To Ginger by Sam Younghans


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By Sam Younghans
Monday, March 26, 2012


The story about Ginger started out with two rocks. Most of my life, I have collected rocks. Don’t ask me why, because I have no answer. Throughout the years I have moved around quit a bit, losing many rock collections, but still, continuing to collect them. My last move I thought, might be my last one, unless I found a publisher to publish my works.

I moved all of my junk out of storage into a garage I rented from my landlord, so I could sort it out and get rid of most of it. I have been here four years and have hardly made a dent in it. Then I decided to move again. This motivated me to start sorting and tossing.

I gathered all of the rocks I had collected over the years and put them into containers; I was not going to toss my rocks. I left two larger rocks on the shelf of one of my bookcases. One rock was tall, dark, and mysterious that looked porous but was very solid and heavy. The other was shorter, interlaced with dark areas around a more whitish solid smooth rock. (Definitions of the rocks at end of story.) I am not a petrologist, so until I find one who can tell me what they are, to me they are my two guides.

First, I frequently meditate while soaking in a hot tub of water. I always burn a candle and view it as an energy that can bring in universal intelligence. One morning as I was entering the tub, I got this thought that if the fire had that link to universal intelligence, a rock, whose age is timeless, could also provide it. I went to my bookcase and brought one of the rocks into the tub. I had an excellent meditation. When I returned the rock to it’s shelf, I noticed the other rock sitting there, looking beautiful. I decided to set them on my computer table so that I could view them frequently and possibly get some ancient information form these very old rocks. I sat them at each end of my screen. 

I decided to name them Saki (the smaller one) and Brady (the larger one). The names came from two of my stories about two horses I owned that were published in a couple of books. For some reason naming the rocks made me think of my first horse, named Ginger. I had never written anything about her. The rocks were telling me to honor Ginger with a story, as I had, Saki and Brady. So here it is.

By Sam Younghans Ginger wasn’t the first horse I had ever been on, but she was the first horse that belonged to me. My Dad bought her in order to ride with a couple of friends who had horses. Our first saddle was an old army cavalry saddle, with the spit down the middle of the saddle. Dad’s friends had English saddles, but my Dad was not one to be like everyone else.

Ginger was not like his friend’s horses either. Ginger was part horse and part mule. My Dad pointed out some good features about Ginger. One, she was gentle and calm. The other horses were spirited and jumpy. Dad pointed out that when they went on trail rides, Ginger would be able to out-travel the other horses because she knew how to rest when they stopped; instead of pawing the ground or moving about.

A year or so later, we moved to a house about three or four miles out of the town of New Kensington, PA on Leechburg Road. My Dad had Ginger moved to a farm about a quarter of a mile up the road from our house. I was twelve or thirteen at that time. Since, we were no longer near my Dad’s friends, I was the one who rode her most of the time. I fed and cleaned her and rode her after school. Ginger and I became one. She became my horse. I rode her all over the countryside near the farm.

One area had deep gullies from the rain. This is where I got my first experience jumping. We would jump the gullies. I felt she enjoyed it as much as I did. In the winter, I rode her in the snow. That summer we moved, once again,this time to Springdale, a city across the river and about three miles south of New Kensington.

Dad was going to sell her, but I begged him to keep her. My Dad’s friends had moved their horses to a farm near Springdale and there was room for Ginger. After every thing was moved, my Dad took me back to the horse. We saddled her and I climbed on for a ride to, and through, New Kensington to Springdale.

The first part of the trip to downtown New Kensington was fine, because it was the main highway to town and, more or less, country with few side streets, about a three mile ride. Once in town, I took side streets and stayed off of the main streets. By this time I was fourteen, and I knew my way around the town, but I had to go through the center of town to reach the bridge that crossed the Allegheny River.

That was an interesting ride, with no miss-haps. I reached the bridge, which was a two-lane bridge with a pedestrian walk. I didn’t want to hold up traffic, or get run over, so I crossed on the pedestrian walk. As I rode her across the bridge, I could look over the rail and see the river far below. I told Ginger not to worry about falling in that the bridge was strong.

Once on the other side, we traveled down the river road to Springdale, another three mile ride. Once we entered Springdale, we took the first street up a steep hill to the farm where she would be kept. I told her this was her new home; she settled in with a whinny. I was happy. All that summer I rode her over the Springdale hills. Then school and football season started which kept me away from Ginger. I was a football player, which meant practice every day after school and games on the weekends.

I felt bad about being away from her so much, and then, in the winter, my Dad gave her to a friend. I felt bad, but knew she would get more attention. So I was happy for her. One of the hardest things I have had to endure in my life has been leaving my animal friends. I haven’t had one since I left Brady, the last horse I owned. I do have a buddy at my daughter, Samantha’s home. His name is Papi; he is a Papillion that thinks he is a giant. The moment I arrive he is on my lap, licking my face and hands. We are together until I leave. He knows I will return, and somehow, I am told, he knows when I am returning.

Petrology – The study of rocks. From Wikipedia

Guessing: Brady is a Gabbro specimen; Rock Creek Canyon, eastern Sierra Nevada, California.
Saki is a diorite specimen.

Igneous rocks are formed when molten magma cools and are divided into two main categories: Plutonic rock and volcanic. Plutonic or intrusive rocks result when magma cools and crystallizes slowly within the Earth’s crust (example granite), while volcanic or extrusive rocks result from magma reaching the surface either as lava or fragmental ejecta (examples pumice and basalt.)

Sedimentary rocks are formed by deposition of either clastic seiments, organic matter, or chemical precipitates (evaporites), followed by compaction of the particulate matter and cementation during  diagenesis. Sedimentary rocks form at or near the Earth's surface. Mud rocks comprise 65% (mudstone, shale and siltstone); sandstones 20 to 25% and carbonate rocks 10 to 15% (limestone and dolostone). Metamorphic banded gneiss

Metamorphic rocks are formed by subjecting any rock type (including previously formed metamorphic rock) to different temperature and pressure conditions than those in which the original rock was formed. These temperatures and pressures are always higher than those at the Earth's surface and must be sufficiently high so as to change the original minerals into other mineral types or else into other forms of the same minerals (e.g. by recrystallization).

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