Kelly, Kelly, Kelly….

October 26, 2010

There Kelly goes again, teaching me a profound life lesson in just an instant. She has a knack for that, you know!

When I met her I was teaching riding lessons at a children’s riding school in Portola Valley. She was quite the determined one! She kept coming out trying to convince the head instructor to hire her. I was only vaguely aware of their meetings as I was up to my ears in spoiled, overly-priveleged children. When summer rolled around My Nemesis (the head instructor) brough Kelly on to teach the little beginner kids. My Nemesis kept the advanced kids for herself and stuck me with the “intermediate” kids – the catchall for all the kids that thought they could ride. 

Of course, hiring Kelly was the only good thing My Nemesis ever did!

From the first day of camp Kelly was a freaking ray of glorious sunshine, much to my great annoyance. She was tall, gorgeous, had amazing hair and a smile that made everyone swoon. She endured weeks of rambunctious children and sullen ponies with such flair that I hated her.

The only thing that kept me sane was Krispy Kreme donuts. A LOT OF DONUTS. One Monday morning as we surveyed the week’s newest bunch of obnoxious children (yes, some were pretty cute I will reluctantly admit) over an original glazed I was not thrilled about our prospects. Of course Kelly was standing next to me, smiling radiantly and offending my very soul with her perkiness. 

Then she looked over at me, all percolating with resentment and foul energy, and she said “it’s all an act”.

As surely as a lightning bolt crashing out of the sky, I adored her. In four tiny words she taught me a serious life lesson.  “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar” was never more perfectly illustrated.

Literally from that moment she became one of my most favorite people in the universe. That was just the beginning of the times she has inspired me. With Kelly’s encouragement I was brave enough to undertake my first expression of creativity – redecorating my apartment – the original inspiration for this blog. Her marriage is one I admire and respect. Her creative drive is inspiring: from paper making to painting to sewing to rock piles and leaf designs – it’s all amazing! She is a trooper that will dance her ass off for hours and is always on board to dress like a complete loon for no good reason! And I DEFY you to find a person more deft at dressing in layers.

She makes me feel great when she seeks my advice about horses, yet she’s given me a lot of confidence outside of my cozy dressage arena. She is definitely my favorite person to ride with. Hacking out with Kelly has taught me to really see where I am and enjoy just being there. Now I see things on horseback that I would have never seen before and may not still see on foot.

We have been separated by distance for quite a while now, but I hold her so dear in my heart.

Kelly has bravely been kicking the crap out of the Big C this year. While I am sure she has plenty of moments when her big girl pants are nowhere to be found, she has taken on the diagnosis and treatment like a warrior. She is going through this phase of her life with the same beauty and grace and strength that made me initially so pea green with monster envy.

Then I saw this picture of her…

And again, in an instant, I learned another life lesson… even in times of trial there is beauty and peace and strength, and there is nothing a beautiful smile can’t make better.

I love you, Kelly! I’ll see you in December ❤


  1. Oh Emily…I am sitting here with tears running down my cheeks. I am not sure if it is because of your beautiful story of your writing or from the lesson of love and true friendship or what……whatever it is, my heart is warm and full of love.

  2. Your Mom sent me here from Facebook. I’m so glad she did. You wrote a wonderful post about true friendship. Everyone should be so lucky to find a friendship like yours. And Kelly will find strength from you, no matter the distance between you both.

  3. Oh EM! I’m at a loss for words… I’m sitting here like your mom, feeling more than a little verklempt. You’ve always been such an amazing friend, one whom I hold close, one whom I respect, one whom I’d be BLESSED to ride with till the sun set and then dance with till it rose again.

    You’re words just took away all the old lady aches and pains I’ve been having today. Thank you. Thank you for so much. I love you friend.

  4. Emily, you are very wise beyond your years. Some of us never know just how BLESSED we are until we are older. You and Kelly are very lucky to have that special friendship that some go through life and never find. Even though I am sitting here with tears in my eyes my heart is smiling. Who could help but smile after seeing the photo of your beautiful friend. I have made a space in my heart for both you and Kelly. Hugs to you both.

  5. Meh, she’s alright I guess. 😉

  6. ❤ </3 Hugs. 😦

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