Sunday, September 11, 2005

Silly Expectations

Okay, I give up. Fall will come. It's STILL summer! It was 88.8° F today and the wind was like an oven. It has been extremely hot and humid for the last two days.

I walked out to where Jack was picking tomatoes early this evening. With the sun going down and the breezes cooler, I mentioned that it would be nice to go for a four-wheeler ride so we did that. It's not his fault that he didn't realize that I meant for it to be a nice little romantic sort of ride . . . which really just means being alone instead of going as a family.

Filled with happy feelings, I wrapped my arms around his waist and we rode down the field lane and then down into the woods. I was thinking thoughts like how many more leaves there was on the ground since our last ride, and how fun it was to be together and still in love, and things like that. I said a couple of my thoughts aloud, still in mild rapture over how pretty the woods is and thinking aloud how nice and green it still looked in the swampy areas.

It was then I realized that his murmured responses sounded an awful lot like mine do when the kids say to me, "MOM, you're not listening!" Jack took the four-wheeler off the beaten path then, and I started observing him. He was looking intently off here and there. I thought at first he was just keeping an eye out for bear. Then I realized. He's looking for firewood. (This was a dual-purpose ride!)

Now, I love him. So I wasn't going to fret over a lost romantic opportunity. Not when I can enjoy the ride just as nicely the way we were. But that was before I realized how rough the ride was going to be and me in my sandals and denim shorts and sleeveless shirt expecting a pretty park-like ride. It didn't really bother me even when I noticed my legs were suddenly burning with stinging nettle. Not even when the grass got so tall we couldn't see over it and there were stumps and fallen tree limbs and hollows. I think I lost my sense of humor and my gentle wifeliness when we suddenly lurched and nearly tipped over. I have to confess to feeling disgruntled while my wonderful husband cheerfully said something like "this wasn't really a good idea, was it?"

So when we got going again I had dry weedy chaff in between my feet and my sandals which were clinging insufficiently to the very edge of the footrests, the sting of nettles burning on my legs, a wrenched feeling in my back, and a less than charitable feeling in my heart when I found myself staring down a Thornapple tree branch with thorns almost an inch long. (Incidentally, I did have time to notice how pretty it was with all the little dark red apples.) So, I escaped getting poked in the eyes and poor Jack realized I was not enjoying this ride so he promptly took us out of the woods . . . up along the edge of and around the whole corn field. Almost instantly I had grit in my teeth because it is soooo dry here, and I had to shut my eyes against flying dirt the whole way back.

You just gotta love those silly expectations. Winking

Here is a picture of the infamous Thornapple tree, which is actually called a Hawthorne tree. This picture was taken in the spring when it was full of blossoms. During our ride Jack had driven on the left side of it where the ground dips into a sharp hollow which was hidden by tall brown grass.


Here you can see how pretty the little red apples are.


And here is a Britannica Encyclopedia photo showing
the thorns which can grow as long as three inches.


These long spines also grow out from the trunks of the trees.


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