February 12, 2009

Backwoods Birthday

You know your son has been invited to a backwoods birthday party when the invitation is accompanied by these three disclaimers:

1. You must have 4-wheel drive to reach our home.
2. The party will be canceled if there is bad weather any time during the previous week.
3. Please R.S.V.P., but don't expect an answer because there is no phone service where we live.

Saturday was the day of this sledding party, and I was so busy trying to R.S.V.P. and locate a 4-wheel drive vehicle (thanks Dad) that I completely forgot to bring a birthday present or a sled (thanks Edith).

Rex and I drove together to the party and he kept blustering about how people claim you'll need 4-wheel drive and yada yada yada, but you never really do and so on and so forth....then he started saying things like, "What the heck?"..." What kind of road is this?!" And then, "That's a steep slope!"  And in the end he conceded that he was grateful for the 4-wheel drive.

After a few miles of working our way along the slippery, muddy cliff edge we were all starting to feel a little trepidation, but we kept creeping along. Andrew spoke for all of us when he said, "I feel nervous about this. This is a really long road and we are never finding a house!" Finally, we crested a hill and could see the one lone house on the mountain ridge.

We pulled up next to a bunch of other huge trucks and piled out.

When we got inside, Lacie's mom greeted us as her 2-year-old was clinging to her leg. I noticed a deep red gash on the girl's cheek surrounded by a bright red circle of inflammation, as her mom cheerfully said, "Go on out. Everyone's sledding; just make yourself at home. This one spilled on the ice but she'll be just fine..."


"...In fact, she'll probably be going back out. Oh, and I had my husband trim up the bushes so they won't pop the sleds."

Sharp, sled-popping bushes?

This greeting made me feel the same as when I was motioned into the Tower of Terror at Disney World. And, like the Disney ride, the themed ambiance was started before we arrived at the terror itself. Our walk downstairs and to the back door was full of reminders that we were in redneck territory. We passed no less than sixteen huge hunting rifles (yes, I totally counted them), rustic loggy decorations, and enough Wranglers to fill a rodeo stadium.

Then two feet outside the door my fears were justified as we teetered at the top of a huge mountain slope.

But before I could question the safety of this whole endeavor, Meredith was careening down the hill. We all watched as she picked up speed and eventually flew out, ending with at least three front flips.

By the time we hiked down to her, she had stopped crying. But when we asked if she wanted to go again, she decidedly said, "No!"

Lacie's dad then told us not to send kids down that way as there was a deep pit at the bottom.

Deep pit?

Once we were directed to the "safest" place to sled, Meredith decided to try it again, this time with Andrew. We started them farther down the hill, and at a spot which would avoid the pit. They avoided the pit all right, but smashed into a monster bush which flipped them both out.

Meredith was done.

Andrew was masochistically determined to continue.

We watched as Lacie and her cousin wiped out at the bottom and had to go in.
Two more down, only a few more to go.

Andrew took over their unused tube with a slick bottom that dramatically increased his speed and danger. He hit the bush two more times, once being thrown into an aerial back-flip.

I was so done.

Andrew wasn't.

I told him he got one more chance to try killing himself and then we were going inside. When he miraculously survived, we trudged back up the hill and inside to join all the other injured sledders.

As we were removing wet snow clothes and I was almost thinking there hadn't been enough danger to keep the party exciting, I heard Lacie's mom say, "Oh yeah, we've got a mountain lion living close by. It roams around the hills behind our house."

A mountain lion?!!!  A mountain lion that habitually roams behind your house?!!!

As the party was ending, we tried to psych ourselves up for the long, dangerous drive out. Thinking of the narrowness of the road, I asked the hostess what we were supposed to do if a car came the other way. Her answer was simple:
"Back up."



  1. oh my heck! i am streaming tears! that is insanely hilarious! i am linking that post to my blog. . .

  2. You mentioned something, but I had no idea of the extent of danger Meredith was in. Yikes. Sure makes good copy, though.

  3. Um, scary! That sounds incredibly dangerous. I'm glad your kids were ok!

  4. Ok that was hilarious! Reminds me of the comments Colton made about your Uncle Brents...guns everywhere...loaded...inside the door, bear and moose roaming the backyard! Too funny. Now I'm thinking having a kindergarten swim party might be way too tame! Good writing Jen!

  5. I have to admit, that I normally can't find a hill tough enough to sled on, but this one made me a teensy bit nervous.

  6. Whenever I start giggling at the computer, my family knows I must be reading your blog.
    I NEED to know who's house that is so I can do everything to avoid it. Steep icy slopes, sharp piercing bushes, mountain lions, piles of guns, and wranglers...that's my worst nightmare!

  7. I've never laughed so hard in all my life. Thanks!

  8. You have to be a kin to Katie!!! I linked through Kate's blog to invoke childhood memoria and couldn't stop laughing! Glad to see things haven't changed. Were you back by Monte?

  9. Starley fam,
    Yes, I'm a Katie kin. I'm glad you liked reading about the danger, and yes, it was up on Monte. I'm impressed you knew that.