A Good Friday

Since having children, we have usually taken advantage of Good Friday to spend time with our children doing some sort of family activity, dependent upon Joel’s schedule as to whether it is local or a day trip.  Today, as we drove several counties away with the kids for a day of fun, we reminisced about our first Good Friday together.

Shortly before Joel and I were introduced on a blind date, Joel purchased a 1960’s era basement rancher house.  He allowed the widow from he purchased it to live there even after he closed while she finished a new home in another state.  And, then we met.  Fast forward through our quick engagement, and it became financially practical for me to move into the house while he continued to live in one of his father’s rental properties.  After becoming engaged and the widow simultaneously vacating, it was time for me to move in.  Which, in a stroke of good fortune, or so I thought, the timing coincided perfectly with accomplishing this on Good Friday since my office was closed for the holiday.   The house needed interior painting, and I sprung my plan for painting and moving on Joel.

“But, its Good Friday!” said Joel.  Exactly!  “Yes, it’s a good Friday to do all this since I am off work and we have a long weekend.”  Joel sputtered again about it being a religious holiday without articulating exactly how that prevented the plans from going forward.  As envisioned, I moved in that weekend, including painting the living room on Friday.

Now all these years later, when thinking back with humor to our initial differing views of how to spend the holiday, Joel said as we drove today, “Oh, yes.  That was when you moved into my house.”  What?  Whose house?  Not your house, it became my house that day and four months later it became our house, right?  Laughingly, Joel retreated a little.  What’s that saying about what is yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine?  Um-hum.  So many years of marriage, so little progress it seems.  *wink*

And, so early this morning we found ourselves driving to Dollywood because the kids requested that as our family activity.  Particularly, Sarah Grace is finally tall enough to ride all of the big rollercoasters (except for the Wild Eagle), and Noah was eager to escort her onto all of them, encourage her, and protect her as a loving big brother.  The two of them almost, but not quite, relegated me to the un-cool parental chaperone in the seat behind them on all of the coasters.

It is fair to say that if given the choice between randomly painting some room of our house today versus going to a theme park, Joel would pick painting.  But, parental love and duty ushered us into the sports utility vehicle and into a theme park where the high was forty-two degrees, and the rain began only an hour after arriving.  The rain started as a mist, became a steady drizzle, and by suppertime was relentlessly soaking.

Joel does not “do” roller coasters.  He becomes green on them.  And, Samuel refuses to ride roller coasters because he is a child trapped in a little old man’s body who worries about safety, and will not relinquish control long enough to learn to love that fluttery feeling in his stomach.

Consequently, I am the Coaster Mom.  And, let me assure you, you have never really lived until you ride EVERY. SINGLE. COASTER. IN. THE. COLD. POURING. RAIN.  (The Wild Eagle was the Wet Eagle today.)  As we whizzed upside down and through corkscrews, on state of the art metal tracks, and on old teeth-rattling wooden tracks, the freezing rain stung our cheeks like tiny icy needles horizontally attacking our faces.  Our breath, when we could actually catch it between death-defying drops, visibly hovered in front of our noses and mouths.

We were unprepared for poor weather, other than our hoodies.  And, yet, we all had a wonderful day.  Joel and Samuel spent time watching the blacksmith make tools and decorative implements over the hot fire or exploring wildlife exhibits, while Noah, Sarah Grace and I tackled the bigger rides.  In the end, the rain did not dampen our fun.  We made a lot of memories, laughed at each other’s soggy and bedraggled appearances, and all climbed into bed tonight sweetly tired.  A Good Friday, indeed.

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