Do you ever want to go back to a simpler time in life? I know I do at times. I usually want to go back to a time when my kids were still young. Of course, that means we still had Amanda. That may be part of the wishful thinking.) I just think about how we did everything together and I sometimes wish it would be nice to go there again. I know life doesn’t work that way, but at least I have my memories.
There was one year in particular that was especially fun. We lived in Wyoming in a town that was in the middle of nowhere, but it had outdoor activities galore. The North Platte River went right through town and there was always the mountains a short drive away. We camped every summer and almost every weekend. That was a blast for several reasons.
We had a dune buggy or sand rail as it is sometimes called. There were so many old forest roads that you could be gone an entire day and still not make it back where you started. We put so many miles on that thing it’s a wonder it still ran. It was only a two-seater so we all took turns.
My boys loved to ride on it, but the girls had more fun with it. Amanda, our youngest, couldn’t really go very far in it. Her balance wasn’t the best and we didn’t have a way to get her really secure. But she did get to go for short rides that made her giggle so hard her whole body shook and she wouldn’t breathe. That would all happen in about 100 feet. She loved the jiggling she got from the ride itself. Then there was my oldest, otherwise known as………The Fearless One.
This girl was a blast as a kid. (She still has a killer sense of humor that I truly appreciate.) My brothers threw her around all over the place. I mean they threw her. That was when she was still small. I remember her being placed on the newel post at my mom’s house (by my brother’s), then told to jump. And she jumped! She wasn’t even a year old. She had no fear and complete trust in her uncles. She carried that all through her childhood.
When it came to the buggy, her appetite for adventure did not waiver. My husband would take that buggy through anything. That meant snow, dust, or mud. The latter is the one my daughter had so much fun with. Those two would be gone for a couple of hours because of their favorite mud hole. When they came back, they would be covered from head to toe in mud. (Picture an open frame vehicle with monster rear tires and no fenders. Boy can they sling the mud.) Many times they would come back and the only thing visible would be around their eyes where their glasses had been. What a sight they were.
And there is my beautiful, blue-eyed, blond haired daughter covered in it. All you could see were her eyes. You couldn’t tell what color her hair was or what clothes she had on. She would stand by the campfire and wring, yes I said wring, out her hair. The mud would be in piles when she would get done. Of course, you always knew she’d had a great time because the only other part of her visible would be her teeth. That’s because they didn’t get covered in mud and she was smiling from ear to ear.
This is one of my favorite photos of her.