mama said in happy surprise. “There are no small miracles, are there? Now, we really do have a lot to do, and quickly.”

“Yes, I know.” Karen hurried back out the door. “He’s real, so now he needs water. I have to go fill up a bucket for him. I’ll be right back.”

Hurrying to the faucet by the gate, she filled a bucket. As the water flowed, she thought, It’s a decade of change and new frontiers. New things can happen! Pegasus is going to lead me to find my own frontier, and now I need to ask not what my horse can do for me, but what I can do for my horse.

Mama caught up with Karen in the garage and saw Pegasus alive for herself. After a little difficulty, he drank from the bucket.

They returned to the kitchen, and Mama said, “Now, we must find a place to keep him. He cannot live in our garage.”

Karen nodded, but with anxiety. She wasn’t sure there was a stable that could adequately house her precious horse of pure Arabian descent. She also knew a stable would be very expensive. How could they manage that?

“Can we afford that, Mama? And can we find a stable that is good enough for a pure Arabian?”

Mama frowned and said, “We have to afford it, and I’m sure we can find a suitable stable for him. Don’t you worry. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Mama sent Karen to her room to put on fresh clothes and spruce up for the day.

“You need to look your best, or the stables may not want to take Pegasus. I will get onto the phone while you put on a clean outfit and wash your face. We can’t go out with you dressed in clothes that you slept in.”

In her room, Kitten changed from her favorite pink overalls into her deep purple ones and a lilac top. Today was a day for royal, spiritual colors, Pegasus hues. She washed her face and brushed her hair, so she looked her best.

When Karen returned, she found Mama sitting at her desk with the Yellow Pages open in front of her. She held the phone between her ear and shoulder, as she made notes on the conversation she was having. After thanking the other person on the line, she immediately dialed the next number. Karen saw that she was checking off the stables in the phone book, one after another, as she called them. She had already called three. Not wanting to interrupt this important task, Karen went to the kitchen. She set the table and filled bowls with cereal and milk, so they could eat quickly and be on their way.

In a few minutes, Mama came into the kitchen with her notes in hand. She thanked Karen for fixing breakfast, and then explained what their day would entail.

“Some of these stables sound like very nice places. I made appointments for us to visit them, later this morning, but we need to plan the questions we will ask. I will ask about costs, but you will need to ask questions, too, since Pegasus is your horse, and you are responsible for him. For instance, you may want to take riding lessons. Riding a real horse will be different from riding a carousel horse. Does the stable have someone who can teach you to ride a real horse? And you may want to know when you can visit Pegasus, and who will take care of him when you’re not there.”

Karen’s mind began spinning with questions. She had not thought of any of that. She discussed the questions with Mama. In a few minutes, they had finished their cereal, washed the bowls and cleaned the kitchen. Even though they were in a hurry, Mama would not leave a mess behind.

As Kitten followed Mama to the front door, she suddenly said, “I’ll be right back, Mama. I want to tell Pegasus where we’re going. I’ll see you at the car.”

In the garage, she said, “Pegasus! Mama and I are going to look for a place for you to live. I wanted to tell you before I left. I better go for now. We’ll be back as soon as we can.”

“See you later, Kitten!” Pegasus called out as his girl ran to her Mama’s car.

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 8, Scene 14: Pegasus Awakes Alive

Pegasus awakes to the biggest surprise of his life. He’s alive with real horse hair, real hooves, and real tears of joy to be fully alive for the child he was created to mentor.

Scene 14: Pegasus Awakes Alive

Pegasus’ eyes opened and looked down at Karen. She watched as he slowly moved his head from side to side, just as she had seen real horses do. His mouth opened, and out came a whinny.

“Oh! My goodness!” Karen said. “You sound so real, Pegasus! You’re lifelike! No, I take that back. You’re truly alive! You’re not just my talking carousel horse!”

“What did you say?” Pegasus asked. “I feel different. Do I look different?”

“Yes! Your mane is made of real hair, now. It isn’t carved wood, and your body is white with a lavender tint. It isn’t bright circus lavender, anymore, and your saddle is leather not wood. You even have steel shoes on your hooves. You have entirely transformed. No one would ever guess you had once been a carousel horse.”

As she stretched out her right hand, Pegasus lowered his head to hers. She gently stroked his mane, and a joyful tear flowed from his left eye.

“I wanted to become alive for you, Kitten. You were the only person who wanted me to live as much as I did. You were the one who thought it, and believed it—and it came true. I needed someone to believe in my dream just as much as I did!”

“Yes! This shows the power of imagination. Even though you and I will always know that on the inside you are a supernatural magenta horse, to the rest of the world you are now a handsome white stallion with a magenta and blue saddle. You’re going to be fine, boy. I know you just woke up to the biggest surprise of your life, but everything is going to be all right! We’ll handle it together! I will not let anything happen to you. I promise! I’ll be with you every step of the way. You won’t be alone. We must stretch the ability of our hearts and minds to believe more than what we can see at the moment.”

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 8, Scene 13: The Next Morning Came

Karen’s streak of good fortune continues. She wakes up and finds Pegasus alive. She realizes that her Mama is backing her, rather than standing in her way. Life keeps getting better and better.

Scene 13: The Next Morning Came

When morning came, the sun peered through the garage window, warming and waking Karen. She yawned and rubbed her eyes as she gradually opened them. For a moment, she did not know where she was, but then she saw Pegasus’ hooves beside her.

She looked up at her stallion. She had slept all night at his feet, and he was still snoring. She smiled as she realized that she had not known horses could snore. Not wanting to disturb him, she pulled the blanket up to her chin and silently thanked Mama for covering her and for letting her sleep in the garage.

Warm appreciation filled her heart as she realized that Mama was supporting her, and that she finally had the horse of which she had dreamed. She felt blissful, but her mind was full of the reality of the situation. Having Pegasus at home with her was a miracle. Nevertheless, she would now have to find proper shelter for him. Her garage was no place for a horse, wooden or real.

Looking up at Pegasus, she saw that he had changed during the night. His creamy carved mane was now gleaming white horsehair. His hooves wore metal shoes, though his left rear hoof still proudly displayed his disability. His saddle was now leather of the richest magenta and deepest blue, and more vibrant than when it had been made of painted wood. Everything about him had become deliciously real. Though in her eyes he would remain forever a rainbow stallion, to the rest of the world, he was now a living, breathing, sleek white stallion with a princely white mane and a lavender tint.

What was the word Joshua taught me? Pulchritudinous—having beauty, being handsome, lovely and beautiful. I had many thoughts about Pegasus being beauteous and being real, but never, ever, did I begin to imagine that it would actually happen. Pulchritudinous!

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 8, Scene 12: Mama Dozes Off

The day ends on a happy note, with Kitten asleep by Pegasus in the garage, and Mama in her own bed, knowing that having Pegasus in their lives is exactly what her girl needs.

Scene 12: Mama Dozes Off

As she felt her eyes close, she realized how thrilled she was that Karen had brought Pegasus home. Her intuition told her that the adventure ahead would be exactly what her Kitten needed. Besides, showing respect for Karen’s judgment was important. Otherwise, she would never develop the confidence to make her own decisions as an adult. It had taken courage and determination to bring the horse home. Mama was not going to discourage that. Mama felt herself smile a bigger smile than she had worn in a long time. Having a magically colored horse was going to make their lives better. She was not going to allow what anyone else thought to sabotage Kitten and her future.

Thank God nothing worse happened to either one of them, and they’re both okay, now. I know how important this is to her, emotionally, and how important it is to have a trustworthy friend.

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 8, Scene 11: Mama Tucks In Kitten

The day winds down, as Mama tucks little Karen into a makeshift bed next to Pegasus in the garage.

Scene 11: Mama Tucks In Kitten

From Kitten’s bedroom, she brought two blankets, a pillow and a long cushion. Without waking Karen, she rolled her little body onto the cushion and tucked her in under the blankets with her head on the pillow. After kissing the sleeping child on the forehead, she retreated to her own bed. She was exhausted, too tired even to eat her nightly bowl of ice cream.

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 8, Scene 10: Mama Talks to Pegasus

In this scene, Mama understands that Pegasus is giving her daughter hope, and that after all the challenges little Karen has been through, this is exactly what she needs.

Scene 10: Mama Talks to Pegasus

Dishes done, Mama went looking for Kitten. When she opened the garage door, she found her daughter lying fast asleep, curled up in the corner of the cement floor at the feet of the little lavender horse. The horse had not moved, and she wondered if it could. It looked almost wooden. She checked the scab on the animal’s back, but it had not changed since it formed an hour before.

“So, you’re Pegasus the flying horse, who is going to help my Krana Layala,” she whispered, more to herself than to him. “What a little life she’s had. First the DPT shot and her awful coma. Then the paralysis and the learning problems. Then the endless reading of horse stories. And now a magical, healing horse. I don’t know what to think of any of this, especially that hole in your back, like you’d been crucified or something. And the way it healed when Karen touched it. My thumb’s still purple. All I know for sure is that you mean everything to my daughter, and you’re giving her hope. So, I don’t care what anybody says, we’re keeping you.”

The horse turned his head toward her and slowly nodded as if he understood what she had said. She gasped and slipped back out of the garage.

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.