|Home = A Place to Hang Your Hat|
|Scottsbluff Barn Anew|
The Long ShotFor at least the past 20 years, my cousin who lives in Indiana takes a short drive south across the Ohio River and crosses the Kentucky border to Louisville. She heads to a gift shop near the historic Churchill Downs horse racetrack and gets my dad his April 18th birthday gift in the form of the current Kentucky Derby's souvenir logo t-shirt and hat.
In 2007 after accumulating quite a collection, my dad gave me his 131st Kentucky Derby souvenir hat ~ a black colored baseball cap with the the famous Twin Spires embroidered in white stitching and a red rose. On May 5, 2007, a gray three-year-old colt named Giacomo, a 50-1 long shot, came down the center of the historical race track with hall of fame jockey Mike Smith to win the second-greatest payoff in Derby history. Giacomo's owner received a first-place check of $1,639,000 for the victory.
|Giacomo, a 50-1 long shot winner of the 131st Kentucky Derby|
The 2010 Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and Churchill Downs holds a special place in my heart as my dad and I were able to attend both horse racing days that year. When I was younger, we owned Quarter and Thoroughbred horses, on and off the track. And every Labor Day weekend, we've traditionally made our way to a racetrack ~ to hear the Call to Post, see 120 pounds of jockey maneuver 1,200 pounds of muscle down the stretch and cheer the winners across the finish line. So, it should be no surprise that I have nearly every word of every scene of the movie Secretariat memorized.
with a flowing mane?
striking terror with his proud snorting?
rejoicing in his strength and charges into the fray.
He does not shy away from the sword.
along with the flashing spear and lance.
So, for the record, to have lost my favorite Kentucky Derby hats was disappointing.
Back at the BarnLast month for the third time this year, my Great American Wheat Harvest business partner and I traveled back to Nebraska and stayed once again at Barn Anew. We worked for four days. We traveled two days for the documentary film to meet with potential corporate sponsors. The remaining two days, we carved out time in the Barn's newly renovated Bunkhouse meeting room to concentrate on our own personal projects.
My project has been four years of researching and writing in the making. It was a blessing to finally set aside time specifically devoted to a mission and passion I believe only God could have placed on my heart. To add a special touch to our environment, we arranged with the Barn Anew owner, Cher Maybee, to have a vase of fresh flowers each placed in our working area. The flowers of her choice ~ a fresh bouquet of roses.
As I paused a moment that afternoon to "STOP, Smell the Roses" and take a picture of the beautiful arrangement, I noticed a black colored baseball-style cap on the Bunkhouse wall. Taking a closer look, I realized and exclaimed through joyful tears, "THAT'S MY KENTUCKY DERBY HAT!!!"
I verified with the owners that it had been left there about a month before by one of the guests ~ ME!!
Moral of the Story:Had my business partner not convinced me to invest time in developing my own personal project, goals and deadlines;
Had my husband and family not been fully supportive and believed in my skills and abilities 110% like they always have;
Had I not taken that one to two seconds of time to just stop and smell the roses;
I may never have found my Kentucky Derby hat and realized that gentle nudge of assurance that I was right where God intended me to be that day. It was a great reminder to not take any day or any person in my life casually and to enjoy and cherish every minute. As the saying goes, Life is not a dress rehearsal!
|Calling my dad to let him know that I had found my 131st Kentucky Derby hat!|