So, we just got back from our annual New Year’s trip to Colorado. Since we’ve been married, I think we’ve only missed this trip one year. The drive is a little over 500 miles – about 8 ½ hours, if you stay reasonably close to the speed limit. I estimated this to be my 75th round trip, Salt Lake City to Denver. I love the drive! Susan and Lucy usually drive one way, and then fly back. I would much rather drive – even at 11,000 feet, in the middle of winter. We’ll typically stay in a hotel on the way out – it breaks the monotony; and the kids love staying in hotels. Then, Pax and I will drive straight through on the way back.
This year’s highlights:
· Arriving at the hotel, and watching Pax and Lucy act punch-drunk with the energy they’d accumulated, being in the car for four hours. One minute, they loved each other. The next, they – um – didn’t. At one point, Lucy said they were running around like “drugged-up dinosaurs.” (No idea where she got that!)
· Listening to the cacophony of Lucy singing along loudly with fairly horrible pop tunes (e.g. Party in the USA), while Pax loudly expresses his dissatisfaction with Lucy’s choice of music. (“AND THE JAY-Z SONG WAS ON!” “This song SUCKS! Dad, tell her to turn it off!” “AND THE BRITNEY SONG WAS ON!” “OH MY GOSH! THIS SONG SOUNDS LIKE IT WAS WRITTEN ON THE SHORT BUS!” “MOVIN’ MY HIPS LIKE ‘YEAH!’” “DAD! I hope you know that this is making us all DUMBER!”)
Good times! Not bad times!
· Watching our two dogs (Boris the angry Bulldog and Chloe) with similar accrued energy, at the hotel. When Boris becomes excited, he seems to get – let’s call it “amorous.” I posted on Facebook that he was running around, humping anything in sight. Sue was horrified. She said the word “humping” sounded “earthy,” and was unbecoming. I don’t know. If you see Boris the angry Bulldog in action, I don’t know what else you could call it. When he does it, he arches his short, stubby body until his front and hind legs are almost together, and he moves in - well, he moves in a humping motion! He humps everything – Paxton’s leg; pillows; furniture; Chloe; the air – you name it! And the poor, little guy doesn’t have testicles; so I have no idea what he’s trying to accomplish.
A funny aside – when we moved into our current home, about a year-and-a-half ago, we had heard some scary stories about one of our neighbors – an older man, who is a bit of a recluse. They were mostly legends from neighborhood kids – stuff about him being crotchety, and calling the police a lot. So, about three months after we move in, Boris the angry Bulldog gets out the front door, looks over to that side of the yard, and runs his fat, stubby, little legs over there as fast as they will carry him (which is surprisingly fast – he’s like an obese cockroach) – going right into the man’s open garage. Now, Boris is a sweet knucklehead (the “angry” part is strictly for irony); but he can bowl people over, if they don’t have good balance. So, I think, “Crap, this isn’t how I wanted to be introduced to this guy,” and I head over to retrieve my imbecilic dog. When I get in the garage, I see Boris is enthusiastically greeting my neighbor – practically knocking the old guy over, in said enthusiasm. I call Boris off – as much as Boris can be called off – apologize, and introduce myself.
The old guy says, “Hey, nothing to apologize for! My gosh, this guy’s so darn ugly, he’s kind of charming!”
And so, that is how I was introduced to my new neighbor – a guy who, as far as I can tell, is about as nice as can be. We chat for about twenty minutes. The whole time, I am fighting with Boris, trying to keep him from using his freakishly long tongue (he can lick between where his eyebrows would be, if he actually had eyebrows) to destroy this nice man’s shoes.
Partway into the conversation, I look down and am horrified by what I see. As I have mentioned, Boris the angry Bulldog turns into Boris the humping Bulldog (Boris the earthy Bulldog?) when he’s excited. In this case, he’s just frantically going around in circles, humping the air. If there was a soundtrack for said activity, I always thought the first minute of 70’s one-hit-wonder, Rose Royce’s Car Wash would be apropos.
Is there a protocol for what you say in this situation? I couldn’t think of any.
“I’m so sorry,” I say. “If it means anything to you, he means this as a compliment.” The whole time, I am trying to nonchalantly nudge Boris with my foot, in hopes of distracting him from his reverie. But Boris will not be distracted – not this close to his afterglow!
“Aw, hell, son,” the old guy says, “He ain’t doin’ nothin’ I wouldn’t do, if I was about twenty years younger!”
Ah, well! What was I talking about again? I’ve completely forgotten! Oh, yes – the holiday trip! (When Susan Bubka reads this, she will undoubtedly think, “I am Susan Bubka, and I totally don’t approve of this earthy message!”)
· Watching how unique Pax and Lucy’s personalities are becoming. They are both funny, personable, dynamic kids! I’m biased, of course – but I get such a kick out of seeing them interact with people. Pax jumps right into conversations; and he has a mature, somewhat self-deprecating wit. Lucy is sassy and full of life. She seems to have a knack for poking light-hearted fun at people; while, at the same time, leaving them happier than she found them. I couldn’t be prouder of these two blessings in my life!
· Every time I spend extended time with Sue, I am reminded why I am blessed to have her as my companion and friend. She’s kind-hearted, patient, and fun to be around. My family likes her more than they like me, I think.
· Spending alone time with Pax is always enjoyable. We’ve done lots of road trips together, over the years. Even during the times I am listening to something on the radio, and he’s playing video games, I thoroughly enjoy being with him. I am so grateful for the friendship I have with him.
I could write more; but this is already embarrassingly-long.
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2012!