The Saga of the Traveling Pony

June 9, 2014

Shel HarringtonShel Harrington is a Family Law attorney in Oklahoma City, originally from Michigan (ya hey! I do love my fellow transplanted northerners), and her favorite thing to blog about is how NOT to get divorced.

She also blogs on a site about the trials and tribulations of growing older and keeping fit. She’s got a great sense of humor and I know you’ll have fun learning more about Shel this month!

Aunt Bertha always insisted on giving us children a gift on our annual visit -  in spite of the fact that she was on a fixed income and funds were tight. In the early years, it would be a knick-knack off a table or a hanky from  her drawer. As time went on and her possessions dwindled, she would scrounge through cupboards to award us a teacup, juice glass, or cereal bowl. Protests that gifts weren’t necessary were lovingly waived away.

Some years back, my parents and I visited her at her flat one last time before she moved  to assisted living. Aunt Bertha, with dimmed eyesight, found  just the perfect gift for me. A dirty, used “My Little Pony” she had won at Bingo. I was well into my thirties.

my little pony ebay

Back in the van, my parents and I chuckled over the gift, knowing  it had been generously given. With the same spirit of generosity, I offered it to my mother. She declined. There was no way I could just throw away something Aunt Bertha had given me in love. So at the end of the trip, I tucked it under the seat of my parent’s van , left them wintering  in Florida, and headed back to Oklahoma.

A week later, I received the scraggly pony in the mail. And so it began. For the next fifteen years the pony suffered further abuse as it was stuffed into a coffee pot, boxes, drawers and other various hiding places during our visits to each other. Messages were written and scribbled out on it. Friends and family were called in as accomplices to assist us in our devious deliveries. On one visit, my parents hid the pony in our house. When they arrived home in Maine two weeks later, it greeted them on their kitchen table. When they moved  to Florida, the pony stood chilling in their refrigerator upon a return from an Oklahoma visit.

pony orig close edit

Last year, right before leaving their home, I made sure the pony was tucked in tight in its newest hiding place. When I opened my carry-on  bag at the airport to grab my book, that damn pony was nestled amongst my undies. I should have known  better than to hit that bathroom  right before leaving!

A few weeks later, when my husband and I saw the jumbo hot pink stuffed “My Little Pony” in a store, we knew where it’s new home was going to be. We got a call from Florida a few days later.

“What the hell are we suppose to do with that?” My mother’s New England accent was evident – the ‘are’ sounded like ‘aa.’ After a good laugh, we told them to donate it somewhere.

And yet there it was when we arrived in Florida last month – sitting in a chair waiting to annoy me with its pinkness.

pony on chair edit

My mother informed me she had saved  it for me. On my way out to visit a relative, I said: “Well at least it’s big enough that I don’t have to worry about you  sticking it in my luggage!”

This is what we came home to.

pony in bag on bed edit.

No, it doesn’t, Mother!

(And now you have insight as to why I’m the way I am!)

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Dee Dee Chumley June 9, 2014 at 9:32 am

Hilarious, Shel! I guess almost every family has an Aunt Bertha. I know we did, only being the the creative sort, in addition to giving us things she had sitting around, Aunt Carva also gave us things she’d made. Let me tell you, some of them were very “interesting.”
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Shel Harrington June 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Well, Aunt Bertha didn’t have homemade things, but she did offer Brandy – which I learned to appreciate! So, Dee Dee – do you still have a “Carva Collection?”
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Mari June 9, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Love it! The best kind of story, the crazy things we do for love. :)
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Shel Harrington June 11, 2014 at 11:00 pm

I KNEW you’d be able to relate, Mari!
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ShaRhonda June 10, 2014 at 8:30 am

Oh how I love this!
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Shel Harrington June 11, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Sounds like you’d fit right in with my family, ShaRhonda!
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Rose Marie B June 10, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Family traditions are the BEST and this is one of my favorites! :)
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Shel Harrington June 11, 2014 at 11:05 pm

I must admit, we’ve had a lot of fun with it over the years, Rose Marie. But it’s a LOT more fun to be saying “Gotcha” than the one uttering Homer Simpson’s “DOH!” when we open a suitcase!
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Luanne June 11, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Hahaha, that’s a great story, Shel. It reminds me of when we always bought my father Ronco presents as a joke. We called him Ron for fun because somebody was always calling him that by mistake, so when RonCO came out it only seemed natural.
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Shel Harrington June 11, 2014 at 11:11 pm

I had to google ‘Ronco’ to find out what that was, Luanne. It looks like some good stuff. Although there were degrees – I’d probably prefer the rotisserie over the ginzu knife. But as between that and the hot pink pony? Tough call! Thanks so much for visiting me here!
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