Time to Think

Time to Think
Karen Pickering

April_Top_View_IMG_0449_1066xI’m just sitting here in the outpatient ward with my husband waiting for more answers, hoping for good news.  Mark’s stroke in December swept both of us off our feet. Lately, we  feel as if we’ve been caught in a revolving door at the hospital. So many things have happened in the last 6 months it’s hard to comprehend how we have made it through. It’s so easy to take health for granted but it is precious and can be gone in a moment.

This ordeal continues to teach me a great deal about what is really important in life, such as just being grateful for each new day and celebrating the simple things. I’ve missed out on many of the horse events I love this year, but I had such a great time last summer it’s okay. Just taking care of the horses gives me peace and we’re continually grateful for the support of community.

Sales have been down recently simply because my time has been so fragmented. Mark is having another round of health issues including having six stints put in one artery. He has at least one more procedure to go and has been dealing with abdominal pain on top of everything else. How have we made it through? The generous help of family and friends. That GoFundMe account has truly been a godsend; the extra dollars have helped with medical expenses and the loss of one salary.

Through all this I’ve learned to really take advantage of any free time and learn to get as much done as possible. This includes new tasks such as mowing the lawn, weed eating and various other chores. It’s been enlightening to see how much Mark really does. He is my partner in the business as well and has struggled through the last several months trying to reconnect the parts of his brain that aren’t working and making new connections around the damage in his brain.

In the end, I celebrate every day. I’ve learned new things and have managed to make it through Mark’s month in the hospital, a new website redesign, taxes, learning the intricacies of his role in the magazine and planning ahead for the future. We’ve been working with Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center and now have a great marketing plan created by Jesse and Rebecca (graduating marketing students). Can’t wait to unveil all the things we have planned.

I hunger for horse time so you’ll probably see lots of smiles the next time we meet on the trail.  God bless you for the prayers, donations and continued advertising; thanks for being such an incredible community of caring horse people. Enjoy the rest of your summer and I look forward to seeing you from the back of my horse!

Quote: “A smile is a light in the window of your face to show your heart is at home.”
~ Source Unknown

Thanks for all the smiles!

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Karen Pickering

Owner/Publisher Karen’s lifelong love of horses began at a very early age when she wore out a couple of rocking horses before convincing her parents to get her the real thing. That ill-tempered bay gelding, Brandy, was a challenge for the young horsewoman, but it drove her ambition to become a horse trainer. After attending Canyonview Equestrian College’s Horsemanship Program, Karen realized she needed work that was a little more lucrative than training, so she took a job with Customs Brokerage to pay the bills. There, she discovered an affinity for computers and a talent for creating informative, entertaining newsletters. The Northwest Horse Source began as such a letter in December 1995, with a distribution of 1000 copies for its 12 black and white pages. Since then, it has grown into beautiful, all-gloss magazine with the largest coverage of any free equine publication in the Northwest – a distribution of over 16,000 copies and over 600 locations monthly. Not bad for the results of one woman’s dream to work with horses!

Today, Karen remains involved with every aspect of the magazine and treasures the community of thousands who share a common passion. Somewhere in the wee hours of the early mornings and late evenings, she still finds time to care for April, her gorgeous and sweet-tempered Quarter Horse.

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