Sunday, September 13, 2009

bump . . . Bump . . .BIG BUMP!

While I am by no means a packrat, there are a few odd things that I have hung onto over the years. The other day I went up to the attic and pulled down the scooter that I use to ride around campus in my college days. Yes, I did say scooter and I do mean the type that you push with your foot.

The front tire was rotted out, so I called CrazyMom on her cell and had her stop by a bike store to pick up a new tire on her way home from doing errands.

When she got back to the house, I was hunched over the scooter on the garage floor working on it with kids around me. She handed me the tire and said, “bump . . . bump . . . big bump.” I looked up, caught her eye and grinned as we exchanged knowing glances among kids wanting to know what was going on. It was the same phrase that I had been thinking of ever since I pulled the scooter down from the attic and to hear it in her own voice, albeit devoid of the urgency with which it was originally spoken, was delightful.

It was a warm evening back in our college days when I was giving a ride to CrazyMom (I guess it was CrazyGirlfriend at the time) on my scooter. She would stand on the front part of the foot area while I stood on the back and reached around her to hold onto the handlebars. As we were weaving our way through streets and parking lots, we finally came to the sidewalk outside of her apartment building. CrazyMom saw that the pads were uneven ahead creating a bump in the sidewalk.

“bump,” she said in a normal voice to point out to me what was ahead.

Now, us guys are a funny breed. We have a streak in us that produces everything from knights in shining armor to cocky boys full of themselves. This streak kept me on my current course.

“Bump,” CrazyGirlfriend said again a little louder clearly communicating that we were coming upon a dangerous situation.

Little did CrazyGirlfriend know that earlier I had jumped two side-by-side parking curbs with room to spare. This two-inch rise in the pavement paled in comparison to that. I held my course, flexed my knees, and prepared to wow the woman of my dreams.

“BIG BUMP!” came her cry as I pulled up hard on the front handlebars. The front wheel did not clear the bump and CrazyGirlfriend went over the bars and into the pavement only to have me then land on top of her.

This was not the last time that CrazyMom would utter a warning that I would not heed, but over time I have finally come around to listening to them. Now when we are driving in a car and CrazyMom yells, “CrazyD!” I automatically hit the brakes.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Gone Camping

“But in a motor home the kids could play cards as we went down the road,” CrazyMom was saying. All nine of us were packed into the van on a road trip to Grandma and Grandpa F’s house (my folks). CrazyMom and I were reliving the same debate that we had been having for the last five years – she wants a motor home, but I want a travel trailer.

“The last thing we need is another engine to maintain. Plus, they cost a lot more money,” I said as I had said over and over for five years.

Then I looked in the back bench of our twelve passenger van. Miss Bookworm was sitting there reading.

“Hon,” I said in a softer, different tone. “Miss Bookworm is 13. If we talk about this for five more years, then it will all be over. She will be out of the house and we will never have been a camping family. I don’t care if it is a motor home, travel trailer, or a pop up. We need to get something - even if it is the wrong thing - this summer and just start camping.”

CrazyMom agreed and we purposed to find something soon.

The next day we were sitting in the shade in Grandma and Granpa’s yard watching the kids roll by on the go-cart. In my line of sight was their camper sitting in the field where it had been parked for a year or so. I did not think anything of it until the night before we were to leave their place.

“Hey Grandpa F, what are you guys doing with that camper?” I asked. By the next afternoon, after a tow out of the field, a new battery and right front brake calipers, we were on our way, driving the RV.

Here are some shots of our first camping trip that we did at the end of summer. It was a fabulous time together as a family and we are looking forward to our second outing this fall.