Friday, February 04, 2005

Are you challenging me?

Are you challenging me, young man?
When Mom lived in Arkansas, several families often visited at the same time. One fall we struck out on a cross-country hike to Strawberry River, where we always had great fun wading, building dams and generally messing about. There was no trail so when we came to a small stream, Hubby, ever the gentleman, offered to find an easier fording spot for his 75-year-old mother-in-law. With a look of annoyance on her face, she demanded "Are you challenging me?" She then jumped across the stream in a spry manner, and continued after the others.

Several years later the families took a hike on North Sylamore Trail from Gunner Pool to Blanchard Springs. My sister and I tried to talk Mom into skipping the hike. No luck. At the halfway mark, Sis and I took a break and laughed at how Mom was outhiking everyone except her 8-year-old great-grandson. Don't challenge her!

I really should have learned. When Mom moved home into an apartment last fall, I insisted that she did not have enough room for a family gathering and that it would be too much work for someone who was almost 82 years old. This week she had an elegant and delicious sit-down dinner for 20 to celebrate my brother's birthday. Don't challenge her!

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