It’s all about the sound and fury…

So I’ve lived in this rural county since 1990, which you’d think would be plenty of time to have explored every piece and parcel, certainly every activity. But there’s one I’ve put off all these years, till now:

The demolition derby.

For a long time, of course, we couldn’t go because of Little Miss’s sensory issues. Remembering back to her huddled on the concrete floor at Disney’s Hollywood Studio car race show, her ears covered, we wouldn’t have wanted to put her through that.

But now she and her brothers are teenagers, starting to get interested in bigger pictures and less focused on the individual stresses. She’s learned to self-protect in most every situation, and with a set of earplugs, she did fine, high-fiving when the car she picked in each heat didn’t completely self-destruct by the end.

Me, on the other hand? Cringing right and left as the cars ran into each other ON PURPOSE, leaving trails of torn metal detritus across the mud track.  I spend so much of my time cleaning up after messes either in life or in law, that it was strange to watch people purposely destroying things.

But at the same time *whispers* It was fascinating. You couldn’t look away….

I’ve known several people over the years here who’ve driven in the derby, including a spunky woman whose divorce I worked on. She escaped years of abuse with my help, and to celebrate, she challenged herself to do something thoroughly wild and wonderful. She didn’t win, but she had an incredible experience. Good for her, I say.

Was it a highlight of the county fair for me? No.  The first waves of excitement were great, but as the heats wore on, it seemed to be for me, just more of the same. The boys, though? Fascinated giggles and cheers throughout the whole event. Even Little Miss said she’d love to do it herself sometime in the future. But as she confessed to her father, “I’d have to wear a helmet, though.”

That’s my practical girl. An evening well spent with the family, bringing something to everyone. And still time afterward for the always-delicious Nick’s Italian sausage sandwiches, maple candy and fireworks (which we had to watch from the safety and sound-breaker of the van, of course, but that was okay).

And now that the derby’s off my to-do-sometime list, maybe next year we ride the flippy-car-that- goes upside-down -and-spins ride.

On second thought, maybe we just get another slice of elderberry pie from the usual stand. Bless you, Methodist women. Your homemade pies make my heart happy.


There’s no place like home…and even home is disappearing

Today I’ve written a post for one of my new writing gigs, GEEZER GUYS and GALS, about how the fact that we’re such a mobile society has thrown families far and wide, and how I think that’s a real loss for our kids and theirs.

To do it, I went by my grandparents’ old houses (not owned by them any more) over the last year and took some photos to share. Stop by and leave a comment about your own “home place” and whether it still is home for you.