Along for the Ride…

Three years ago…I had a simple goal…conquer…Penitentiary Mountain…and I did…but don’t get excited…it wasn’t some military coup…or prison break…it was…a bike ride…

And…actually…I did it twice…just to prove that the first time wasn’t a fluke…and…really…I did it three times…if you count the time I did it from the opposite direction…just because I thought it would be easier…

It wasn’t…

Now…for those of you who aren’t from around here…Penitentiary Mountain…is on the edge of the…Bankhead Forrest…and is the second highest peak in Lawrence County…topping off at 1074 feet…

I know…you probably had visions of the lofty peaks of the Rockies…and…that doesn’t even sound like a mountain…but…I assure you…for me…at least…it was 1074 grueling feet…and there was more than once that I questioned if I would make it to the top…alive…

Obviously…I did…but…I did have tunnel vision and a migraine for three days after the last ascent…something about…dehydration

So…why did I do it…why was it so important to me…

Honestly…plain and simple…to prove that I could…

This morning…as I went for a ride…Bertha…encouraged me to make a goal for the summer…it was simple…

Enjoy the ride

At first…I balked…that wasn’t a challenge…weren’t goals supposed to be challenging…shouldn’t I be proving something…

But…she insisted…enjoying the ride…was a most important goal…as she pointed out interesting things along the way…a zebra print canvas bag…discarded in the ditch…reading glasses in the middle of a country road…wild flowers…a few friendly dogs…an azure blue sky…and…Penitentiary Mountain…looming in the distance…

She reminds me…goals should be about feelings…not just accomplishments…that…the more I enjoy the ride…the more I will actually ride…which…may or may not…get me to the top of Penitentiary Mountain again…but…that either way…will be just fine…

Of course…she says the same reasoning applies to all of my goals…the more I enjoy something…the more I’ll do it…and the more likely I’ll be successful at it…

Makes sense…I’m in…

Jane

PS…wonder how I can work in the canvas bag and reading glasses into a story…if only I wrote mysteries…

Blustery Days…Warm Memories…

Yesterday…I went on a field trip…with K-2…to the Pumpkin Patch…it was cold…and to borrow a word from…Winnie the Pooh…it was blustery…the high for the day was supposed to be in the 50’s…but we didn’t make it during the trip…

Last week…it was in the 80’s and sunny…hmmm…the difference a few days can make…

And…although my older bones…whined…and complained…until I got home and took a long, hot bath…the children seemed undaunted by the weather…they simply loved the Pumpkin Patch…

And…why wouldn’t they…

There was a playground…complete…with a big inflatable slide…there was a path through a corn field…where they could run and chase each other…there was a large hay wagon…that took them for a ride…to a field full of pumpkins…where they could run around and select the one they wanted to take home with them…there was a log cabin…with a heater…where they could get warm…there was a huge box filled with shelled corn…that they could crawl in much like we used to do in Granddaddy’s corn crib…and…there was a picnic area for eating lunch outside…

But…as much fun as all of that was…there was a petting zoo…where they could…pet rabbits…feed goats and sheep…hold baby pigs…and…best of all…milk a cow…

Now…that was high fun…

Bertha…reminds me…that the way to true happiness…is to enjoy life…with the abandon of a child…and…she’s right…I just don’t always remember it in the moment…especially on a cold, blustery day…in the middle of a corn field…but…at least…I can remember it fondly…hey…that has to count for something…

Doesn’t it…

Jane

PS…no…I did not milk the cow…but…I’m pretty sure…Bertha…did…