In and Out

I wasn't planning on performing Tuesday night. Mom had asked me to do a special music, one song only, on Saturday at church. (My mother attends the Seventh-Day Adventist church.)

Except now we are going to be in Nashville on Saturday.

While discussing this on Tuesday, the performance changed and grew and evolved until the end result was that I sang for about forty-five minutes at the Tuesday night Bible Study.

Most of the songs were from memory. My voice was already tired when I started because I had been practicing all afternoon. But it was totally great. While I was a little nervous, because it has been a very, very long time since I was the sole entertainer for a period that long, for the most part it was a very casual, informal way to perform. The last-minute character of the performance gave me little time to build up nervous energy. I was in my comfort zone.

The next day, however, I was decidedly out of it.

Quadding seemed like a perfectly harmless and innocent activity for the afternoon when it was first suggested. Until I found out that not only would this be my first time on a quad, but I would be driving my own!

A ten-second crash course and an experimental spin around the yard, and we were on the road. After a couple of miles of manipulating the beast over narrow country roads, the adrenaline was starting to ease off and I was just beginning to think, "This is okay. I can handle this."

Then we started off-roading.

Did I mention that my mom lives next to a mountain? And that my husband has apparently a very different filter than myself on what kind of a trail is "harmless?"

Mom and Noah were on one quad, then Jason and Jude, then myself in the rear. Jason had taken the trail earlier in the day with Mike and thought to himself, he thought, "This should be fine for kids to go on."

By the time we got up the mountain and over the ridge, and I had had a sustained adrenaline rush (which I did not really enjoy--adrenaline junkie, I am not) for nigh on an hour and a half, I was shooting daggers at the love of my life with my eyes from behind him.

Did I mention that none of us had helmets on?

As the ATV hauled itself over and around fallen trees and edges along trails-turned-gullies, I became more comfortable with it and my abilities to drive it. A "baptism by fire," I guess. But the whole time there was the story of a local Peace River family going through my head from this summer, where the 31-year-old husband and father of a baby girl died in a quadding accident because he was not familiar with the terrain. The wife was the previous babysitter of one of the little girls I ended up babysitting this fall. My husband already says I worry too much, so I didn't divulge my fears of either having myself or watching other dear family members topple over and have the heavy machinery land on top of them, crushing out life in an instant. I bit my lip, bit my tongue, and bit into my resolve.

So. I quadded. I survived. But having now done so, I have to ask myself "why?" It's not like you get to enjoy the scenery when all of your concentration is taken up with driving. I could see quadding again if you were on your way to a specific spot, where you got to get off, walk around, maybe have a picnic. However, as someone who is not a risk-taker by nature for things that put me in physical harm's way, I am glad to say that I have at least done it.

But quadding as an end in itself? I can take it or leave it.

What's new with you this week, friends?