Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wind In My Hair and Bugs In My Teeth...

Ahhhhhh....Who doesn't like to spend a day playing in the country?
When the going gets tough, and even when it doesn't, I always jump at the opportunity to kick all my responsibility to the curb and drive for miles and miles to my precious friend's parents' home/farm.
It's out there that life slows down tangibly, yet it's where hard work takes on a whole new meaning. It's a place where the the crepe myrtles tower forever above your head, and every single one of them has a history. It's cozy...and homey....and animal-y. Farm animal-y. Which I like.
But I will tell you about that in a minute.
Because here is the part where I give a tip of my straw hat to my good buddy, Leisl. Now, let me tell you, I have known this gal as one of my dearest friends for many years now and I am DEFINITELY qualified to say that I know her pretty well. But boy did she throw me for a country loop today.
I half expected, upon my arrival at the farm, that we would do lunch and then we would release the children to go explore the Wild Blue Yonder while we sat and sipped our tea, or coffee, or both at impeccably timed intervals. I thought that while we were supping, we would talk and talk and talk, until the cows came home...quite literally.
But, apparently, Leisl had other plans.
Right after our pizza, she looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and a smirk on her face and asked me to go 4-wheelin' with her.
Ahem. "You want me to do what?" was my reply.
To which she said "4-wheelin'....C'mon, we can take the kids through all of the cool trails and over to my Uncle's farm where he can show the boys about this new, scientific experiment he's got, cross-breeding trees"
"Uh.... ok.... well exactly whom do you expect to drive that second ATV ya got there?", I asked, as the memory of the last time I tried to drive a dirt bike swirled into my head. Let's just say that that little excursion ended with me in a creek, with said bike on top of me, dying a slow death. My brother STILL wants to pinch my head off for that one.
ANYWAY...she really expected me to drive this thing...and you know what? This born and bred Yankee (who was raised waaaaaaaaaaay out in the country) wasn't EVEN about to let her down.
"A'ight", I said, "Let's roll". And with that, I climbed on, determined to get 'er done. Don't I just look like the poster-child for confidence?

So her sweet, precious, obviously overly-trusting Daddy, decides to give me a crash course (no pun intended. Really.) on the nuts and bolts of how to make this puppy operate:

Is it just me, or do I look distinctively like I am about to vomit here? I really don't know, you know, because I don't make it a practice to check my look in the mirror when I am about to hurl. Hmmmmm....
So after my driver's ed class was finito, we were off (sorry about the quality of this pic, I think Ty might have been shaking, and with good reason).:

It took me awhile to get the hang of it, at first.
Actually, who am I kidding? I am still not convinced I won't have permanent brain damage from all the jerking back and forth I did until I got used to the gas and the brake.
Then there was Leisl. Who had obviously been tooling around on an ATV since birth. And guess who was eating her dust? Don't get me wrong, she was incredibly patient with her sorry non-4-wheelin' friend, but I guar-an-tee you, she would have cranked that bugger full tilt and bounced off into the horizon had she not chosen such an unfortunate riding partner.
We wheeled around for about a half hour before we went to pick up some of the kids, so that I could get a good feel for what I was doing.
When we arrived, Leisl took the girls....

....and I had Andrew, who loves 4-wheelers, but approached this particular trip with fear and trepidation:

HOWEVER, it wasn't long before Gayle Got her Groove on, and Little Man was livin' large:

We rode around for hours after that. I actually had the older boys screaming like little girls when it came time for their turn (now that's a feeling of satisfaction that flat cannot be described in words).
We made a few stops to swing:

And to learn:

And to pick the beautiful wildflowers:

We even fed one of the cows from our hand, but my dern camera died right after this picture:

Then we ate fried chicken for supper with ice cream for dessert before we headed home. What a wonderful day we had with friends that we treasure. It doesn't get much better than that, I tell ya.
I am so wiped out that I will probably sleep till Friday though, so until then, hope you all have a great, relaxing day today.


Mikki said...

How fun!! You go girl.. live a little.. I mean a lot!!

Looks like you had a great time on a beautiful day!!

javamamma said...

Wow, what a great day! Good for you taking on your little adventure. :)

Distybug said... time you go, call all your friends to go with you!! Sounds like a lovely day just hanging out and letting the kids be kids (the big kids too!). So glad you had a great day.

duckygirl said...

THAT looks like a ton of fun!! Throwing caution to the wind and just going for things usually ends up being the best kind of fun (and sometimes you end up tipping a dirt bike :P ) Way to go fun Mama


Gayle said...

Yeehaw! Did you pop a wheely on that thing?

You do know how cool your son thinks you are now, right?

Andrea said...

That's sounds like soo much fun...I love 4 wheelers!

Hey I also had a motorized scooter accident when I was a preteen. I don't remember who it belonged to, but they were really mad at me too!

Great Pictures!

Gotta GROW with it said...

What a glorious day! My inlaws have a ranch and so that 4-wheelin' photo is oh so familiar. My oldest does the driving now *tear* and I'm the one hanging on! Glad you had such a great day.

Kathleen aka Coffee Mom said...

Looks like fun! You could come up here for some 4 wheelin anytime!!

ll said...

Gaylefriend, it was sooooooo much our pleasure to have yall here!!! When we are able to come this way, (which is not as often as I like,) there are certain people we HAVE to hang out with or we feel the trip is incomplete. Y'all are definitely some of those people.

It pains me to drive away from this place every time I have to leave. I think the only way I can stand it is that I am at least driving back to the gorgeous Gulf Coast and the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. It has its own beauty and some wonderful people as well.

But...."hair flyin', bugs in your teeth and all, yesterday was a day I have been longing for and a memory I will treasure! I don't think our kids will be forgetting it any time soon either....Has Julianna recovered from her tree crash?

Gretchen said...

You are such a trooper, good for you. I'm glad you got the opportunity to ATV-it!

I love your blog and sense of humor! Have a great day!

Emily said...

you just wowed about a dozen women it seems. You're fun. I like fun. I Wanna meet fun people...that's what.
I sure wish I could swing Texas this summer...

His Girl said...

thanks for swingin' by my little spot! what a fun blog you have!

How fun to see the sights on your adventure... so so so different than what we have out here in the SoCal 'burbs!

Leanne said...

You are SO fun!

I also like fun, and you are eloquent about posting fun...

I would like quadruple heart to meet you in real life, you know!!!???

You're great and brave!

I'd be respectfully declining myself!

Thanks for sharing your amazing day with us...

I bet you can't wait to get back on one of them ATV's, huh??

Leanne in Longview

wendy's world said...

Oh my're a Yankee????
How did I not know that? (ha ha)
OK girl-if you've lived here anytime at all-you've got to know how to ride a 4-wheeler! Good for you. Isn't it fun?

Anonymous said...

The only thing better would have been if there were HUGE mud puddles to ride through. 3 out 4 of my kiddos ride all over on our 4 wheeler--I still haven't driven one yet. You are so brave!

Stacey said...

What a great great day Gayle! You're so dang adorable, btw. I love four wheeling....and I love friend chicken. I think you need to call me next time!!! xo

Distybug said...

You've been tagged...