Monday, February 15, 2010

Don't Be Jealous.

We like to dabble in hillbilly. Not go all out Summer teeth and barefoot in the gas station bathroom, but we appreciate a homemade moonshine and the like. There's always been that camo-colored thread of redneck weaving through the rich tapestry of our family life.
Rich tapestry. Yep.
Everybody's familiar with the Poopy Truck in all its incarnations:
(gah, look at all that green grass! where are you green grass?!)

Old Red has hauled many a load of firewood. If you've been unfortunate enough to get stuck behind us in traffic, I apologize. Yes, we are the yahoos in funny knit hats (because the back window ain't all there-Brrr!,) probably 2 dogs on the front seat between us (stinking dogs,) cruising along in the truck laboring under its load (or not, maybe just laboring) at about 20 mph the whole way home.
I can overlook the rust spots and warts, because, thanks to our trusty truck, we've had our redneck membership upgraded this weekend: Mark welded the driver's side door shut.

Just like them Duke Boys with their General Lee!

The old bungee cord door latch system worked alright for a while until Mark backed up in the woods with the door open. The door came home a little hyperextended by a gentle tree of the forest. Very inconvenient when you're driving down the road and the door unexpectedly flies open into oncoming traffic.
The bonus to the whole thing was when Mark & his brother came in after welding, their faces red and squinty with that identical crazy laughter they share, because the window glass in the door basically exploded during the welding process. Fixed door. Broken window. Sounds about right.
Yeehaw! Ya'll come back now, y'hear! And Don't Be Jealous.

Still snowing where you live? And if so, are you losing your mind yet? Watching my house being slowly torn apart by glaciers is kind of wearing on me. That and all this lack of color maybe.

Oh, wait. Here's color:Luckily no one was hurt in the explosion.

Our nieces stayed overnight Friday and this is the inevitable fallout. They all happily slept in those "tents?" Me? I just let it all fall apart like that. And took a picture to boot! Have I no shame?

Small price to pay, having their room temporarily under demolition. All four girls had many fun hours out in the snow, especially playing with the horses. I'm pretty sure the horses had fun, too. I think they've been bored with all this white, white, white, and they came running when Aggie called them.We were watching from the house as they haltered the horses and led them around. Someone lost a boot! We debated back and forth as we watched from the window. Should we tell them to leave the horses alone? Goodness knows we don't want anyone to get hurt.

I watched them climb aboard and then leap off into the snow. Then they'd lead the horses back to the gate or hay ring so they could climb back on and do it again. They were out there for hours with no complaints about the cold so you know they were deeply into their play.

In the end, the parental call (ours and nieces' father's call) was to keep an eye on them and intervene if necessary. But everyone was having such a good time and so well behaved we didn't have to bother them, just sat back and enjoyed the show.

I'm probably biased (y' think?!) but to me that afternoon fooling around with the horses in 2 or 3 feet of snow, all girl cousins getting along & working together, was a magical and fleeting thing. We had to let them take advantage of it.

There were no boys or grownups there to take charge or do the dirty work. They haltered the horses. They made them listen. They invented whatever they were playing. No toys, no video games, no input but their own.

When they fell down, they got back up. They helped one another. No one came running into the house tattling or whining. They were kind to the horses and the horses were kind to them. They were proud of themselves when they recounted their fun to us.

Just the kind of times I want them to have. I want them to construct ridiculous things out of blankets and rope and scrap wood. I want to find that they tried to fix something themselves with a butterknife instead of a screw driver. I hope they try recipes on their own. Dig holes in the yard for fun. Jump off the swings.

Not because I want to wonder where all the silverwear went to (usually it's Mark's fault when that happens,) or have to untie the spiderwebs of yarn tied from doorknob to doorknob to doorknob, or waste food on experimental baking (guilty here!), but because I want them to stretch out a little bit. Do weird stuff (not destructive or dangerous or illegal, just...weird.) Make up songs. Talk to imaginary friends. Try something all by yourself even if it's wrong. Have fun! Make memories.

Ya, all that kind of stuff.

Said the woman in her ninth hour of the day behind a desk in a nearly windowless room, staring at a computer monitor, typing a blog post. Guess I need a dose of my own medicine!

Maybe I'll give my imaginary friends a call to see if they'd like to try a new cookie recipe in our hideout made of blankets and pillows. That may be the very definition of Cabin Fever!


Becky said...

Lovely! I totally agree that kids need lots of unstructured time to just mess around with stuff. The combo of snow AND horses is hard to beat!

Sara said...

Just love this post! Your last paragraphs describe a slice of my childhood. I am thankful for that, you brought back some great memories and things I want my kids to experience.

Love the pictures! The girls look like they had a blast! We used to do that with our horses, minus the was Texas. But great times. So glad your girls are enjoying it. :D

Michele R said...

You crack me up how you have us reading along and then you throw in a photo that "does not look like the others". I think I can handle any photo as long as you don't throw in Mr. Possum again! :)
Looks like the girls had a blast in their room and with the horses. Those horses were so sweet to come over to the fence and by played with. Sounds like the girls needed a day like that and I bet they will remember it always.
(Typed by a woman at a desk in an office with a window, with a draft, staring at a computer screen and agreeing and wanting to share in a dose of that medicine). :)

Amy said...

Yee-haw from Texas! You rock! Love the truck - ours had cardboard on driver window, small hole to see thru. Had to poke screwdriver in tractor engine to start it, kids and 75-yr-old grandma rode in front bucket. I raised bucket when they acted up, kept it there till they settled down. Tactic didn't work with cantankerous grandma tho . . .

Amy said...

P.S. I'm hippiehooker, Sara's (handyhooker)mom

Annette said...

Kids (and I definitely don't mean yours) don't know how to have fun anymore. Playing Wii all day is not having fun. Building tents in your bedroom and playing with bareback horses in the THAT is having fun.

Captain Dumbass said...

Little duct tape over that rust on the wheel well and yer all good.

gretchen said...

Oh man, that truck reminds me of my dearly departed "Pick" (short for Pickup), my very first vehicle, that I owned from 16 to 20. I used to lend Pick to whoever needed to haul something, and at some point during college, one of my roommates smashed the drivers side door in while hauling a keg of beer to a party. For the next two years, I either had to scoot across from the passenger side, or climb in through the window!

Amy said...

That truck story is awesome! Welded the door shut and the window broke! Sweeet. :)

I love your description of the girls playing. That is priceless fun.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

So glad I found your blog, my dear.

And this -- "When they fell down, they got back up. They helped one another. No one came running into the house tattling or whining. They were kind to the horses and the horses were kind to them. They were proud of themselves when they recounted their fun to us" -- was perfect.

On any given day, there are oh, maybe four bikes (at the most) in the bike rack at my son's school. And this, even though every kid lives within a mile of the school. He rides his bike to school and, well, let's say I've gotten a few "looks" from other moms.

We parents need to take a chill pill.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

That truck sounds like it is just about broke in. At lesat it still has paint on it, the trpaper son power washed his paint lat week, aat least what little was left on there.
He said they averaged $7 dollar for a green hide (Raccoons) and they sell them all green.
Your kids will some day appreciate the memories you let them make on that snowy day.
I wish more kids knew that kind of fun!
Still got snow? most of ours is gone, now it's just mud, mud and more mud. the bottom fell out of every gravel road around.
But snow is predicted tomorrow and monday.

Ange said...

Hey you! I laughed when I saw the horse pictures. Take those from the warmth of the house, did you? I shot some of the kids making snowmen. I haven't posted them, because I'm just THAT cabin fever lazy these days. But you got it right, the kids. The adventures. Stepping back. I was so happy when I saw them outside rolling big snowballs all by themselves. The dog ate the carrots off the snow faces, and there was chasing to save the noses, etc. It was great. But. I don't have snowpants. So I stayed inside.

When it's green, I'll be out there. I promise! That's how I'm thinking of it. Saving my strength for the garden seasons.

I am very jealous of your truck. I would LOVE pulling up at the snooty grocery store with that truck. I'd have a bandana in my hair, and my muck boots, shimmy myself out the window butt first. Man. Throw a six pack into the passenger seat then tell the audi driver next to me, 'What? Kids don't get home for another two hours!'
We need your truck.
Heck, I've always wanted to learn how to weld.
It's getting old, shoving sawdust bales into the back of the Subaru. I feel like the folks at the farm store all think we're ridiculous.

*Wonderful about your horses and the girls. That did my heart good.
Our pony boys are standoffish these days, but it's a goal to tame 'em up this spring. I'll be coming by for advice.

Amy said...

Wonderful. Just wonderful. THANK YOU for taking, and posting, a photo of that room. It is sheer perfection.

As is the truck, and the welding process, and the phrase "camo-colored thread of redneck weaving through the rich tapestry of our family life."

Love it!!

Camp Papa said...

At the risk of reinforcing regional stereotypes, I will quote the current Blake Shelton song, Hillbilly Bone, "We all got a hillbilly bone down deep inside no matter where you from you just can't hide it..." Not that I listen to that sort of music.

On another note, you get a solid nomination for Parent of the Year. Those girls are going to be measurably more healthy and happy all their lives after a day like that. Bless you for providing it for them.

honeypiehorse said...

Can I come live in your house?

Deanna said...

Cute post. I found you through Osage Bluff Quilter's blog. Totally enjoyed the pictures. Hope you are thawing out a bit. You have some very lucky nieces.