Personal Journeys

A Father’s Day Tribute to my Dad ~ The Flight of the Pheasant

“A child looks up at the stars and wonders. Great fathers put a child on his shoulders and helps them to grab a star.” – Reed Markham Dear Dad, Thank you for helping me to discover who I was in so many ways. Thank you for patiently showing me the ways around challenges, and for taking the brunt of my moods when my expectations surpassed my abilities. You taught me to keep a light ...[Read More]

Mystico Part 2, September 2002 ~ This is Just the Beginning

  Read Part 1 of Mystico’s Story here Once I had decided to purchase Mystico, I was anxious that it all happen quickly as I wasn’t able to ascertain the mood of his owner. She finally returned to my booth and I told her I had decided to purchase him. She nodded perfunctorily, and suggested we go to the auctioneer to make payment arrangements. As we walked to the auction office I was in ...[Read More]

Mystico Part 1 September 2002 ~ The Sound of Geese ~

When I have important decisions to make, or I am about to experience a profound change, I will often receive signs that tell me to pay attention.  Sometimes I welcome these signs, if I need encouragement and the path is one I am undertaking willingly.  Other times, if the signs tell me of a direction that I anticipate is going to be difficult, I have to trust that there is a deeper reason than I c ...[Read More]

The Wind Beneath My Wings ~ A Tribute to my Mother, Kay McElroy

My mother, Kay was born Florence Elizabeth Phillips in 1922 to her mother Martha Vaughn who was a light opera singer, and her father Nathan Phillips who was a playwright. Her mother wanted to continue her career so she sent little Florence to California to be raised by her grandmother. Though mom had a beautiful voice, and even sang in a Rumba band professionally when she was 17, the absence of he ...[Read More]

A Helping Hand

In 1986, after graduating from Northwest College of Art, I was anxious to see what possibilities my new artistic style in painting horses had in store for me. I wanted to sell my art, so my first step was to contact some gallery owners in Seattle to see if they would show my work. Some galleries didn’t think my work was suitable, but then I was accepted at Legends Gallery which had a beautiful sel ...[Read More]

A Style All Its Own

In 1986, during the spring break of my second year of art college, my mother and I drove down to Arroyo Grande, Calif. to visit our friend, Geska, and her daughter, Debbie. They lived with their three Arabian horses on a bluff overlooking the distant Pacific Ocean. As a child, I always loved to visit Geska and Debbie as they were the only people in my parent’s circle of friends who had horses. You ...[Read More]

Darma 6 ~ Home at Last ~ 2000

Read Part 5 of Darma’s story here When I met Darma at Churchill Downs and she became a part of my life in 1997, I had no way of knowing how profoundly she would affect me. By seeking the most natural life possible for her and for me, I was led to make choices that have changed my life forever. I knew that having a horse was a big responsibility. I learned that having a horse in my life becam ...[Read More]

Darma 5 ~ Freedom’s Gift ~ 1999

Read Part 4 of Darma’s Story here   I had made the decision to occasionally allow my mare Darma out of her paddock to wander freely in the back yard of our rental property, instead of hand walking her on a halter, as she was often tense and easily spooked. Looking back I realize that it was unrealistic to imagine this high spirited thoroughbred mare could be a “back yard” horse, but at ...[Read More]

Darma Part 3 – Finding a Still Haven

Darma at trainer's barn, 1997 Darma Part 3 – Finding a Still Haven – 1997 Read Darma Part 2 here Despite the moments of peace I had found with Darma, I still didn’t feel confident in leading her, or in knowing what to do when she was anxious.  I tried boarding her at a professional trainer’s. He insisted I needed to be assertive and show the horse that I meant what I asked. Despite his instruction to teach me ...[Read More]

Darma Part 2 – The Chosen Path

Who are you? Darma and Kim at Boarding Stable, 1997 Darma Part 2 – The Chosen Path – 1997 Read Darma Part 1 here When one has experienced love at first sight, you would think that they would live happily ever after. What I didn’t realize is that spontaneous love means you have found a potential soul mate. It also means you have to get to know each other before that love can grow. When my new horse arrived at the boarding stable I ...[Read More]