"Its not my wagon to give you, Boone."
"But can we use it?" my son whined.
"No! That wouldn't be right," I replied with as much finality as I could muster. He was crestfallen, and I couldn't figure out why he wanted the yard wagon so bad.
"Go up and ask Papaw Chaney. It might be his, or he might know whose it is."
A grin split my eleven year old son's face and he took off up the road toward his great grandparents' house. I shook my head sadly. I was pretty sure the yellow steel wagon the kids had found in a pile of yard waste belonged to my dad's cantankerous youngest brother.
I took off on my run fully expecting to return to sad kids, but as I rounded the last bend on my way home I saw Ty and Boone in the front yard with the yellow wagon.
"Dad! You'll never guess! The wagon was Papaw's...and we can keep it!"
By the end of the day all three kids (including Bean) were taking turns barreling down Chaneyville Road and into the yard.
A couple days later Mandy stood at the kitchen window shaking her head.
"We should have bought them a wagon a long time ago," she mused.
"I know," I agreed, "They get exercise, they're not just staring at some screen, and they get along!"
It was true. They cooperated in hauling the wagon to the top of the hill where they took turns riding it down the road and into the yard.
I sat chatting with my lovely wife at the table. So rarely do we get to or take the time to just sit and be together. I sipped tea. And I looked out the window just in time to see the kids push off bob sled style from high up on the bank above the road. They jounced across the drive with too much speed and not enough skill. Boone was piloting through crazed cackling but being drowned out by his sister's fever-pitch giggling. I don't know how they didn't just explode on impact in the road. But then they entered the blackberry patch at dang near terminal velocity. How they didn't get decapitated on the wires that the vines entwine on is a mystery to me.
From the instant they hit the road until all action ceased I moved to my feet in slow motion while murmuring in increasing intensity:
"Oh, this isn't going to end...uh oh, that's going to be bad...they're gonna..."
When the wagon transporting my first and second born disappeared behind the shed it was in very real danger of slipping the surly bonds of earth. A second later Mandy and I were both racing for the door. She beat me, but only because I stopped to stomp into my boots.
Horrible sounds of pain and suffering echoed off the hills. No, wait, that was laughter. Deep, uncontrollable, from-the-diaphragm type laughter. The wagon was upended just short of the berry row that would have shredded them. Both kids were writhing in the short cropped grass laughing their breath away.
Fighting our own laughter both parents were admonishing that they never, ever, never do that again.
It turns out the wagon does in fact belong to my uncle. My grandmother told Boone he could have the wagon and she was mistaken. But all is well in the blackberry patch today. The kids understood. And they had a good run for a few days with the wagon.
Last night we took them bouldering. It was Mandy’s idea. I had bouldered the day before after work with Kipp at the Minefield near the BMW Boulders. My tips and love handles were shredded.
|Foto by Kipp Quioxte|
She texted me Wednesday morning:
You think we might have time this afternoon to go break in my new climbing shoes at Emerald City?
I may have wept. I love bouldering. I love my wife. She has never loved bouldering. But the tears weren’t of joy but for my ruined fingertips. There was a day when I would have climbed on the bloody stumps left over after a twenty-eight day unbroken climbing spree. Gone is that day my friend! After wallowing up one V0+ and flailing fatly on a prouder line at the Reactor Sector my dishpan hands are useless. Emerald City is notoriously coarse rock. Weep.
It ended up being pretty fun. Lily bagged a few good lines. Boone and Radar played in the woods and amongst the boulders. I pined for glory days and Mandy seemed to be quietly enjoying the nice weather and just being out.
|Going for the lip on So What V0|
|Topping it out like a pro!|
|Sending Ripple V0-|
On Saturday Mandy and her mom are Running the Bluegrass, so I might take the kids up to Minefield and try to bag that arête problem Kipp spotted me on. With fresh tips and stretched out muscles I might be able to pull off one good feat of bouldering.