Saturday, August 21, 2010

{This Separates the Men From the Boys}

Our little clock radio woke us up at 4:30 a.m. the other night.

Any rising bell time with starting digits smaller than a 6 is still the middle of the night.
It does not become me. At all.
Let's just say... I don't wear it well.

In fact, I felt like the card below, looks.
(Aaaaand, it is entirely possible, that it wasn't just a feeling.)

A friend of mine saw this card...and...cough.choke.thought of me.
Enclosed a lovely note and mailed it.
And I like that.
Those are the kind of friends who know something about your good, your bad and your ugly,
and they don't run away screaming.
You don't have to get it all right for 'em (which is good.cuz I won't.)
They know. They stay. And they want to.
I really, really, really like that.

So we all got up early, this farm family on a Mission Possible!!!
We piled in the van and after many miles, breakfast and lots of coffee, I dropped off 75% of the men, 3 bicycles and gear, at the head of the historical C&O Canal Trail.

The "before" pictures...
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(so cool how the fountain is erupting out of Jared's helmet.)
(always check your background for guh-rate photos like this!)

The remaining 25% of the men


traveled with Sarah and me for a looooong time,
and eventually we arrived at a place that looked like this...
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spending time with precious friends.
Thanks so much Elvida and family, for all of the  meaningful  and  fun !!!

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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Three days,
Two nights camping out and
194.61 miles later,

Lo and Behold,
the "after" pictures...

IMG_6104 IMG_6106
Yep! Good tidings of great joy!
They biked the entire C&O Canal Trail from start to finish!!!
Big cheers from their biggest fans!

On the last day they encountered rain and lots of it.
Which equaled mud and lots of it.
The Farmer laughed to his sons, "This separates the men from the boys!"  

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As they approached Georgetown and the end of the trail, most people communicated amusement as well as interest in their appearance.

One man shouted from across the street, "You guys look awesome! Where'd you come from?"

Georgetown is quaint, historical and crowded. There are little shops with snappy-looking displays, unique restaurants with tables and customers spilling out onto the sidewalk, all with an excitement that pervades the air.

Finding a cramped parking place available on the street would be an unexpected treat.


As I was heading into the city to meet them, just minutes away,
the clouds parted,
a light shown down,
and angels sang.
Just for my weary bikers.
They found a perfect open spot on a side street for resting a moment, while also providing a specific rendezvous point as we communicated by cell phones.

And then, a woman with serious entitlement issues, pulled up alongside in her car and demanded that their square footage of pavement be her parking place. She verbally chewed and spit until finally delivering a parting wave with an intentional finger arrangement.

Sheesh. What is with people throwing fits over not getting their own way?

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Ok. Moving on. Just minutes later, the kids and I arrived in the van...a sweet little reunion... complete with extra changes of clothes and some primitive methods of cleaning up, i.e. washclothes and h2o bottles, for the crazy bikers. They spruced up in a kinda-sorta-maybe-way, (if ya didn't look too close) loaded up and then we walked to Washington Harbor to find a bite to eat.

And funny. In that busy place with all those people, we actually saw Mrs. Entitlement herself, twice!!!
The first time she didn't see us. whew. The second time happened when we were back up at the canal, our bike-laden van nearby...and crossing paths was unavoidable. I glanced at my boys, arranging my eyeballs in that "don't you even think of stooping to her level of communication" look that I know I am good at. I watched as she approached.

As recognition crossed her face, it revealed the probability that her gluteus maximus was still accommodating an uncomfortable amount of a bunched up undergarment.

And so did her words as she angrily brushed past us.


I am not about to really delve into what {separates the men from the boys.}

No cottonpickinway. Do I look CrAzY ?

But I know.
It's more than miles and mud.
It's not about getting it all right (which is good.cuz i won't either.)
It's not just about not being rude back to Mrs. Entitlement
with self-righteous opportunity knocking...

but the WHY.
I have seen
and I have heard.
That good men can be like boys in a good way.
And good boys can be like men in a good way.

And that describes 100% of the men in our family.
All four of the boys.

At least most of the time.