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Sweetbrier: Solving problems

Mom and Daddy at Sweetbrier
Picture included in “My Life at Sweetbrier.”

Many of you who rode at Sweetbrier knew my dad, but some may not know he was great at solving problems. In addition, he could think quickly in an emergency. For example, one day Princess (one of our horses) fell down the well. Daddy immediately rigged up a rope and pulley to get her out safely.

You may remember Daddy searched for ways to save money. For example, he did most of the dental work on the horses himself. Anyone remember helping him float a horse’s teeth? I did. Guess what my job was? I held the horse’s tongue out of the way.

If you’ve read some of my other posts you might recall Daddy loved traveling in the motor home (Green Giant). One day, when the motor home was new, he and Mom were in the mountains of Pennsylvania when the accelerator cable broke.Yikes. But Daddy straightened a coat hanger and wound it around part of the accelerator so Mom could pull it whenever they reached the hills! Who else would have thought of that?

Did you know my dad started repairing clocks and watches when he was about eleven years old? My grandma wasn’t thrilled when he hung a sign outside their door saying “Watches and clocks repaired here.” But he built a solid customer base. In fact, there were people in town who never took their clocks or watches anywhere else. Even more remarkable was the fact that Daddy could make parts if they were missing from a clock or watch. Daddy loved solving all sorts of problems with watches and other things. The more complex the better. He loved the challenge of solving problems.

Daddy was ahead of his time in many areas. For example, he studied nutrition for horses (and people). He looked for diets that would help our horses perform at their peak. It was the same with our family. Our sugar intake was restricted, while meat, fruits and vegetables were plentiful. We were seldom sick and blessed to have gathered some of his wisdom.

Growing up at Sweetbrier was a blessing in so many ways. I’m grateful for the experiences and the memories.

copyright 2018: Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

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