Avalon's Army of Angels
July 25, 2008
Magic is real, if you believe...
Subject:  Magic is real, if you believe....

Today was another fun-with-Anne day.  

First, we had to drop Aurora off at Children's hospital to meet with friends she was spending
the weekend with.  Lucky munchkin.  A dear friend of ours had purchased extra tickets to a
weekend getaway in Cincinnati for their foster daughter.  Between purchase time and current
time, the foster child left their care.  This thoughtful family asked if Aurora could join them for a
weekend of fun at Kings Island and The Beach waterpark.  Not to mention, two nights at a
hotel.  Man...I never had friends like that when I was her age!  Thank you, Donna and Richard,
it was incredibly generous of you to include Aurora!!!

So, like I said, first we had to drop Aurora off.  Then, we wandered over to the Jazz and Ribs
festival, to meet yet another long-time friend of Anne's, Melinda.  Unlike Donna and Peggy,
Melinda is a friend I've met several times through the years.  It was nice to get to see her

We battled  the lunch rush at the festival, for a smattering of greasy fair food.  The kids ate
corndogs, french fries, and an elephant ear.  Pretty much, little kid paradise.  While the music
was great, the utter lack of shade wasn't.  We didn't last long, before we all agreed it was time
to move on.  

"Moving on" meant trekking back to the car, driving Melinda to hers, and then following
Melinda to the farm where she keeps her horse.  She had graciously offered to let the girls
meet her horse, and maybe even ride one if they were interested.  In the years since we last
visited, Melinda had left a stressful job at Opera Columbus, found a new website design job
she likes, and found a new passion in teaching horseback riding.  I must say, she had a lot
more interesting things to talk about than I did!

Several miles and I-don't-want-to-think-how-much-gas later, we followed her as she turned into
a farm.  When I saw the name of the farm, I nearly wrecked.  Believe it or not, we had followed
Melinda right into....
Avalon Farm!!!
Avalon in her fabulous wig. Anam enjoying an elephant ear.  Both of them
roasting like pigs on a spit at the Jazz and Ribs fest.
When the name of the farm is that magical...you just know the day is going to be a dream
come true.  Well folks, I do believe in magic, and I was rewarded with nothing short of fairy

Melinda took us all over the farm, through several barns.  She taught the girls how to
approach a horse and why you should and should not do certain things.  She steered the
girls clear of any horse who even thinks about biting, and told us lineage, names, and
personal histories of nearly everyone.  

She took us to a field where we met the "yearlings".  They're nearly cuter than a foal!  As we
were talking to two of the yearlings, a third rounded the corner of the barn and came trotting
up.  Melinda calls him "Pork Chop", but I'm sure he's got some regal name on a piece of
paper somewhere.  But regal name be damned...Pork Chop fits this little guy like a glove.  
Melinda hadn't known he was free in the field, and frankly, I'm glad she didn't!  Pork Chop was
delightful!!  Had she known he was roaming, we might have missed out on impromptu horsey
hugs and supreme nuzzles.  And there's something very important to note about our little
friend.  He's handicapped.  Pork Chop broke a leg when he was born, and also damaged his
hip.  His owners wrestled at length with recommendations to put him down.  In the end, they
decided to let him live out whatever life he's given, loved...as a happy member of their family.  
Oh yeah...this really is Avalon's type of place.  

I could have left right then and counted the day as blessed, but it only got better.  Melinda
asked Ambrosia and Avalon if they would like to help her groom a horse, and then ride him.  
You've never seen two girls squeal, "Yes!" so fast in your life!!  Melinda was beyond kind, she
took the girls with her to get the supplies, and gave them tons of big-girl responsibilities with
carrying tools back to the stall.  She let them help as much as was safe, and explained
everything they did, and why the horses like it.  She was absolutely the most perfect horsey
hostess I could have ever dreamed up.  The girls were ecstatic.
Ambrosia with a saddle blanket.
Avalon with the grooming kit.
Mindy, Ambrosia, Avalon, and Virtue
In any mom's world, the greatest gift you ever receive is to see your children happy.  In a
medical mom's world...that gift is having your children well enough to experience great joy.  In
this mom's world, there is nothing that feeds my soul like a stranger willing to give my children
the gift of joy.  Melinda gave me a precious, soulful day of carefree smiles from my girls that
were so big, I thought their faces would hurt that night.  

When she placed each girl on the horse's back, it was like they were climbing on board their
magical unicorn.  The girls beamed.  They weren't in a sandy ring wearing helmets and using
teaching stirrups.  They were princesses, gliding across a meadow on a gilded saddle atop
the most brilliant white steed you've ever seen.  They were joy personified.  

As I watched Avalon, I found myself desperately wanting to freeze time.  I wanted to take 1000
pictures, but I didn't want to miss a minute of the action.  Avalon was so happy...so utterly free.
 No tubes, no pokes, no medical garbage...just one little girl, smiling bigger than she has in
months.  As I couldn't hold back the tears, Ambrosia caught me.  In true little kid fashion, she
admonished me with a "Oh mom, you're at it again?"  Yep, and I'm thrilled to fink on myself!

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  To me they shout...  They scream joy, elation, and
wonderment.  To me...these pictures say what my heart longs for...childhood innocence.  

Thank you, Melinda.  Thank you for leading us to Avalon's own farm...and thank you from the
bottom of my heart for the magical day you gave my girls.  We are beyond grateful!
Avalon and Virtue
Ambrosia and Virtue
Yes, magic is definitely real.....