Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Memories – Stupid. Real Stupid.

Calvin called and said, “What have you got planned for family night tonight?” and then suggested I go with him on a drive while he went to visit a farmer. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll go just about anywhere if it means a hamburger or ice cream cone is in the deal. And if it’s through pretty farm country with rolling hills and green fields, I’m definitely in.

I love going on drives. I like bouncing over corrugates and wheel tracks. I like hurrying to roll up the window when we stop so the dust doesn’t roll in. I like listening to Calvin sing along to the radio. I like identifying the crops. I remember feeling so smart as a kid when I could finally tell the potatoes from beans and wheat from oats out the window of a speeding car. I may have missed a lot of other details in life, but telling crops apart was a big deal in my world. (Never mind it took me until I was in college to discover you don’t need a rooster for a hen to lay eggs; all I knew was that we always had a rooster, hens, and eggs so you must need all three like peanut butter, jam, and bread.)

Today as we were driving a bit too fast for me on the gravel roads, I thought of this memory. And even though it shows real stupidity, it’s a vivid memory nonetheless . . .

When we were kids and pushed the cattle up to the summer range, there were too many horses and kids to get everything back home in one load. Dad would have us load the horses into the back of the stock truck – I’m thinking there were eight or nine horses– and then he and a few others (people, not horses) would climb into the cab of the truck while we kids (four or five) climbed up on top of the cab. Sometimes we even had to keep a dog up there with us. We kids would wrap our arms around the stock rack and with our legs dangling part way down the windshield (sometimes Dad would holler at us to move our legs over so he could see) we’d ride the thirty-five miles home.

Roads up in the hills are gravel, narrow, winding, and rutted. Dad never took them slow, and when we’d finally hit the paved highway he went at least the speed limit. We looked like the Clampets coming to town, but instead of granny’s rocking chair and wash-boiler hanging from the truck, it was horses, saddles, kids, and dogs. People driving towards us stared and some even pointed. It was incredibly stupid. It was scary. It was thrilling. And I’ve never had the desire for an adrenaline rush since.  After moving cattle all day in the hot sun and that 60 mile-an-hour wind whipping me in the face it was so tempting to nod off, but I was scared to death I’d slide right down the windshield, glide over the hood of the truck, slip off the grill, land on the road and thump . . . get smashed flat like a cat on the road.

The irony was not lost on me tonight when Calvin surprised me with a trip, not to Bob’s Burger, but to the Texas Roadhouse.  There listed front and center on the menu was roadkill.

Do you have a stupid, real stupid, memory?  (Cali, Abe, Ty, and Ande maybe you'll want to stay quiet on this one ;0)


Jill said...

Oh my goodness, did your mother know about this?! I can't even believe it!

I love Texas Roadhouse and went there last Friday with my sister.

Heather Williams said...

Oh jane I really hope you print your blogs because you have so many great stories, memories, thoughts, etc.

A stupid, real stupid memory off the top of my noggin would be road trips with my family in the suburban with all 7 kids....we'd have Les Mis playing loudly for all to hear and sing along to and all of us kids would be in the back (Dad removed one of the benches) and we'd lay out sleeping bags and wrestle.

Seatbelts, shmeat belts! Oh but we had a great time, so many good memories!

abe said...

I don't remember anything too stupid. I guess riding in the back of the truck in camping chairs when we'd go to Bear Gulch was probably the worst thing we did.

Ande said...

I never knew this story! Scary. No wonder driving gives you anxiety. I don't remember anything too stupid, either. But I did love riding in the back if trucks with blankets.

Ande said...

And Texas Toadhouse! Good surprise!