For those who remember their Latin - I'm sure there are many of us out there, right? -- the phrase gratia plena most immediately reminds us of its use in prayer, meaning "full of grace." At this time of year, I'm reminded that there is another meaning for the term which is "full of thankfulness or gratitude" -- it is this translation that inspired today's musings (or babbling for those not interested in anything other than the nice pictures below).
While I'll refrain from commenting on recent events, I do want to remind all -- no matter where your thoughts or ideas place you on the political spectrum that we are all fortunate in so many ways. From not having to think about where and how to obtain potable water on a daily basis to the ready access to food and shelter for all but a small percentage of our communities to the fact that we have freedoms and life options not available to many in the world, Americans have more than most for which to be truly grateful. Now, we can all dread having to spend holidays with that one (or two) relative(s) who just get under your skin -- nevertheless, I'll take listening to someone bray on about their "exceptional" child for an hour over wondering where I'm going to sleep or where I might find enough water for my family to survive. It's all about perspective -- it's about not whining when those who don't agree with your ideas prevail, but looking to see what brought them to whatever point of view they have - appreciating, acknowledging, and accepting that we are not all the same. Accepting that while someone may not agree with you, there's value in their opinion/perspective. No matter how much you and your group of friends might agree -- there are others that don't and never will see it your way. It's arrogant to assume your view is the right one and it's even worse to ignore, dismiss, and not even try to understand contradictory views. I offer as a means of finding a way back to civility, we return to the concept of an American family.
Religion, politics, and in some families wine preference can all be taboo topics at Thanksgiving or other holiday dinners -- and that's OK. It really is. For many family gatherings over the next six weeks, you can be assured there are many topics on which you won't agree with those you love -- your family, the people with a more similar history and "nurture" factors than most of the rest of the country, may be way out of touch, off the mark, dead wrong, etc. to your way of thinking. Again, that's OK -- families everywhere make it work. And how do they do that? They are reminded of their connections, the similarities and the collective joy in celebrating those things of which they are most proud. It might be their heritage, a particular family member, a time of joy or sorrow, or even seemingly inconsequential incidents. There's a bond that rises above the discord and the disconnects. It is those areas where we agree that we collectively need to identify and celebrate -- there are millions of people living in this country, all with unique identities and perspectives. We need to remember that we are part of a country created by people who emphasized that government is there to protect our individual rights -- rights which each and everyone of us is born with. Mr. Jefferson and company advanced a pretty nice concept, wouldn't you agree? So, as we enter the Thanksgiving season, I simply suggest that before we do or say more things that further polarize so many issues out there, we remember who "we" are as an American family - let's seek out and celebrate our similarities, let's not attack and punish those who are different, and let's embody the sentiment of "gratia plena" -- we have much to be thankful for. That means you -- really . . . don't be such a naysaying, contrary, put-upon, sourpuss.
OK, OK, OK, enough with that . . . on to the horses, which as foreshadowed above, includes some pretty pictures:
Our 3 year old filly, Prima Attrice, is back under saddle after recovering from a stress fracture for the better part of the year. At left you can see her finishing a nice gallop.
At right, Pete says hello to Kathy and Sue.
Below is Prima Attrice (Pete) with Sue:
Above is Pete -- feeling and looking great!
We are "gratia plena" about Pete's recovery and how great she looked yesterday. She's bigger, stronger, than ever and while she still needs blinkers to keep her focused in her works -- she seems to be doing everything the right way. We hope to get her to the track in January so that she can get that elusive first start under her belt in the first quarter of 2017 -- but with the above pictures, who wouldn't be thankful? She is looking pretty terrific!
And that's not all we have to be thankful for. Our two year old colt, Crawfish Shorts, continues on in his preparations at Belmont with two nice, easy works and is already losing some of his "baby fat." We're excited by his progress -- and while he'll be gelded next week after his next work, we're looking forward to his making his first start early in 2017. Here's a picture of Shortie taken a few weeks ago at Saratoga:
Next on the horse front is the diminutive, but suddenly racy-looking I Like Your Style. This beautiful filly has lost her baby fat and is growing into an athletic looking filly. We watched her work yesterday and she is doing everything like a racehorse should -- she moves well and is getting a much needed chance to mature in her works. The filly looks to be a late maturing type who will grow quite a bit through her 3 year old season. Our goal is to press on with her for another month or so, then give her a few weeks for her body to adjust to the recent training and then start up with her in hopes to get her to the races in Spring/Summer of 2017. The filly is as sweet as can be and enjoyed the attention of her visitors. Here's a few shots of I Like Your Style:
You can see I Like Your Style is well balanced in the conformation photo and that she's well-loved as Kathy and Sue got plenty of quality time with our girl -- all partners are always welcome to join on trips to to see the horses, just let me know when you want to go . . .
Finally, as I close this Thanksgiving week update, I return to my original thoughts -- gratia plena -- "full of grace" is the sentiment that many of the fine Thoroughbreds we've been fortunate enough to own conjure up, but gratia plena also reflects how "full of thankfulness" I am and trust you are as well for the many people, opportunities, and riches in our lives.
May you and your family have wonderful Thanksgiving, and may we all be truly "full of thanks" for all we have.