“So what is your plan to save Western Civilization?” Di asked.
“I don’t know if it is possible to save all of Western Civilization. I will be tickled if we can save our four square mile neighborhood.” Rick said.
“Well, what is your plan to save the neighborhood, then?” Di asked.
“To have a fighting chance we need to be able to go into self-quarantine. We need a self contained economy that isn’t dependent on outside inputs. An economy that doesn’t depend on the grid, doesn’t depend on gasoline or diesel.” Rick said.
“You mean we have to live like the Amish.” Di said.
“Sort of. But most Amish shop at Walmart just like the rest of us. We need to be able to live like the Amish did in 1910. Oh, and we need to be able to defend ourselves, something the Amish refuse to do.” Rick said.
“Count me in if it means horses.” Di said.
Kelly snorted. “Horses are just a way to spend money quickly.” he said.
A pet horse was one of the on-going discussions that had been running between Kelly and Di ever since they had moved out to the country twenty years ago. Kelly was all for Di raising animals that ended up in the freezer but he thought everything else was a waste of money, ESPECIALLY horses.
Rick perked up. “You are interested in horses?”
“Yeah.” Di said. “I am not sure I want to ride them but I think it would be cool to have a buggy.” Di was a tiny woman and it would be a feat for her to mount a standard sized horse without a stool.
Kelly was still skeptical. “See, not only do horses cost thousands of dollars, now you want to buy a fancy rig.”
“You are putting words in my mouth.” Di said. “I bet you could whip up a dandy buggy in your shop. It doesn’t have to look like something you see in the movies. I want something I can take the grandkids for a ride and maybe carry groceries in.”
And then Kate piped up. “We didn’t pay thousands of dollars for my horse, Billy.”
“What did your horse cost.” Kelly asked.
“Billy is a retired trotter. They are called ‘Standardbreds’ and there are several Standardbred rescue organizations. We paid about $400 but we had to drive to New Jersey to pick it up.” Kate said.
“Trotters? Don’t they pull those tiny carts? What are they called?” Di asked.
“Sulkies.” Kate said. “And they are not the least bit skittish because they have been racing in front of crowds thirty weeks a years. Most of the rescue horses are geldings and are eight or ten years old.”
Di clapped. “Count me in if it means horses.” Di said.
Kelly squinted at Di. “You are serious about pulling a cart and not interested in all that ‘dressage’ stuff?” he asked.
“That is what I want. A simple cart and a horse to pull it.” Di affirmed.
“And you would be OK with a cart that I fabricate in the shop?” he asked.
“Yup. Just make it so it doen’t jar the fillings out of my teeth when I hit a pothole and big enough to carry me and the four grandkids.” Di said.
Kelly shook his head. They had never gotten far enough in the discussion for him to have a solid picture in his head of what Di wanted.
“In that case,” Kelly said “we might as well get two of them. They can keep each other company and the hard part of taking care of animals is waking up on cold mornings to take care of them. Don’t see how two of them will be that much more work than just one.”