Our friend and neighbor, Andrew, died Thanksgiving morning. I don't know any details and his wife, Sandra, hasn't been home. I found out through an email sent to our community which is very small -- 80 or so families.
Andrew and Sandra (we called them Sandrew for short) lived on a corner in the Fishbowl house - everybody's place has a nickname. The house was originally painted sky blue with many windows, few trees and was situated on a corner. Over the years Sandra planted pepper trees, liquid ambers, roses and other shrubs. They also painted the house olive green so it blends into the trees. It's certainly no longer a fishbowl house but the name has stuck.
Andrew would trail ride with a group of us a number of years ago on a his big red horse, Jake. Unfortunately, Jake got Cushings and he was eventually lost to complications associated with that. Andrew was heartbroken. He tried riding Cookie, their beautiful Paint mare, but she was not very level headed and just too much work. Andrew was looking for a partner, not a project. He stopped riding.
Sandra doesn't ride much but she has a great eye for horses. They always had a handful of prospects in training. Hunter/Jumpers mostly with a few dressage horses as well. It was fun to listen to Andrew talk about the horses. The horses would rotate through full-time training down the mountain and being at home. For the past six months or so there haven't been any horses at home and their place seemed awfully quiet. Andrew was a bankruptcy attorney and ever since the economy tanked, he worked crazy hours. He had his own practice and I don't think he knew how to say no. Their place is between us and the trail head and they would usually be outside when we did our weekend trail ride (you have to get out of the arena sometime). Sandra would be gardening and Andrew would be messing with the horses. We would stop and get the update on training or setbacks -- Sophie who had beautiful gaits and was in dressage training had some very weird issue with her spine. With the horses gone, he wasn't outside as much when we went by.
I don't know how old Andrew was. Not old enough, that's for sure. He was of average height, stocky and strong, with white hair and a bit of a belly. He laughed easily and often. We had a retirement party for Brett in the barn six years ago. They came early and stayed late. Sandra, who is a tiny thing, had a bit too much wine. When it was time to go, Andrew just scooped her up in his arms and carried her home.
I picture Andrew reunited with Jake, riding again. He never got over Jake. I'm happy they are together again but we sure miss him here.