Sunday afternoon, and I am sitting in the Reno Nevada airport, watching the snow fall. Last night it started before sunset, and has kept falling. It reminds me that this happened to us just last week at home! But here, they actually have snow plows, and are prepared for such weather. Our flight is delayed so far, about an hour, but we have no place else to go. I will resist the urge to give a slot machine any money.
Last night we had a nice sized group for our annual awards banquet. It ran super smooth, and they really did a great job of keeping things going. I got to see many of the folks we met at rides this past season, and visited for a bit. Every time I turned around, someone else came up to say hello, or tell me congratulations, and that they had followed the blog all year.
Thew larger National Awards are of course, given at the end of the evening. I found that the longer I sat there, it did seem I was a tad more at ease about reading my speech. Still nothing I was comfortable with, but figured if I could just get going, I could keep rolling with it. Kind of like push starting a car. Just needed to get up to speed, to turn things over, move on forward. They did a wonderful tribute to 38 year old Elmer Bandit, the highest mileage horse in NATRC, along with many other awards that he has won, who had to be put to sleep the 14th. Not many dry eyes in the place. Then a tribute to Doc Larson, who was a wonderful gentleman from So. CA who helped build many a trail, be involved with his whole family in NATRC and endurance over the years, and was an ambassador to trails all over CA. He passed away this past year. I knew Doc from our days in So. Ca. So with the wonderful tributes, my emotional roller coaster was in full speed.
When they finally announced me for the Presidents Cup award, I headed towards the stage, as they did a brief intro, and it was time to get on with THE SPEECH. (gulp) I started to get emotional, but after about the first 10 words, tried to just keep moving. I had put ear plugs in, so I'd not be distracted by hearing myself out of the sound system, and that REALLY helped. Only a few bobbles, and then a bit of emotions at the end, and I was done! Whew! friends have joked it is easier the second time, but we have no plans to do this again. Of course, I had no plans at the beginning of the season to try to win any grand awards.
So, we are officially Official, the 2009 NATRC Presidents Cup winner. The trophy is engraved with our names, we have a new horse blanket saying so, and a beautiful belt buckle.
Now if the weather cooperates, we can get home and show Hank. Think he will be impressed? Maybe if there was food in it.