On March 1st, 2010, my friend Walter and I set off on an adventure with my Arabian horse, Sojourner. I rode Soj across America and Walter drove our little truck (with no trailer). The trip began in Los Angeles, California and successfully ended in Bath, New Hampshire 8 months and 14 days later. It was a 3,700 mile ride.

We rode in celebration of family and as an outreach to those dealing with divorce-related depression.

This ride tells a tale of love in many forms - through the people we meet along the way, our connection with the horse, with the land, and with each other.

As this blog goes on it gets more and more in depth with tons of photos and experiences. Snuggle in with a cup of tea and read this like a book. I have switched the blog around so it reads start to finish so you don't have to read backward (except the first entry).

Here is our story...

May 18th, 1981...


...that's when I got to rest in my mamas arms for the first time. She was already a mother to my brother, Danny, and she would be a mother again to my sister, Caiti, in the future.

"She is radiance, she is white wedding dresses and newborn babies and snorting laughter and innocence and earth and pain and boobs and hipbones and tenderness and resilience and painted fingernails with dirt underneath. Woman, Wendy, you couldn’t be more beautiful."
-from the short story, "Of Ropes and Bootstraps", by Caiti Kenney

My mother never deterred any of us kids from what we loved. Danny dreamed of being a Doctor and he is now a Doctor. Caiti spills out words onto paper that can only come from someone with a true gift to write, and she has completed two incredible short stories. She sings like an angel and so she has always been urged to sing...and to keep playing with bugs. For me it was always music and horses and I still hold tight to music and horses.

For us there was never any other way. I don't think our mom would have let us choose a different route if we wavered a bit on our dreams. She dreams our dreams as much as we do and has supported us all.

"Are you going to sing a little tonight for me?"
"Ah, I don't know", I would answer. "Alright, maybe, but I think I'm going to face the wall tonight."
"That's okay! I don't mind! I'm just happy to hear you sing! Maybe you can try and face sideways?" my mom would ask.
"Mmmmm, yeah maybe. Let me just sing the first song facing the wall. Ah, alright, I think I can face sideways."
"Oh good. I like it when you face sideways".

That was me in middle school and high school. I had a karaoke machine in my room and my mom would sit on my 4 post iron bed and listen to me practice Barbara Streisand and Whitney Houston tunes facing away from her. I was always really shy about singing so I slowly (after years) worked my way to facing the side wall so my mom would get my profile while I sang.

This is the support I am talking about. I had such a love to sing. A love so strong that I felt there was nothing else in the world I was meant to do. It was/is my true passion, but I was scared to do it at the same time. My mom would push me to sing and gently nudge me to slowly face her. I didn't have to if I really didn't want to, but she wanted it so badly and I wanted so badly to do it for her. So slowly I turned until I could perform on a stage in a theater full of hundreds of people.

My mother looks at you through glorious green eyes (that she inherited from her mother) and you are instantly penetrated with love and gentleness. She has always taught us to be kind and to try and never make another person feel sad.
"Always have an easy smile, Linny."

Posture is a big thing, too. We are all told to stand tall.
"Remember how your ballet teacher was!?" she would say to me. "She would yell 'laaaadddiiiieeeessssssSSSS!!!!' and you all straightened your little backs. It's important, posture."

My mom always kept me strong when someone might say something that hurt a little. And you know, any bumps or bruises, insecurities, or bad looks I may gather along the way and zip inside this skin of mine, I'll take it. Because it means head rubs, grilled cheese sandwiches (that only taste good when she makes them), long talks, and laughter through tears. Tears because you're sad, and laughter because she's reminded you it's all going to be okay. Moms can do that. In this life and into whatever time carries us on to next, Moms can always do that.

Happy Mothers Day, Mama. I love you. Happy Mother's Day to my Grandma, Alice Trotta, and my Grandma Thelma Gorman, too, and my Nana, Jacqueline Kenney.

And to all the women in my life...you are my inspiration and my teachers.


  1. That's so beautiful, Linny! There are lots of wonderful moms out there, but none more amazing than yours.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ah Linny,
    You can't imagine what a blessing you are. I'm not even your blood line but I can tell you that every woman in your line of heritage is a part of you; you are the product of all the linage of women in your life. What a package you have become. You are yourself and at the same time, a piece of your past follows you. You get to choose which pieces to keep, which are just baggage from a past experience, destined to leave by the road side. Your journey is only the beginning of a lifetime of experiences. Thank you for sharing it in such an intimate way. I can't even begin to express my gratitude and sheer joy in being able to know and share a small part of your life.
    Thank you for including me.
    Love always.

  3. Linny,
    Thank you for the beautiful Mothers Day wish.
    When I was a young girl I would sing with a voice that could not carry a tune, and dance with two left feet, and write stories that only I could read because the spelling and grammar was so atrocious.I would dream of a horse,like Soj who would be a friend, country roads , and small house in a hollow.
    How wonderful my life has turned out. Although I can not carry a tune, I am surrouned by music. I think greater than the gift of having a voice has been having two daughters who's song could make angels stop and listen. How I have loved hearing your beautiful voices harmonize together as if they where one. I cherish the days I sat on your bed and listened to your beautiful voice, even when you faced the wall. The times I would watch Cait dance with such incredible grace, it would make me hold my breath in wonderment.Then Danny with such a brillant mind, such compassion, a traveler always of the higher road,no matter how difficult the climb.
    So on Mothers Day when I reflect on my life, I see all my dreams reflected in my three amazing children. You have all brought me a world filled with, music, dance, travel,and wonderful adventures.
    Most of all you have become some of the best people I have ever known.I Love you all, Mom

  4. I can feel the fullness in your heart, Wendy. Although I am not a father of a human child (we regard our animals as most do their children), I can definitely imagine how complete and gratifying your life must feel when you look at your children.

    By the way, we need to learn more about you! Well, to the extent that you feel like sharing anyway. You own story must be so interesting and uplifting.

  5. I love this. I just love all of this love!!!

  6. Thank you. Linny, for remembering my mother in your commentary about mothers. When we were at the Hudson River spreading her ashes, I said to my brother, John, that our children vindicate her lost life; that she indeed had a great deal in her that can and should be carried on. And so it has come to be so...