Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hawaii, Part 1

Yes, yes, I know. We've been back for almost a month. You thought I was never going to write about our trip. I KNOW. We had an amazing two weeks in Hawaii, and I thought about writing about it while I was there, but then that crazy voice in the back of my head said "Don't write about your vacation while you are still on vacation. Then all the millions of people who read your blog (insert hysterical laughter here) will know you aren't at home and they will break into your house and rearrange your furniture and hide your salad forks and then what will you do?" So I didn't. Then when we got back I was going to write about it, but I was at my computer and all the pictures were on Brian's computer. Way over there. All the way across the room. I think I remember someone saying once that computers can talk to each other and exchange information and such, but I'm not buying it. And then there was all the unpacking, and the laundry to do, and then the repacking and the leaving on yet another glorious vacation, this time up to San Francisco and Mendocino, and if you feel like punching me in the face right about now, well, you'll just have to take a number sister. I know. I know. I KNOW. So here it is, FINALLY, the first installment on our trip to Hawaii....look for the others in a few months. We spent 2 lovely weeks in Hawaii and I must say it was one of the best trips I have had in recent memory. Five years old is the *perfect* age for kids to travel – they are pretty much voice-controlled, they respond to threats of bodily harm and revoked privileges, they have a modicum of common sense so you can turn your back on them for more than a nanosecond without the threat of immediate disaster, and they are actually a metric ton of fun.

We started our vacation with a trip out to see a lovely woman named Mary Jo, who raises miniature horses and trains them to pull carts. Mom's friend, Judi, knows Mary Jo from back in the day and thought the kids might enjoy meeting the horses. Yeah, you called that one Judi. Mary Jo was wonderful, and let the kids groom the horses and help hitch them up to the carts. Then she took them each for a ride around the neighborhood.

Then as a grand finale she turned to me and said “What’s your experience with horses?”. Well, let’s see……my first time on a horse was when I was 12 and we came to visit some friends here on the Big Island and took a horseback tour. My horse decided the tour was boring and went off for a solo gallop, neglecting to let me off first. That was great. Then, when I was in college I stayed with my cousins for a summer at their ranch in Escondido where I did a fair amount of trail riding. I was just beginning to get comfortable in the saddle when I was riding around the ring one day and the mare I was on decided she had had enough of my fat ass sitting on her and threw me off. As I lay prone next to her with the wind knocked out of me she stomped her massive hoof about a centimeter from my head just to make sure that we were clear. Good times. So, yeah, horses and me. Me and horses. “Have you ridden before?” “Yes. Yes I have.” “Great, then you can drive the big cart and I’ll take the little one”. Super. So suddenly there I was, Jack on one side and Cate on the other, driving down the road, following Mary Jo and Ava. Mary Jo had been wise/kind and given me Jubie, the oldest and best trained horse, and I have to admit that driving her was like driving on automatic pilot; I really didn’t have to do much of anything except stay out of her way and let her do her thing. We went out of the neighborhood, quickly up on to the main road (!!!) and then on to a more rural road Mary Jo called “Ginger Road” because of all the ginger growing wild there. It was spectacularly beautiful, especially when we reached the end of the paved road and drove up a rough dirt path to the top of a hill where we could see the whole valley below. Awesome.

But my favorite part of all came next: turning around and going down the hill. Mary Jo’s horse, Miracle, was acting up so she told me to go first while she calmed him down. Now the “path” was really just two semi-deep ruts cut through the thicket of grasses growing on the hill. And it was pretty steep. It didn’t seem so bad going up, but going down is another matter. As I worked with Jubie to get her in the right position to descend Jack grabbed my waist and said “Mom I’m kind of scared”. Yeah, I know buddy. You should feel my pulse right about now. But you can’t say that can you? So instead I said “It’s okay. Jubie knows what she’s doing. And I won’t let anything happen to you.” To which my son replied “I know mom. You always keep me safe.” And then I died.

Is that not the best moment ever in the history of moments? I want to remember that moment for the rest of my ever life. The next time I am being ungrateful and bitchy and dissatisfied with life will one of you please remind of that moment?

1 comment:

WendyBird said...

I've done that once and LOVED it! If I even had the time and money, I'd love to have a little cart horse or pony, but probably won't happen in this lifetime :-)
Those "moments" are what life is all about :-)