Those of you who know about Sweetbrier would likely remember my dad as an imposing man. He was tall and muscular, with huge blue eyes and wavy hair. Everywhere he went, he commanded respect, but most people may not realize he wasn’t afraid to take risks, and he could think quickly under pressure. For example, one wintry day Daddy drove me home from school. The roads were icy because it snowed all day. Suddenly, a car was sliding toward us. It would’ve broadsided us, but Daddy thought fast and steered the car off the road, but going around someone’s mailbox to avoid colliding.
On another occasion, Daddy drove the old green Chevy van down a huge mountain. I was’t with him that day, but he recounted the story when he got home. In the middle of a formidable hill, called Southington Mountain, the brakes failed. It was miraculous he didn’t crash, but he pressed the brakes to the floor, clutching the emergency brake all the way down the big hill.
Daddy took risks in business as well. For example, he wanted to expand our business at Sweetbrier. The problem was, the weather got in the way. In the winter, it was to cold and icy to ride outdoors. But that’s not all. The summer was too hot, and the spring was too rainy. What could he do? He and Mom decided we’d be the first in the area to build an indoor arena. It was quite expansive at 80′ x 180.’ It definitely was the best choice because we had opportunities to ride all year. Imagine what we would have missed if my parents didn’t take the big first step and decide to build the indoor ring. Because we lived in a small town, some members of the zoning board weren’t in favor of our plans at first, but eventually, they agreed. In addition, whenever Daddy doubted the plan, Mom reassured him that we’d succeed. Besides, he always said,”You have to take risks. You must spend money in order to succeed.”
Whenever you are unsure about your path, remember to follow your intuition. Weigh your choices carefully, but take risks when necessary. Great things can happen if you listen to your heart.
copyright 2018: Deanie Humphrys-Dunne