13 July 2007

Celebrating the Family Spirit: Old and Renewed

Very short post this morning as I'm preparing to go out of town...

First, I have survived yet another of Mama's birthdays. Every year she ages, the more she and I become friends (although supposedly our first two years were great...then I became a Daddy's Girl). And once again she said/did something that reminded me that she also shares the birthday of another ass kicker, Roman Emperor Julius Caesar. Trust me when I tell you that explains a lot about her 'can do and take charge' personality. She was gifted with a surprise birthday cake and a meal with friends back home. And a happy birthday mention on her favourite radio station first thing this morning.

From me she got a gift certificate for something she has always wanted to do: drive a NASCAR®-like stock car on a racetrack. So I got her a ride-along/drive-along session for next year with The Richard Petty Driving Experience. It is the closest thing I can give her that's close to being a NASCAR® driver. In a perfect world, I'd have her ride with our longtime fave driver, veteran driver and Ozarks native Mark Martin, or with my 'newer' driver, bad boy 2-time champ Tony Stewart, (the latter to pay Mama back for all the lectures she's given me as I suspect Smoke would scare the hell out of her), but since neither are possible, I'll take what I can get...LOL. I say next year because we need to brush up her high speed driving skills before we turn her out loose on a major speedway going in excess of 150mph. She'll scare the living hell out of people if she doesn't. As God as my witness, we'll try and schedule her Experience at a flat (versus embanked) track so as to limit bystander injury as much as possible. As excited as she was hearing about it this morning, I admit I can't wait for it for her, either. Mama wants to race more than I do and she was always the most spirited family member in the house. She's in her sixties now...time's a wastin' so it's time to go after it while we both still can.

Let's go racin', Mama, let's go racin'. And a great, happy birthday to you, too.

From the 2006 Torchlight Ceremony, ©Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

Secondly, Wise Ricky and myself are heading off to the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in the western part of the state. We'll be gone all weekend, and it certainly will be quite the show. Even though technically WR is Irish by heritage and not Scottish, I've got a double dosing in my family so I think we can squeeze him in under some sort of clause somehow...providing he doesn't insult somebody about the haggis or something. He does, however, have a growing collection of kilts (and actually prefers wearing them now more than trousers or jeans), so I suspect he'll feel quite at home. Our fave Scottish band Albannach will also be in attendance and performing. We're missing the first day of the ceremonies today, but the rest of the days should be a blast.

Yes, I'm taking the camera and, yes, I will post the pics here. Hmmm...men wearing kilts throwing blunt instruments for competition and playing bagpipes, among many other activities...it's like a girl's fantasy from Braveheart come true or something (although the Games will be far more historically accurate). Packing the sunscreen and Walker's Shortbread as I type even...

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