My Side Of The Mountain Is The Side With Flushing Toilets And A Starbucks And My Hairdryer

So Hubs and I were driving in the Suburban today, and we saw a new truck that is for sale at one of the car lots here in Small Town, USA.  The truck was painted brown, with the words RODEO SERIES painted in enormous letters on the driver’s side door.  From six miles away, everyone would realize that you know how to move ’em on, head ’em up, head ’em up, move ’em out.

Hubs looked at me and asked, “Do you want to buy that truck?”

I replied, “No.  I don’t like to advertise the fact that I’m the rodeo queen.  I just like to stay humble.”

And Hubs nodded and said, “Me too.  I don’t need to let the whole planet know that I’m a World Champion Bull Rider, and that I date the rodeo queen on the side.”

Oh, Jesus knew exactly what He was doing when he matched me up with Hubs.  Hubs completes me.

Our weekend was good.

On Friday night, Enzo’s parents suffered through a slumber party for 6th grade boys at their house.  The gang all showed up with their sleeping bags at Enzo’s door promptly at 5:30, and they slept outside in a tent in their backyard.

And when I say slept, I mean that the wolf pack went outside to the tent, where the laughter and shouts and giggles and screams and conversations about Legos and football and 6th grade girls and the best potato chips ever was muffled enough that Enzo’s parents could get some sleep.  I have it on good authority that the boys simply DIDN’T sleep.

Hubs worked on Friday night until 2:30 in the morning, because he was moving computer servers and cursing wires and phone lines and internet connections.  This left Thing 2 and me alone at our house on Friday evening, and Thing 2 went to bed at 7:30.

People, I went to bed at 7:45!  It was glorious.  I laid in bed and played Words With Friends for a bit, until I got tired of losing to everyone.  And then I read a book, and there was no one to turn the TV on in our room so that he could watch old reruns of Hogan’s Heroes.  Good times.

(And then I tried to think back to college and wonder what my twenty-one-year-old self would have thought, had someone told her, “One Friday night, way in the future, you will think crawling into bed at 7:45 is a fabulous thing to do.  You will play games with people who live in different states on your cell phone, the likes of which hasn’t even been invented yet, because right now, cell phones are for the rich and famous and are bigger than a loaf of enriched Wonder Bread, and all they do is make the occasional phone call.  And do you know what?  You will be happy!”)

(I think my twenty-one-year-old self just died a little inside.)

On Saturday, we made a mountain run, because everyone was up there camping and hunting.  Sister and Sister’s Husband, along with several other friends of ours, had all circled their camping trailers together in one giant commune.  And they had homemade, cooked-in-a-camp-trailer spaghetti for lunch, so we were in, because spaghetti?  Yes, please!  We scooped up the boy’s buddy Bek, and off we went to join our friends with campers.

We do not have a camper.

It’s because camp trailers require a financial commitment and you have to do all of your camping in the great out of doors, in all the nature.  Sometimes just mowing the yard is enough of all the nature for me, so we haven’t signed papers to get our own home-on-wheels yet.

We simply maintain the status of being Campsite Mooches.

The kids all built a fort out of dead tree branches, and it was amazing!  It had rooms and bars to hang on and bars to sit on, and you could totally be featured on a survival reality show and live in that thing.  Clearly the kids know how to make it in the wilderness, while I would be all about the HUG A TREE UNTIL HELP ARRIVES.

A better photographer would have known what settings to put her camera on, because the shadows in the forest were INTENSE on Saturday afternoon.  They were a little bit like the strobe light at the local roller rink.

I think the kids had all read My Side of the Mountain and actually knew what they were doing when it came to Lean-To Building 101.

Cousin L was really roughing it with the iPod.  I think she was listening to weather updates, so that she’d be prepared for the season’s first big snow by telling the boys, “KILL US A DEER AND A COUPLE OF CHIPMUNKS FOR THE STEW, AND CHOP SOME FIREWOOD, AND GET IT ALL INTO THE SHELTER!  WINTER’S A-COMIN’, BOYS!”

Cousin K was proud to say that YES and INDEED!  He had hauled numerous dead tree branches fourteen miles, uphill both ways, through fog and sleet and wind and ice and sixteen-feet of snow to help enclose the lean-to.  And really?  Is there ANYTHING cuter than a first grader who’s missing his front teeth?  Because I love K’s big gaping grin these days.

There were also four-wheeler excursions on Saturday.  The kids came back covered in dust and dirt and filth and enormous smiles.

Thing 2 was excited, because there were sweet potatoes on the mountain.

There was even a short nap in Cousin H’s little bed.

Cousin H loves camping.  We call her the Happy Camper.

And then there was a bird who went to be with Jesus on Saturday, because the dads shot it with an arrow.  Sister’s Husband said that the dinner groceries were plum bought.  The boy and Bek wanted me to make sure that I GOT A PICTURE OF THE HOLE IN THE BIRD’S SIDE and then asked if I could take their picture with it when it was all cut up and ready for the frying pan.

Um… No, thank you.  Not at all.

There were also s’mores on Saturday, cooked in the camper, over the gas stove, because of EXTREMELY HIGH FIRE DANGER signs everywhere, everywhere, EV-ER-Y-WHERE!  This is the summer of the drought that rivaled those in Bible times.

And Little H wore her red Solo cup on her head and did some light seasonal reading from the hardback Cabela’s catalog.

We brought the boys home from the mountain on Saturday night, and they were twenty-six kinds of exhausted.  After not sleeping at Enzo’s the night before, the boy couldn’t even hold his head up to brush his teeth, and Thing 2 crashed in his crib and slept twelve solid hours before he even moved.

All that fresh air takes the energy right out of a boy.

This morning, we went to church, where Thing 2 squealed and screeched and yelled and hollered and belly-laughed during the sermon, until Hubs and I finally gave up and put him in the nursery for the very first time.  The sweet ladies in there took him outside to the church playground to swing.

This is what Thing 2 got out of church this morning:  If you create a disturbance in the sanctuary while Pastor John is preaching, and if you’re so loud EVERYONE turns around in their seats to giggle and smile at you because you are so happy and entertaining, your parents will put you in the nursery and then you can GO TO THE PARK AND SWING, SWING, SWIIIIIIINNGG!!!

(Swinging is Thing 2’s favorite sport.)

(For the record, Little H sat like a quiet lady in her mama’s lap this morning, and then went to sit on our darling friend Christy’s lap, where she fell asleep.  Little H didn’t make a peep in church.  She has no way of finding out that there are swings outside the nursery door!)

The little man was so stinking cute in his church clothes this morning, I had to snap a couple of pictures.  And by couple of pictures, I mean that I actually took thirty-one snapshots.  So sue me.  It’s why the digital camera was invented.

Is it any wonder that I kiss that baby two thousand and six times every single day?!  Because MY WORD at all the cuteness!

And now, even rodeo queens occasionally have to fold their clean laundry before they head to bed.  No, people, life as a queen isn’t all glamorous; we’re just normal people like you…

…but with diamond-laced tiaras.

Y’all have a happy Sunday night.

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