“Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.” – Hemingway
Never have the Maven and I woken up so happy on the day after Labor Day.
Frankly, as anyone who had to suffer through us – especially me, the Magpie, in the days following our return to reality from Saratoga after the past many years… it was, in a word, ugly. In more words, it was unattractive, whiny, sulky, and generally obnoxious just how much we moaned & groaned about our forced exile from the place we believed we were meant to be. First world problems for sure. And now, the summer is over – and we woke up here! Yippee!!
While many are suffering the end of the season blues, I have to say that we are absolutely at peace with the finish. I believe that I couldn’t have squeezed more juice out of the summer than I did, and I’m admittedly a bit weary from the effort of being on and on the go in a non-stop hustle for 40 days. Now, we get to truly settle in, establish our patterns of “normal life” – without the countdown til the track season opens in 2019 (319 days by my calculations). Plus, we get to start exploring the “beyond Saratoga” of Upstate New York, New England and all the cute towns and beautiful scenery that await us – along with all the cute cows, sheep, goats, apples and pumpkins along the way. We have a huge list (see the Faves page, where I’ve started the list, collected along our journey so far – all sight unseen) and we’re working on our strategy for how to choose where to go first. Stay tuned for a big bowl of ideas!
Tonight, racing the clock as always, as I know that the system starts to shut down at 10pm (9:30pm now), I wanted to at least start to capture some reflections on this amazing whirlwind summer… a project I plan to spend more time on over the days ahead.
For today, let’s start with some stats and a list of names –
- 50 personal notes of congratulations from the TRF Herd written and delivered to trainers (with Stakes winners) on the Saratoga backstretch;
- 40 days of racing (47 days of summer schedule), starting on July 20th;
- 39 nights with guests here with us at Casa Weir, starting July 1st;
- 32 individual guests (plus one special pup) spent time in our happy home, starting July 1;
- 10 max peeps squeezed in on our front porch for one semi-rained out cookout;
- 531,407 steps counted by my fitbit;
- number of Hattie’s fried chicken pieces consumed (at home and at Hatties)… classified!
As I’ve shared with so many visitors to Saratoga this summer, I believe the true magic of the racetrack is that while the horses are the heart of the whole complicated network that makes racing possible, it is the extraordinary complexity of humans on the racetrack that I find so incredibly compelling. In fact, my friend Teresa just published an article with a focus on the community of the backstretch, take a look. With that in mind, I wanted to try to list the names of the many, many folks on around and affiliated with the Saratoga Race Track who made my summer so much better, for making me feel welcome. I’m grateful beyond words for every smile and greeting.
I am so thankful for this opportunity – to start again, to be wholly and completely me, to not hold back and to throw myself into this new world with unabashed glee. To purposefully, intentionally and thoughtfully endeavor to make a first impression on so many people in one nonstop, action-packed 7 week stretch. I have always cherished those rare, weird moment in life when one is new – and this was all that on steroids for 40+ days staight. To the best of my ability, I spent a summer being the most enthusiastic, energetic “new girl” one could imagine. My mantra was to simply become a Positive, Pleasant Presence – and, as always, to “be me – but not too much me”. All I can say is that I did my best, I tried to trust my gut, read the tea leaves, back off when in doubt and as-much-as-possible leave them wanting more (instead of looking for the door).
So much to reflect on, and I’d like to try to share a few specific, granular stories as I get some distance on the whole adventure. For now, I’ll sign off with the happy footnote that my first day after Labor Day here in Saratoga included my first “all me” check arriving as a result of my Chenery Champion Brunch in August. My first official, and significant, points on the board. Yay! And now, much more to do – the horses are counting on me!
Wishing you and yours a wonderful September. Remember, Labor Day is the New Year’s Day of the Fall!
See photos below – my heartfelt thanks to each of them for making this first summer so special and so very spectacular. Meet a few of my Saratoga Summer Peeps!
And so many more!