I never set out to have a menagerie of animals, we had one dog growing up and it ended badly; what my parents didn’t spend on neutering him they spent on euthanizing him. My parents made a point of dissuading me any time I mentioned the idea of having a dog of my own. But here we were a house full of dogs, a cat and horses.
When you are raised by parents who experienced World War II in Germany you get told a lot of stories about what went down during that period. One of those stories was how the German officials came and vetted your family to see if they had any Jewish blood in them. My Father had a close call when it was found out that his Great Grandfather’s first name was David, which being a Jewish name had raised a flag. It turns out not to be the case so his family was spared a trip to the gas chambers. Although given that my Father later develops a form of leukemia primarily found in eastern European Jews, they might have been wrong about that.
This is how long it took me to complete the cross-stitch tablecloth of Hungarian dancers. I meticulously tracked every one of those hours, counting four by four threads to fill in the 1m x 1m cloth. Any imperfections would ripple across it and ruin the finished work. So in the energy and enthusiasm of youth I toiled through every one of those thousand hours.