Blue Ridge is a fictional town located deep in the heart of Kentucky. It is home to one of the most well known equestrian academies in the United States. Students and staff from all over the world join the academy for what it has to offer. Do you have what it takes to join us and learn from the Academy?
How is your summer going? I know that it has not been long since finals, but I am already missing Blue Ridge, since I left right after they ended. I am back in Connecticut now, where my father and I live, and it really does feel like home. I did not realize how home sick I had been until I arrived. I've been lucky enough to take Vintage and Eleanor home with me for the summer, as I don't know that I would be able to bear three months without them. We are lucky to be able to board them where Vintage was boarded before I came to Blue Ridge, and the barn is very close to our house. My town borders the ocean, so I have spent some days on the beach, though I haven't been in the water too much yet, as it is still rather cold, and the spring hasn't entirely given way to summer like it had in Kentucky. Our home, however, is on the other side of town, which is more spread out, with old houses on big plots of land. I prefer this part of town, as the houses look as if they grew right out of the hills, rather than the newer ones that have been plopped down on the edge of the ocean. The center of town separates these realms, and Main Street is edged with a mixture of cute little boutiques and stores and a couple of more well-known companies. Now that I've absolutely bored you with a nonsense interpretation of where I live, I'll continue to do the same with describing how my life has been. If you haven't figured this out yet, I'm writing to have some connection, some thread back to Blue Ridge so that I don't lose sight of it this summer. That, and to stay in touch with you. I'll wake up late in the morning, which is a nice contrast from the tight schedule we keep at Blue Ridge. The life my father leads is a sleepy one, and I fit into it nicely. I'll have tea and whatever I baked most recently for breakfast, over either the newspaper or a book. I bake a lot now that I'm back here, and it is something that I have missed most fiercely at Blue Ridge. Yesterday I made cranberry scones, and they were a little dry, so I plan on trying again today. Then I'll go the the barn, the beach, into town, or I'm often content to just stay home.
Have I ever told you that my father is a writer? He is. He has an interesting command of the English language, considering that he grew up in a Dutch-speaking country. It's not uncommon for him to call to me from his "writing-room," which is a rather small room which makes up a section of the third floor of our house. (Really, it's the inside of the uppermost tower room, with windows instead of wallpaper. Our house is a historical victorian that looks as if it may be a dollhouse.) I've spent a good portion of my summer so far reading what he's written and giving him feedback, which is something that I like to do, except when I've read the same paragraph over and over, with only a couple of words changed in each one.
Though my father spends most of his time in the writing room, I prefer the library, which is, without coincidence, next to mine. The house is old, and has many little quirks, including the fact that some rooms are connected, and can be entered either by another room or the hallway. This is the case with the library and my room, and there is just a tiny corridor in between the two. My father, always the reader, has an enormous collection of beautiful books that range almost comically in subject matter. They're alphabetized by author, and bookshelves line the walls, some of them built into the walls themselves. There are a couple of velvet tufted armchairs scattered about, as well as a coffee table in the center of the room, with a book on it that changes weekly. We are a literary family, and though it's apparent through the rest of the house, the proof is most potent in this room.
If you've made it through this far, I'm impressed, as I now realize that this letter has been fairly pointless, and I've probably lost you somewhere near the breakfast table. I guess that I'm writing for the sake of writing, but I'll try to have more purpose next time. Tell me about your home, about Blue Ridge, anything. Please do not feel obligated to write back, though do not be surprised if I continue to write, regardless. If you don't want me writing at all, just let me know.
Dear Jason I was thrilled to receive your reply, and I am awfully sorry for keeping you waiting for my response. I hope that you had a lovely time visiting your home, and that all is well with your brother, and the rest of your family.
Having the ocean so near is wonderful, and I've found that I appreciate it much more now that I've been away from it. (Absence makes the heart grow fonder, you know.) I never considered it much before, but I've realized how odd it is that the land drops off right into water, water that keep going all the way east to the shores of France. I cannot smell the ocean from my house (it smells more like flowers, and trees, and baked goods, and old paper), and I'm not sure if I'm glad of that or not. It is true that the ocean has a very nice smell during high tide, but during low tide, this is replaced by a very strong fishy smell. We have a lot of lakes and ponds around here too, and they are much better suited for swimming than the ocean is, if one really wants to swim. The ocean is better for wallowing. From October to March, the town allows horses on the beaches, and I used to take Vintage (and my old pony before her) down there during those months. Then, it is very cold and windy, but it is absolutely the best time, and if you ever get the chance to take Tickle to a beach, you should take it (so long as, as you mentioned, he is comfortable around water by then)!
Did Tickle go home with you and stay at your old barn? Your trainer sounds rather like my barn manager here. She is very demanding, but I expect that is a common, necessary trait among those brave souls who take up such a job. I love mornings at the barn, but they are the best when one has peace. Show mornings are another story all together.
My father writes novels, officially for young people, but we find that adults tend to enjoy them more. I think that he likes the idea of helping young people find their way, but his prose is more suited to audiences with a more mature literary ear. Regardless of who reads them, his novels are always about very everyday stuff that I expect can be boring to those who cannot see what these things really mean. Now, finally, he's working on something that will be marketed towards adult readers. Personally, I think this is where he will find his audience. His writing fits somewhat well with what I like to read, but by the time I've read the published copies of his books, I fear that I'm not able to properly appreciate them, since I've read so many of the manuscripts already.
I'm currently nearing the end of Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen, who is my absolute favorite author, and I'm shocked that I haven't devoured all of her works already. Georgian and Victorian novels are my absolute favorites, and I adore the fact that these classics have endured the tests of time. This book club you've written about sounds very interesting, and I'll be sure to look into it when I get back. Thank you for thinking of me. A thesaurus is a fantastic book to appreciate properly! Mine holds a coveted position on my shelf. How is your song writing going? May I hear something when I get back?
Jason, I assure you that your letter was very interesting to me, and I hope that I will receive more, and we can maintain this correspondence.