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Remember going on a summer vacation with your parents?  You would get all excited about the destination!  Six Flags!!  You tell all your buddies you are going to ride the Screamin’ Eagle 10 times!!!  This is going to be the best summer ever!  There is nothing that could go wrong on this journey!  It’s all planned out!  

Dad gets everyone up at the crack of dawn.  He wants to beat traffic.  So you stumble into the back of the wagon with half open eyes and bent hair.  Your clothes are all wrinkled because, in the interest of time (and sleep), you slept in them.  The overwhelming desire to get back to sleep trumps the usual car game of “Mom, he’s touching me!”

Hours later you wake up as the car slows to a stop.  You look around but see no Screamin’ Eagle.  In the flier you could see it from miles away.  Nothing here but....a house and field??   Dad seems pretty excited.  "Kids, this is the home of Will Rogers!  He worked right there!  Dog Iron Ranch!"   Dog Iron what??  You had to be born to the biggest fan of Will Rogers.  Sure he was great at roping and you didn’t mind catching an old show on the occasional Saturday but what made Dad think this would count as a bonus on this trip?!  It's an hour filled with all the highlights of the old cowboy and talk of Dad's big dream of riding the range before you get back on the road toward your destination.

A hot game of slug bug begins followed by any random reason to punch your brother.  Dad's arm flails to the back several times narrowly missing your head on a few occasions.  His cigarette smoke drifts back to your seat but you don’t know about second hand smoke yet so you aren’t alarmed.  

Before you can chew your way through half your bag of Double Bubble and dig your prize out of the Cracker Jack box your mom let's out a shrill.  "There it is!"  "There what is, Mom?  All I see is a bridge.  “Not just any bridge!” your mother informs you.  “This is one of the last 3 Marsh Arches!”  Your mother is avid about bridges.  You never factored her plans into this vacation.  You suffer through a roll of film and a stale sandwich before returning to your journey.  You had not factored her plans into this journey.  Patience is gone but she's happier than you have seen her all day.

Finally you arrive to the Screamin’ Eagle and Dad gets you to the front of the line.  You pick your car, jump into it and anxiously wait for the others to get their bars and harnesses checked.  Mom snaps a couple of pictures and Dad waves as if you are going off to war.  You and your brother are suddenly comrades and planning how you will fearlessly raise your arms at the top of the biggest drop.  

This is it!  It heads down the track and then begins to ascend slowly to the sky.  The anticipation is rising faster than the car.  You get closer to the top.  It didn’t look this high in the brochure.  Is it supposed to rattle?  You look at your brother he seems oblivious to your sudden doubts.  You wind around to the right.  It picks up speed jerking around every curve.  Then out of nowhere you jet downward then back up and down again.  Your hands grip the bar so tightly raising them would be impossible convinced they are the only reason why you haven't been jettisoned out of the car.  The speed picks up and so does the rattling and shaking.  It looks like you are going to go right into the trees then it jerks right below them and heads back up.  Seriously, is it supposed to shake this much?  At any moment you are sure it will jump the track.  You look to your brother for comfort but he's in the middle of a silent scream.  You're suddenly not feeling so well.  What follows next is a series of waves, bumps and quick turns.  Then you pass through the bridge and come to a slow stop.  You try to get out of the car but your knees won't work and any sudden movement is met by the urge to lose your lunch.  Your dad helps you out and your mom snaps one more picture for the vacation photo album.  One down, nine to go!

This is the way life’s journey seems to go.  We forget there are others along for the ride with their own plans and we don’t allow for stops along the way.  Then we get hit by the shaking and rattling and occasional urge to lose our lunch.  Worse, just to look good in front of our buddies (ie family, church, friends) we continue on toward the same destination when we really should re-map our trip.  That’s what I am doing.  I am reprogramming my GPS with new coordinates.  I am on my way to One.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Chrissie67 wrote Jan 16, 2011
    • Eva,
      Thank you for your kind words.  It has been many years since I have used a “pen” to express myself. Hopefully, it will be like riding a bike and that bike will take me to new places and adventures


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