After fifteen books, several of us stopped reading. We finally admitted what we really wanted was time with like-minded women who enjoyed a good meal and interesting conversations. We christened ourselves, The Ponies, and ended the book club facade.
Our name comes from a story about twin boys, and it goes like this: Two brothers had extreme personalities, one a pessimist, the other an optimist. One Christmas, the parents tried an experiment. They filled a room with presents for their pessimist son to see if they could make him happy. Upon seeing the gifts, the boy burst into tears. “What’s the matter?” asked the surprised parents. “There are too many presents! I don’t know where to begin!” In another room, the parents gave their optimist just one gift: a box of horse manure. When the boy saw the box, he dropped to his knees and began gleefully scooping it out with his hands. “What are you doing?” asked the befuddled parents. “With all this manure,” the little boy beamed, “a pony must be in here somewhere!”
My Ponies have that kind of optimism. We laugh and dream together. We share confidences and support each other’s ambitions. We listen without interrupting and seek advice on problems. We traveled to Calistoga for a spa weekend. Mostly, we come together to let our hair down without being judged.
Today, The Ponies officially disbanded. One woman is working on a non-fiction book and needs all her free time to write. Another works full time, participates in local politics and ran out of hours. A third pony is moving to Washington.
These women have helped carry me through life for the past seven years, and I’ll miss them terribly. Anne, Janet M., Janet B, Liz and Madelyn, I wish you every success wherever life takes you, and I anticipate the occasional reunion where we'll gallop together once again. xo