Dirt Tracks and Wide Open Spaces

Sparse posting.  Our days busy with real (non-digital) things.  Albert’s funeral Friday.  It was more a ceremony of honor than sadness.  Although when we hit the second verse of “How Great Thou Art”, my sister-in-law had to share her tissues with me.  “…When through the woods and forest glades I wander…”  When grieving I tend to seek trees or open skies.  The finest thing I can say in honor of Albert is that I went home having given great consideration to my role as a father.

And so it was in a related vein that the very same evening I found myself trackside with my nine-year old (wearing earmuffs nearly the size of her own head), reveling in the dirt and noise and those moments when in her excitement she would rat-a-tap my shoulder, pointing excitedly as the car she picked pulled a slingshot off the high-side and moved up a place.  We came home way too late for a little girl, both of us dusted with red grime and having shared an illicit drive-through chocolate malted on our way out of town.  Promised her three things before I left on book tour last spring: fishing, dirt track races and a treehouse.  We’ll frame up that treehouse this week (although on the way home from the races we began discussing the possibility of a small shack on skids so we can scoot it from one favorite forest place to another).

Yesterday Mom went to a wedding-related event so the girls and I went to a fly-in hosted by a friend of ours.  We got to go for a ride in one of these.  The trip included a touchdown on a local lake, at which point the two-year-old said, “I scared.”  But as soon as we left the water and arced back into the air, she resumed pointing out tiny cows.  And as we landed and taxied, she put her mouth to my ear and over the roar of the twin engines, said, “Do it again!”

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