Back from the 400th show, today’s broadcast is an example of just why I love doing these shows so much. We have gone through the full range of genres over the last few weeks, now here we are today talking about horses and living like being part of Green Acers.
Roxanne Bok and her family were successful urbanites in New Jersey, used to clean, controlled and orderly lives They decided to purchase a “weekend getaway” in Connecticut and took on and old geriatric horse farm which meant restoring a nearly collapsed empty barn and multiple sagging outbuildings, sixty tired acres littered with decayed fencing, and pastures deep in standing water.
At first, Roxanne and her husband merely wanted to preserve the land across the road from their weekend home from encroaching development. But when maintaining the faded glory of the adjoining El-Arabia horse farm was more than their elderly neighbor could handle, Scott’s success in business made it possible to rescue the place. What could an investment banker and a writer know about the rigors of caring for large animals?
In Roxanne’s pastoral memoir “HORSEKEEPING” we discover the joys, heartbreaks and self-discovery that transformed their lives.
Anyone who has lived through home restoration will appreciate what it takes to restore an entire farm, from the mall-sized stable down to the riding rings, outbuildings and caretaker’s cottage. Bok is delightfully direct as she describes watching the farm come back to life as uninvited wildlife, accumulated mess and years of neglect are forcibly evicted.
The introduction of horses – and all that goes with them – to the newly named Weatogue Stables sheds a light on what makes some people go “horse crazy.” Starting with a charming pony and a lovable horse named for a giant rodent, Bok and her children begin the fundamentals of “horsekeeping.” But along with the pleasures of caring for and raising horses, dogs, cats and rabbits comes the possibility of loss, and Bok must confront her own fears left by the death of her young mother, even as she helps her own son and daughter understand the joys and sorrows of living with nature.
As the family grows as equestrians and learns the ropes of showmanship and competition, they learn what it really means to be a part of the land; the community and a world too few of us get to enter.
As one reviewer put it…
“HORSEKEEPING is a wonderful telling of the history of a Salisbury farm and land including delightful descriptions of the characters that have made up that history. Roxanne makes you feel as if you are a part of the story and allows you to experience the equestrian way of life. She thoughtfully explores stewardship of the land, the lure of country life and the value of raising children understanding the responsibility involved in caring for animals.”
So listen now and share an interesting and entertaining show as I chat with my special guest today Chat with Roxanne Bok
Direct link to the show
A Book and a Chat with Roxanne Bok
or you can download the mp3 file of the show from
You can find out more about my guest and their books at:
"Roxanne Bok - Horsekeeping"
Barry Eva (Storyheart)
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