“Don’t Push Your Brother Off The Stool”

That’s one of those phrases you grow up never thinking you’ll have to say. Say it I did, though, as I walked by the bathroom where my boys were brushing their teeth.

There’s a lot of things I never thought I’d say as I was growing up. It’s the little things that your mother teaches you without “teaching” you. She says them randomly and without much thought as she tries to grow up children to adulthood without too much pain and anguish. It’s right up there along the lines of (said this morning, as a matter of fact), “You don’t leave toys under your bed. If you insist on doing so, I’ll stuff everything I can find under your bed so you have spiders coming out your ears when you wake up.

Ok, maybe that one sounds a little harsh. However, it generated a discussion about why we don’t put things under our beds. The answer is simple: if you do, you’ll have spiders building nests under your bed. So, how about listening to mom and cleaning up the toys under your bed, huh?

In my home, my boys are memorizing something I’ve been telling them. I ask them, “What’s God’s rules for moms?” They answer, “Get the babies to 18 without losing body parts.” I say, “So, do you think you should be doing that or would it break God’s rule for mom?” They reply, “We shouldn’t do it.” That’s typically how it goes.

As a child, food was there. It was part of what mom did. What she made didn’t matter so much as there was food available, nearly every time I (or my 7 brothers) were hungry. Oh, but she did not like buying milk and bread for growing boys! In fact, this morning, I understood her frustrations. My youngest said to me, “Mom, when I get bigger, I’m going to drink that entire half gallon of milk for breakfast.” I instantly flashed back to my mom complaining about having to get milk for the family every single day. Right now, I only have to get some every 3rd or 4th day.

This all generated a discussion about my boys riding their bikes to go get me milk when they get bigger. The store isn’t but a half mile or so away, so it isn’t too hard. There was talk about going so very far for milk on their bikes and I reminded them that their mom (me) would ride her bike exactly one mile from home to store and then a mile back again with milk for my mother. With idiot teenagers in cars beeping their horns as they drive by to scare the beejezus out of me, as well.

When I was younger, we lived in 2 houses that were exactly a mile from the nearest store. We were all, at one point, sent on our bikes to get milk for mom. It was great exercise, even if we hated it at the time! And, I remember two things. The first is, my mom would always send me with the exact money for the milk and second, taking my bike for milk gave me my first experience with someone “laying down their bike.”

As they passed, I was awed by the sound of such power in the motorcycle that was going by. I was young and easily impressed and the bike was beautiful. The man driving was nothing short of a demi-god, in my little eyes and the woman was beautiful. I vowed, one day, to be them. I remember it as clear as day. It was the perfect symbol of freedom and power and I couldn’t imagine anything better.

And then, the gentleman took a curve a little fast. The bike fell over. The lady, scratched from hip to ankle from the road. Only the pants she wore saved her legs, I’m sure. It wasn’t pretty. It was very scary and I kept going, trying not to stare (Mom always said staring was wrong) and forgot about that day. Until this morning, when we were talking about sending my babies on their bikes to get milk when they drink the entire half gallon for breakfast.

When I was a little bit older and stationed in Jacksonville, Florida for my first duty station in the United States Navy, I dated a man who rode a Harley. He was, quite possibly, as beautiful as Jax up there in that picture. I was in heaven, when I was dating him and riding on his bike with him. It felt like what I recalled from many years previously. I went with him to …. (oh, what was it?) a convention of bikes at one point and had a great time. It was almost a dream come alive.

One small problem broke us apart. I was scared to death of the bike falling over. I couldn’t listen to him when he said lean with the bike, not against it. I was horrified at the thought that he might hurt me with that piece of metal that sounded loud and went so very fast. He couldn’t stay with a woman that couldn’t ride – even if she did appreciate every other little bit of being with a man who rode a bike.

Yesterday, we took the Rendy up towards Yellowstone. The goal was to see how she was behaving, with the new radiator. I was pleasantly surprised! She’ll probably never make the over the hills from Driggs to Jackson again (poor me); however, she did great on everything else we threw at her. In fact, she did so good, I took a picture.

The temperature, just before we hit the first “bigger” hill on the way to Yellowstone is just below half. That’s where it is supposed to be. And, for the first time since I’ve owned it, Rendy hit 24.5 (this says 24.1, it went up after this picture) for fuel economy. It held there for 2 hours. When we started up the hills, it did drop to 22.4mpg. When we took the hill, I kicked off cruise and tried to hold the engine to the speed limit. We ended up going from just under half on the temperature gauge to pushing three-quarters. Not good, in my opinion. I was pushing the engine a bit hard, but it did alright for all our driving after that. Held stead and firm throughout the day.

We went to the Mountainman’s Retreat in West Yellowstone. It was fun walking around and seeing everything that was on display. Unfortunately, at one point, I found out that the “little trinkets” they had for sale were bought wholesale and not handmade. That depressed me; mostly because they weren’t made in U.S.A.

It was just Caiden, the Nanny and I. It was a great day with Caiden. He’s a pretty good kid. We just couldn’t get him to stop touching everything. I started taking pictures of things he touched so I could count the spankings for later. It turned into a game, could he let go of something before I got the camera ready?

I’m glad he didn’t touch this. This guy was barely keeping things private, when the wind kicked up and the light shower started. Oh, and he charges $5 to take his picture with a smile. I didn’t ask for a smile. He scared me!

After we went through the entire campsite of the Mountainmen, we drove on to West Yellowstone. The plan was to go north from there and see what we could see and find. We stopped for fresh drinks before getting back on the road and this is what we found:

They are called, “Roughnecks” and they were from all over the United States. There’s even one that says, “Nomad.” I’m assuming he doesn’t quite have a home to attach to. However, this was Caiden, watching them:

He looks as fascinated as I was at a young age. He’s a bit younger than I was, but I’m sure the feelings are the same. Especially when the bike start up and start driving off. You watch men who are free and powerful taking off and enjoying their day in the sunshine, not stuck in a “cage” (as they call a car) for hours on end.

Should I revert to my mother and remind my son how dangerous they are and how painful it is when it falls down? Maybe this time, I’ll still that mother voice and wait until he’s older. Little boys need dreams and for now, we (mostly daddy!) are teaching him how to ride a bike without training wheels and he’s learning not to fall down. I’ll leave it at that.

Thank you for listening,


Categories: American, Family, Other Stuff, Trips | Leave a comment

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