Photo Essay by Daniel & Christine Weiss
From August 5th through the 13th, we went on vacation. The occasion was the 20th Annual National Amateur Motocross Championships, held at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. The purpose (and yes, there is ALWAYS a motive to my madness), was for me and my Arkansas family to share some quality space with my all-grown-up and presently-living-in-Florida child.
Of course each of us had our own reasons for making the trip. And they were very good reasons. Our youngest children had no choice -- where mom & dad go, so too do they go. But they wanted to go anyway. It would be fun. We would have a great time. And, besides, we hadn't been on a real vacation for years.
Patty had to be there. She had, for the third time no less, earned a highly competitive spot in this national championship race and, like the U.S. Postal Service at its best, neither rain, nor sleet, nor any other worldly disaster could keep her from her appointed rounds.
Even dad, being my dear hubby Daniel, favored the idea. But let's face it. On my homefornt I'm "the momma." Not just "a momma" or simply "momma" mind you, but THE momma. And the odds, in this exclusive neck of the woods, are that if I don't endorse an idea, it ain't gonna get done. So when I accepted my eldest child's invitation to bring the whole family for a camp-out at the races as her guest... Well, here in the Ozarks there was thundering applause. And "camp out" was exactly what we did....
A lot of what we did while we were there did not get captured in photos. This was due, in part, to the fact that we had lots of rain which does not make for good picture taking, and somewhat to the fact that we didn't really do much of anything except cook, clean-up, watch the races, and sit around talking and eating.
And I just got reprimanded by my hubby for "not taking a picture of the golf cart" -- which was of special significance to him as his disability makes it difficult for him to walk long distances and Patty and her racing side-kick Kirby had made arrangements to rent a golf cart for Daniel's use for the entire week, just to make things "easier" on him (and all of us) while we were there.
In response to his reprimand, I wanted to say "Hey, I'm the professional editor and photographer, and I was on vacation!!!" But I didn't I just smiled and nodded my head.
The other stuff we did was "watch the races," which started each day near the hour of 7am and continued non-stop until nearly dark.
How did she do? (I hear you wondering.) Well, let's just say that she'd hoped and planned to do better (overall, she finished 32nd in a field of 42), but we all thought she did tremendously excellent. And "we" are quite a group....
By the time the races ended Saturday, we were all exhausted and somewhat soaked. The rains had come and gone all week, making life in close harmony with the great outdoors an interesting challenge. Plans were to strike camp Sunday morning and head to our respective homes.
But Sunday morning, as we noshed breakfast and began random acts of packing-up, "the momma" got an idea. "How about if we checked into one of those cute little log cabins for tonight and extended our vacation one more day?"
Everyone looked at me sort of oddly at first, but then... well, talk about jubilation!!! The idea was an instantaneous hit. So arrangements were made, the campsite was struck (in the midst of the most torrential downpour we'd had all week), and we moved -- lock, stock, and sleeping bag.
And, we goofed around....
And so, my vacation ended. But not, mind you, with out me having given a "Hail Mary" try at convincing Patty to make that right-hand turn with us. And not without her wanting to; wishing only that she could.
And who knows, perhaps some fine day soon, there won't be any more "right vs left" dividers in the path she and we tread. Maybe we'll all be hanging out in the same space, sharing each other's time. But in the interim, we're still a family. And our official family photographer is "dad."