Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Snow's Fine, Wish You Were Here

Other peoples' pushing-60 (wink, wink) mothers embroider and go to choir practice. Maybe they bake cookies and crochet doilies, or garden, or redecorate the bathroom once a month.

My mother rides snowmobiles. 70 miles an hour. Without a helmet. (Only under relatively ideal conditions, but still.) Last night she was riding alone, after dark, 16 miles across a remote mountaintop, on a sled with mechanical problems, to pick up Henry, whose machine is (still) lodged in some soft powder somewhere off the trail. They had to ride double back to the truck, and double on a modern snowmobile is not easy for either rider.

Last year they both got stuck 7 miles from the trail head after getting a late start and possibly taking a wrong turn. They had half a sandwich and a frozen bottle of water between them (and possibly a nicely chilled bottle of menthol schnapps tucked away somewhere, which, I can attest, looks exactly like water), and they started walking after dark, clothing soaking wet from trying for hours to dislodge the 'mobiles. She refused to spend the night out there. So they trudged, uphill and down, on packed snow. They didn't let each other stop to rest. The sheriff met them at the trail head, sent by the girl who was minding the motel when she realized they were awfully late getting back. They arrived home weary and stiff, but apparently no worse for the wear.

My mother is tough. She shovels snow in her flip-flops. I give Dad a lot of posthumous credit for my car-lovin', tomboyish ways, but Mom is probably the reason Morgan can change the oil in her vehicles and I can drive a dump truck. But it's not like she's got a mullet and a pack of Pall Malls hanging out of her purse. She's very ladylike. Pearl earrings. Classy nail polish. Occasionally, floral prints.

She was everyone's favorite mother among my circle of friends in I.B. A few liked her more than their own, which is sad, but not surprising. She baked cakes on their birthdays and made us mocha milkshakes at midnight and drove us all over San Diego. Dave's mom tried to run over him (although looking back, I think that was justifiable), Twinkie's walked through town barefoot and swung around light poles, singing, and we didn't see Kym's very often, but we could smell the marijuana smoke from under her bedroom door.

Truth be told, it scares me to death when I know Mom's up on a mountain somewhere, riding an unenclosed, motorized vehicle that has as much horsepower as my new station wagon. But there's also something really cool about it. I'm proud of her for seizing the day. And she's living proof that I can have the best of both worlds, outdoorsy and sophisticated. She fishes for trout and drives off-road, but I can still take her to the symphony.

If you would just, you know, be careful, okay Mom? Because you're supposed to be the one waiting up and worrying about me, remember? Remember the good ol' days, Mom? Mom? Are you there?



Blogger Doolin said...

Your mom is the "shiznit!!" I remember when she would make us Crepe's for breakfast in the morning after one of the many sleep over's. But yeah, she's definetly an awesome mom!

January 15, 2008 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger mister anchovy said...

Wow, that's fantastic - good for her!

January 16, 2008 at 5:30 AM  

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