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Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Judy Bluhm

My divorced friend asked me “where is a good place to fall in love?” My answer: everywhere and any time. Be prepared. Maybe it starts with an awkward introduction or a glance into someone else’s eyes. Or perhaps we cannot even recall that exact “moment” when our heart skipped a beat and we realized that “love was in the air.” Dear Readers, it seems clear that love comes at us in all sorts of ways. I have proof. Read on.

My husband, Doug and I met in the hallway of hospital in Berkeley, California almost forty years ago when we were working there. For about a year, we were friendly (flirting) with each other. I had been divorced for a few years and told myself I would not date again unless “there was a sign from God” that he was the right man. On one particular afternoon, standing in the lobby of the hospital, Doug asked me if I wanted to go out with him. In a “miracle moment” my front-fastening bra unsnapped (Doug was unaware) and I thought it might be a message from God. We have been married thirty-five years. Prayer answered.

My old horse, Baxter, is not doing so well. Arthritis has taken over his left leg joints and he struggles to hobble around. Several years ago his stall-mate Sedona died, and Baxter went into a deep depression, barn-kicking, stomach ulcer, standing all day alone in the stall; his forelock turned pure white in two months. We got a little white pony named Buttercup who was down on her luck and needed a home. She took to Baxter immediately. He avoided her and mostly expressed serious annoyance with this new interloper.

Buttercup walked out of the horse trailer, looked at Baxter standing in the pasture and immediately trotted up to him. He is a huge horse and she is half his size, but that never stopped her from attaching herself to him. She put up with his bad moods (ignoring her, biting and walking away) until eventually, she won him over. Baxter has become Buttercup’s “project.” She fetches him to come out on the pasture with her, she likes to stand next to him while he is eating in his stall, she naps beside him and mostly keeps herself spinning in his orbit. It seems to have worked. Baxter wants her close at all times.

My father always said that when he first laid eyes on my mother he knew right away that he would marry her. They were on a double blind-date with other people, eating ice cream cones and somehow, my father gazed into my other’s eyes and knew “this was the one.” He found a way to slip my mother a note asking for her phone number and the rest is history. They were married for almost sixty years.

My girlfriend was driving along an Interstate outside of San Francisco when she heard a loud pop. She had a flat tire and made it to the side of the road. A kind man pulled up behind her and changed her tire. Divorced and lonely, she got to talking to this friendly guy and they realized they lived a few miles apart. They went on a date and eventually married….and still are after twenty-five years.

Love can strike in a snap (of a bra), one lick (of an ice cream cone) or pop (of a tire). It can happen when we least expect it. And, Dear Readers, I am certain that it is happening right now in my barn in the country.
Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at