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I first heard that Steve Jobs died as I was driving to a meeting Wednesday night.

It surprised me even though I knew he stepped down from Apple for health reasons.

Right away I picked up my phone and called my husband, not to gossip, but to share the information with someone I knew cared.

I needed to reach out.

But Rick was busy with the horses, and didn’t pick up.

Death reminds all of us that we are only on loan to this planet and had better make the best of our short tenure.

For me that always means connecting with the people I love.

I knew Rick would want to know about Steve Jobs, because he’s been a Mac fan from the beginning. In fact, he brought two things into our relationship that have significantly changed my life:

  • Bud, the personality-plus Appaloosa
  • Apple computers

    Because of his love of all things Apple, we’ve never owned anything but a Mac. I’m writing this blog on a Mac. All of the photos I share with you about life in the pasture are processed in iPhoto. I have an iPad, and an iPod. I get music from iTunes. I don’t say this to brag or show off.  I’m just saying that we are raving fans.

Mac users are like that. It’s a club not everyone belongs to, though for the life of me I don’t understand why not. When someone tells me they work on a Mac, their street cred instantly goes up in my eyes.

The world has lost an amazing visionary man.

Steve Jobs made it possible for the average, everyday person to use computers. His eye for clean lines and design are legend. He figured out what we needed, long before we had an inkling of it. Then he made us want it.

My grandson will never know a time when there were no iPods, smart phones, tablet computers, or half-inch-thick laptops. Downloading music will be a way of life for him.

Thank you Steve Jobs for ushering us into this brave new world.

You made a huge difference and we are better for you being here.

Rest in peace.

When Baby was introduced into the pasture fifteen months ago, there was another yearling in residence – a colt named Brio. From the beginning they didn’t get along.

Maybe it was a jealousy thing.

Or a boy-girl thing.

Whatever the reason, they did NOT like each other.

Brio and his mom became occasional visitors to the Herd of Oldsters when I was out feeding.

They quickly identified me as the snack lady and wanted in on the action. They never stayed long and were treated as interlopers. Amigo and Red did their best to intimidate, though it only partially worked. Brio and his mom would simply move down the fence line and wait for me to hand out snacks, which I did. Have I mentioned before that I am a total softie?

Yes, I think so.

Unlike Baby, Brio is well cared for. His people make sure he has the perfect feed for a growing horse. He gets a blanket in the cold, visits from the farrier, and has already had his first round of training, so he knows at least a few horse manners. I honestly hadn’t paid that much attention to him. He wasn’t part of my herd and he had his own people who loved him.

There’s a saying that has floated around various sources for so long I can’t identify the author. It goes like this: When one door closes, a window opens.

One afternoon about a week after I learned that Baby had been taken to auction, Rick and I were walking in the pasture to get our two old sweeties. They had apparently decided that the grass at the very far end of the pasture was the most delicious. At least on this afternoon.

As I tromped along in the wet grass, I felt a horse come up behind me. It was Brio. He stayed at my back, pacing me. Eventually, when he wanted me to stop walking and pay him some attention, he began nibbling on the shoulder of my coat.

I stopped and turned to face him.

“What are you doing you silly horse?”

He replied with the sweetest expression that seemed to say, “Aren’t you glad to see me?”

He was feeling playful. He’d nibble on my coat for a while. Then he tried to take the lead rope from me.

Even though he was probably doing nothing more than looking for a snack, it was fun for me. Young horses have such a sweet energy.

I know that in grief you can’t replace one animal with another, or one person for another, and magically feel better. Grieving doesn’t work that way.

But I also know that I came away from that afternoon in the pasture with Brio, feeling lighter and less sad.

He opened a window for me, and for that, I’m extremely grateful.

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