The four wheeler on our dairy farm is like a modern day horse. They drive it and drive it until they’ve racked up thousands of miles, and it is run into the ground. It gets us from point A to B, it herds (chases) cows, hauls heavy bags or buckets, even hauls baby calves to their hutches, and sometimes even ridden a bit for fun! We purchased our first ATV in 1999. The kids were in heaven! Darin bought Zack a hitch and a trailer for his eighth birthday. We knew he’d undoubtedly adore it, because he spent countless hours backing a toy tractor and wagon. (You’d think if it was parked crooked, he’d just straighten a plastic wagon with his hand. But no, he had to attempt backing it over and over again!) We wrapped the hitch with a note telling him of a surprise behind a stack of hay. He just continued jumping around saying, “I got a hooker, I got a hooker!” The trailer elicited a pretty good response, but not exciting as this eight year old who got his hooker. (I know, good parents!) That trailer was used and abused out on the farm. We have owned at least six (if not more) four wheelers to serve our family. They just die of overwork. The boys constucted obstacle courses including jumps to run with the four wheeler, and all the girls learned to drive at a young age on them. Many extended family members have also ridden them through the wringer. Riley’s dog, Annabelle, always hops on anticipating a ride! We have snow and grass sledded with a rope and sled secured behind. Our four wheelers have been mostly utilitarian, but in the many thousands of miles we’ve put on them, there have been a few for fun. (What do you expect?) Good times.
Star Wars has always been an ongoing obsession with my family since the late 70’s when the first movie came out. (Well the fourth, hmm that’s funny!) The zzzbm, zzzbm of light sabers has survived through generations and is quite the legacy. I grew up tending my nephews during the first set of three movies. Playing like they were Luke and Han was commonplace. Since my sister and I were the only girls, one of us would personify Princess Leia or Chewbacca. Their dad became the Emperor for a birthday party once. (Everyday, Star Wars, for many years!) Therefore when my boys and their cousins became engulfed with Star Wars and the second series of pre-quels in the 90’s, I possessed a pretty extensive mental database. A funny quote out of the mouths of kids… My nephew and my son were dueling with light sabers one day and my nephew stopped and said, “You’re my cousin, right? Now I will kill you!” (They we’re so serious.) Now we have a new generation of Star Wars fanatics with my cousin’s kids and the recent movies. I recently purchased a Star Wars trivia game for my 20ish year old son. (Gifting is harder when they get older.) The family played it on one inside-kind-of-day, and guess who won… yours truly! I guess my many years of accumulated knowledge came in handy. (For once!) ‘The force is strong with this one…”