29 September 2007

Going Off-Road

Going Off-Road

The childhood years, when he longs and yearns for someone
To be in authority, to steer the vessel with assurance
Loving direction and a steady hand, to keep things within their safe boundaries
To follow the lines and make sure his seat belt was fastened.

He was driving this beast at an early age
Unable to see over the steering wheel
Unschooled in map-reading or signage
Too short to reach the pedals or the gear shift.
Through fits and starts (this horse is more than he can handle)
His life was forced off-road.

Careening across the grassy hills
Bounding over bumps and gullies
Never knowing what lay around the next turn or over the horizon
The fear that grips him, the terror as he watches life whizzing by
A beast uncontrollable
Dizzying, bouncing, jostling
Horsepower galloping away with him.

When he can finally reach the pedals,
Grows tall enough to peer over the wheel,
Learns to manage this horsepower of life
He often chooses to take the beast off-road.

It’s safer to drive on the pavement, for most
But for him, going off-road is liberation
Freedom, release
No rules, no laws, no pressure
“Stay under the speed limit and within perfectly painted lines”
They always told him he was rotten at that anyway.

He can read a map just fine
He knows how to brake and pass and signal
2 yellow snakes as far as the eye can see… no passing zone
The beast, it just keeps going off-road
Sometimes he steers it, sometimes
It just does

Off-road is, after all, something he’s become familiar with
A certain predictability in its unpredictability
(One thing’s for sure, you never know what might happen)
A prescribed amount of thrill to counter-balance the staid life between the lines
Dispensing his own medication from the pharmacy of grainy-sand, free-wind, tear-‘em-up

Careening across the grassy hills
Bounding over bumps and gullies
Never knowing what lay around the next turn or over the horizon
Thrilling, exhilarating, tearing-‘em-up, crashing-‘em-down
Freedom- with a sense of loss
Horsepower- without corral or trough
The beast.

He was too young to be driving that day.
An authority, steering the vessel with assurance for so many years
Giving loving direction and a steady hand
Keeping things safe for those he loved
He always made sure our seat belt was fastened.

He taught us to drive,
We sat on his lap behind the wheel
He pushed the pedals while we ran the windshield wipers
He showed us what was under the hood, “The Beast”
All that horsepower (it was more than we could handle)

He even took us off-road a time or two
The grainy-sand, free-wind, off-road life
Oh, the memories of tearing it up!
The memories of being torn
Going off-road.

Careening across the grassy hills
Bounding over bumps and gullies
Never knowing what lay around the next turn or over the horizon.

In honor of my father-in-law, Steven Anthony Teske, taken from us when he went off-road one last time.
Sept.2, 1947- Sept. 18th, 2007
I love you. I miss you.

19 September 2007

Well Now I've Just Plain Seen It All

Driving down the highway today, I was passed by a car with a license plate that read:



12 September 2007

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

It's that time of year again, time for the What-I-Did-On-My-Summer-Vacation essays.

Here's what I did on my summer "vacation", although there wasn't much vacationing going on, per se.

Married off my youngest brother
Shooowee, that was a hot day! Beautiful in all respects, regardless of the steam and sweat. Aren't they a lovely couple? They wrote their own vows and we all swooned. By the end of the vows, everyone in that church wanted to marry my brother. Even me. Even my husband. Too bad the bride got to him first. ;)

Reunited best friends
Ripped apart at the height of their kinship by a cross-country move, these bosom friends spent a week together this summer. It really was the least I could do... her escort also happens to be one of my best friends.Began taking milk delivery from a local dairy
No bovine growth hormone. No antibiotics. Delivered right to my doorstep at 6:30am (so 1930's). Supporting a local family business. And the 1/2 and 1/2 and muenster cheese are to DIE for.

Played on the Slip N' Slide

Camped at Grambee and PawPaw's farm and got to ride
in the back of the truck with our cousins

Planted a garden
(Observe what wonders manure can do for plants. These 2 photos are the same tomato plot, taken 2 weeks apart.)

Then harvested
and harvested

and harvested
(those tomato plants!!)

some pretty funky stuff.

They have a message for the meat-eating world.

Married off my youngest sister
Another gorgeous day! Another gorgeous couple! Their engagement photo will have to suffice for now since the wedding photos are being held for ransom. Her groom surprised her during the ceremony and played a violin solo- Be Thou My Vision. The bride had been telling him that if she wasn't marrying him, she'd ask him to play the violin in her wedding. Lucky girl, she got BOTH!

Opened an Etsy shop.
Haven't had the time to soup up the shop like I'd like. Please look at it with a gracious eye.

Made all the things to go in the Etsy shop.

Took in the local dance theatre scene...
This cutie girl's first dance recital. She was a vision in pink tights.
"Drip, drip, drop little April showers..."

And our local backyard thespian troupe
On the program for today: Cinderella, The Paper Bag Princess, and...

Rapunzel (see the valiant prince climbing the tower via her blue hair?)

Take a bow!

Went for a hike in the woods with my family

Got a certain girl a pair of glasses
Wow, she was BLIND. :\

Joined a SoulPerSuit Bible Study on the Book of Esther.
We're doing another study through to Book of Ruth this fall, want to join?

Wrangled a few outlaws.
Fence posts wearing cowboy hats. Birthday party games are such fun!

Met a cute little doggie and brought her home with me.

Then she decided pink was a better look for her.

Watched my three-year-old attempt to extract a banana from its peel, using a butter knife.

Wow, that knife was sharper than I thought!

Ok, your turn. What did YOU do this summer? Please pass your papers to the front.