by DeAnna Quietwater Noriega

My 25-year-old daughter Kassia gives riding lessons and trains horses while attending classes toward becoming a certified veterinary technician. One of her employers asked her to drive from Colorado Springs to Dodge City, Kan., pick up a horse trailer and then drive to a town just across the Texas border with Oklahoma to retrieve a pony she had decided to buy. She didn't want to make such a long drive alone, so my big shepherd dog and I went with her. We got into town around midnight. We went for some breakfast the next morning before going out to the ranch to pick up the pony. An older man sitting with friends moved over to a table near ours to talk to us and ask questions about my dog. When he asked if we were sisters, Sia explained that I was her mother. Then she whispered to me that she didn't know whether he thought I looked young or she looked old. She didn't know whether to be pleased at the compliment to me or annoyed at the insult to her. He gave each of us a coin with the Serenity Prayer stamped into it. The Serenity Prayer has always held special meaning to me because it speaks to how I have tried to live my life. Despite the complexity of daily living, understanding which battles are worth fighting simplifies things. Even during hard times, you can always take comfort from handling the small tasks you can accomplish. When life hurts, at least you know you are still alive and that has got to be worth something. It also helps to enjoy the small pleasures that come your way.

When we got up to leave, the waitress couldn't find our ticket. The cashier told us that Henry had taken care of it. When we shared our adventure with the horse dealer, she laughed and said, "Oh, don't worry about it, darlin', Henry owns half of this end of Texas and has an eye for pretty women!"

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