Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sleds and Motorcycles

I've been a bit quiet lately!

I haven't posted on here in...a week? Maybe more?
It has been a crazy time.

My hubby has been away on a business trip, I had a job interview, we toughed through 3 (THREE!!!) days of nonstop snow, I nearly died on the highway because of it, savored the last of the autumn leaves, we saw the new Bond, went shopping for a whole day (and even to the pet store) and didn't buy anything (miraculous), I got my 3rd iPhone (not by choice), made my own bath melts, yelled at a few doctors over the phone, spent 6 straight hours cleaning our apartment, we took our nephew and niece sledding (and I confronted my old enemy from the Sprained Ankle Incident), watched the Ute game, had a craft night with the kiddos, and I rode on a motorcycle for my FIRST TIME EVER.

It isn't surprising that I woke up this morning with a ghastly head cold!

When we went sledding yesterday, I had a sore throat that I was ignoring.  I figured it was just my body getting used to the freezing cold weather that has heaped itself upon us so suddenly, or that I had spent far too long verbally trashing Daniel Craig (I do not like his acting) and had a hoarse voice as a result.

I took the risk of riding the Demon Sled (the same one I crashed on the stairs that messed up my ankle) and once again crashed it. On the ice.  And my niece crashed too, cutting up her lip.
DEVIL SLED!! I sought my revenge on it by vowing that no one shall ride it down an incline ever again.  The rest of the afternoon we rode my nephew's sled, which is one of those foam wonders that soars over the lumps and bumps and carries you further than anyone else on the hill.

We all had so much fun taking turns on that baby, and I was reminded of the incomparable thrill of flying through the cold air, soaring down a mountain (okay, a hillside, but the experience enlarges everything in your mind).  We had a little snowball fight and the kids had a giggle fit (which is the cutest thing in the world) and when we said it was time to go home (because it was getting dark!!) they cried out "you guys spoiled us!! This was awesome! Can we go next winter?!"  and I told them that Eli and I will take them sledding every winter forever, even when they are adults and think they're too cool for sledding.  Michael responded "I don't think I'll EVER get over sledding!"
On the drive home, with the promise of hot chocolate (in 3 flavors to choose from!), we shouted out Christmas carols.
Which, of course, I shouldn't have been doing with a rapidly swelling throat, but on days like that you can't hold back in the least, and I'm glad I didn't.  It really was the most fun I've had in a long time.

And though the sensation of sledding is wondrous, it pales in comparison to riding a motorbike.
My Dad has been riding motorcycles since he was 14 years old.  Yes, 14.
Despite having a crash that nearly killed him, and gave him the pin he still has in his leg, he loves bikes.  he bought a Harley a few years ago and that bike is so BEAUTIFUL it makes you salivate just looking at it, nevermind when he starts the thing up.
But, when I was a little girl, he made me promise never to ride on a motorcycle.  Ever. Not even his.
And being the good little Daddy's Girl that I am, I never did.
But per a recent discussion we had on parents raising their kids, and putting fear into their kids, and his regret that I may have held back doing certain things in life due to fear, we decided I was going to get on the back of his Harley and LIVE.
And I did.
And there honestly isn't anything like it.
The first few minutes I was nearly shaking, I was so terrified.
There wasn't anything between me and the road (right below my feet!) except physics.

And I've never been one for science, so it is difficult to put your faith and your life into something you fail to understand most of the time (I did like burning the different elements in chemistry, and learning anatomy in biology).
On those turns, when you have to lean and you feel the weight of the bike beneath you, tipping downward, your heart drops into your stomach.
We were flying down the hill near our house, 3 minutes after the ride started, and I looked up and my breath was sucked out of my chest.  The sky was RIGHT THERE.  The trees and grass and the little creek we used to catch turtles in is RIGHT THERE.  You can smell everything.
It really is like walking fast---you get to experience being outside with the thrill of speed added into it.
What a deal!
It's terrifying having those other cars next to you and knowing that if a driver makes a mistake, they could injure you, or kill you, but you just have to enjoy the ride and trust the driver.
I even spread my arms to my sides, as if in flight, just for the sensation.
We drove up the canyon and I saw the cliffs in a way I've never seen in a car.  We took the twistest rode we could find and surprisingly, I felt safer on the bike than I do in a car.  The heights didn't even bother me like they usually do.  It impacted me like a near death experience---everything looked brighter, smelled fresher, and I felt a tingling in my limbs and could feel me heart beating "I am, I am, I am."  Even the coffee we stopped for at the mountain lodge tasted more flavorful.
I am so glad I did it, and even more grateful that I am no longer afraid of riding on a motorcycle.
I don't feel the need to go out and jump on anyone's bike, but next spring when my Dad takes her out again, we may go for another spin.

Now for some photos:
Autumn love

GORGEOUS leaves in my parents' backyard

Bike up the canyon

The scarecrows I made with the kids.  Notice the bloody princess, far left.

Unplowed highway. Scary.

Love snowy Utah mountains.

We meet again, demon sled.

He looks like a handsome Russian!

Pure joy.

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