Friday, September 18, 2009

Girls Weekend

Last Friday morning Leslie, Emerson, Myra and I piled into the car and headed for a girls “Men In Skirts” weekend in Estes Park. Abby flew in to Denver, shuttled over to Loveland, and we squeeeeeezed her in the backseat between a carseat, a booster seat and two excited girls waving around juice boxes and packages of fruit snacks. I fully expected that most of the weekend I would be the one smushed into the backseat as Leslie and Abby devised creative ways to justify why they should be in the front seat, but as it turned out, I drove all weekend and they took turns squishing their bodies in back with the girls. I even offered to do my time in the backseat but they refused. At first I thought they were just crazy for not taking me up on my offer, but now I'm wondering if they thought I was too old to contort my old, wrinkly, brittle-boned body into such a tight space. Maybe they didn't want to deal with the post-backseat bruises and injuries I may have inflicted upon myself as I squeeeeezed in.......or the whining that may have would have followed ....... or telling their dad that they squashed their poor old Mom in between two carseats and they were bringing me back a bit worse for wear ..... naaaaaaaw.

I had printed a map to the
cabin but otherwise I depended on my girls' keen sense of direction to get me around town. Leslie was born with an internal compass and Abby has developed a fine sense of direction during her hunts for the wild alfalfa weevil and wheat curl mite. I, on the other hand, can’t find my way out of a cardboard box. It turns out that daughters with a fine sense of direction are of absolutely no use if you don’t listen to them. A small sampling of our conversations follows:

Daughter: Turn right at the next corner, Mom.
Me: This corner?
Daughter: Yes.
Me: There’s a sign that points left to the fairgrounds . What about that sign?
Daughter: Turn right, Mom.
Me: I’m turning left.

I take the left turn, and as I am driving along a road with no exit for quite a ways, I look right and there, off in the distance, is our destination--the fairgrounds, otherwise known as "the field".

Me: Shoot. I should have turned right. Stupid sign. Why did the sign say go left?
Daughter: You should have listened to me, Mom.

Me: Which way do I go…left, straight, right?
Daughter: Turn right at the Holiday Inn, Mom.
Me: Are you sure?
Daughter: Yes, turn right at the Holiday Inn, Mom. Remember? We figured this out yesterday.
Me: I think it looks like we should go straight. I’m going straight and then I’ll turn right at the next corner.

Soon I am looking for a place to turn around.

Daughter: Big annoyed sighGeez, Mom, why do you ask me to tell you where to turn if you don’t listen? (the sound of eyes rolling)

At the tattoo
we opted for bleachers on the field

rather than being sardined in with the bulk of humanity in the stands.

We didn’t always have the best view when the band was facing the grandstand,

and it was chillier without the body heat of the masses, but we had plenty of room for sleepy girls
and we were up close and personal during the final march of the bands. However, when the final fireworks went off at the end of the show and the smoke billowed out, drifted our way completely engulfing us and we felt small particles of firecracker powder filling our lungs with each breath we tried not to take, we wondered about our choice.

The plan for Saturday was to slather on sunscreen, don our sunglasses,

watch the parade,

go to the field, listen to music, watch bands march, walk through sale tents, watch jousting, sit out on the grass, have a picnic, watch some dancing and drumming competitions and discretely gape at men walking around in kilts, all to the backdrop of the majestic Rocky Mountains.

When the predicted 59 degree day with a 30% chance of thunderstorms turned into a 44 degree day with constant mist or rain, we pulled on our gloves, hats, coats, and every extra piece of clothing we’d brought, plopped our bodies down in the “rock tent”, got comfortable and listened to pretty much every set of the three bands playing in that tent.

Now and then one of us would make a break for the beer tent and bring back a Guinness or some warm food. Emerson and Myra took the opportunity to have nice long naps but when Leslie began shivering so badly that the vibrations woke Emerson, we made a mad dash for the whiskey tasting tent . We were troopers, though, and were some of the last to leave the field. It could have been worse we told each other, teeth chattering. Even though we could see our breath, there was no snow.

Of course Sunday morning when we were preparing to leave, the sun was out, the skies were blue and you could actually see the mountains.

Emerson and Myra, ecstatic that they were free from bundles of blankets and joyful that their limbs had unthawed, were outside playing a game they’d made up. Leslie, being an involved and interested mother, walked over and apparently tried to join them. She walked back looking like the kid in gym class who is always chosen last and told me “Myra informed me that in this game only two humans are allowed to play.”

Once I was home, unpacking and reliving the weekend in my head, I realized I should have known from the moment we ran into our
friends on Friday night that we were doomed to have a weekend of nasty weather. They were heading up into the Rockies to camp Friday night and hike Saturday. When was the weather bad? Saturday. When was the weather better? Sunday. When did they go home? Saturday night. My disappointment in the weather could at least be tempered with the knowledge that they were probably hiking with icicles hanging off their noses while we at least warmed ourselves with beer and music.

Dean managed to keep himself out of trouble while the girls and I were gone and FINISHED the BFD!---for this year.

I don’t have to/won’t/refuse to/will not type BFD again until next summer. The final rails are on and painted with the “guaranteed to last four years” waterproofing,
the garage has been somewhat cleaned and organized and the waterproofing tools have been put away. He even painted the outside window trim we’d replaced TWO years ago when three windows and a patio door were installed.

And, as if all that wasn't enough, our giant cornstalk spent its weekend growing even taller. It is now up to a very respectable SIX feet tall.

Jeezo peezo, holy cow! I think that calls for a trip to Portland!



Anonymous said...

Glad that you had a good weekend. I love the shot of you in what appears empty bleachers. So we do we get to come break in the finished BFD?

abby rose said...

Wow! That's a big corn stalk, are you sure it's only 6 feet tall? Any hope that corn ears will form and develop before the first snow-storm?