Thursday, September 17, 2009

The end of the road...

March 21, 1983 Monday 6 days to Alaska

Dear Ophelia,
"It is very boring staying home. I almost hate it. Just before school was out I went to Thrifty and bought some candy. Then Muffin and I went to school and rode home with Lara. I called Mom and everything is fine. I gotta go, so bye Ophelia. Your friend, Jennifer. P.S. You are beautiful!"

This was a long and lonely week for Jennifer!

March 22, 1983 Tuesday 5 days to Alaska

Dear Ophelia,
"Daniel stayed home today but it was still boring. Friday we took a test for Mr. Mountain. It was a test all science students took (180 kids). The best scores went in as top 10. I was one of the ten and I got an award. Lara is going to bring it to me. Daniel and I played with the Frisbee for about 40 minutes. We made a new game. I hope I can go to the beach ride tomorrow. I can if it doesn't rain. Well I gotta go, bye Ophelia. Your friend, Jennifer. P.S. I'll be in Alaska in five days."

I think it's sweet that Daniel stayed home with Jennifer one day. It was also nice that her dad let him (if he even knew about it!).

Jen and Dan have never lived apart

March 23, 1983 BEACH RIDE 4 days to Alaska

Dear Ophelia,
"This morning I went to Carol's and we got Rosie, Sundance and Jimmy ready. Just Carol, Bob and I went. We went to Golden Gate Park and Beach. First we rode through the park then down the beach. It was so fun. I rode Rosie. She is very hard to control on the trail. Today is Carol's birthday. I gave her the painting I won as high-point award. Well, I gotta go so bye Ophelia. Your friend, Jennifer."

Jennifer worked hard for Carol for years. Maybe her dad got some discounts on some of her riding, she doesn't know. She worked for free. She considered this ride her big reward. Carol was a busy woman. It was so kind of her to say goodbye to Jennifer this way. No gift could have been better than this one!

Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

There is something special about riding a horse on a beach!

Rosie is the horse who took Jennifer over her first jumps. She was around 30 years old. The beach ride was quite a treat for her too. The old mare was young again! Jennifer remembers the gallop down the beach on Rosie. The mare ran away with her completely but Jennifer didn't care. For those few moments, they were both free! Jennifer pretended she was racing the Black Stallion and Rosie was just happy to be out of the arena!

Jennifer and Rosie--two dreamers!

March 24, 1983 Thursday 3 days to Alaska

Dear Ophelia,
"Today I stayed home and was lazy. Tomorrow we are going to pack. I am going to miss Muffie so much. Well I gotta go so bye Ophelia. Your friend, Jennifer"

*************

March 25, 1983 California 2 days to Alaska

Dear Ophelia,
"I went to Ilana's. We had a great time. Then I came home and packed. Dad is very sad I'm leaving. So is Dan. I will miss them both. I said goodbye to all my friends. I am staying in Daniel's room tonight. I can't wait to see Mom. Well I gotta go, bye Ophelia. Your Beach Bum Friend, Jennifer."

Everyone recognized Jennifer's move (which was actually happening the next day). She saw Ilana again. She enjoyed a goodbye trail ride. She spent a day home with Dan. She had dinner in the marshlands with Lara. She said goodbye to her teachers. Her friends threw her a party. She had a sleepover with her brother. She went out to Sizzler with her dad. She was breaking more hearts than just her own.

Her logical father loved to dress as Darth Vader--she would miss his goofy side! (he is 50 years old in this photo--and he loved his fanny pack!)


Her brother was her better half when it came to sharing. Her dog was her favorite toy that loved her back!


Although being the only girl was hard on her, Jennifer loved her California family with all her heart!


Goodbye Daniel


Goodbye Dad

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