Thursday, May 29, 2014

Etna Spring

Place Your Bets
Summer's almost here and it can only mean one thing: dog vs chicken races.  You're thinking, A) Judd, tell me something I don't know, and B) Easy, dog wins every time.  Nope.  Not at Casa de Hanna.  We eat our dinners outside and our kids (read: me) spill -- pie, steak fat -- and the first animal to the food wins.  Our dogs may be fast, but don't bet against the chickens, that's my only advice.

As you can tell from our new gambling passion, our summer plans are pretty much booked solid.  What did we do before this new family hobby?  Who can remember?  I'll try.

Let me tell you this, we are fortunate to even have dogs and chickens (and a son and daughter) after Dylan's Brave-themed birthday party.  It might as well been a Hunger Games or Full Metal Jacket-themed party.  We sent invitations with BYOB (Bring Your Own Bow) and had a target shooting contest.  I was, absolutely, in over my head and when one of Dylan's friends (we'll call her "Ted Nugent") showed up with a compound bow, I knew things would end badly.  By the grace of God, no one was punctured.  At one point, I looked over and one girl was holding the target, like Vanna White presenting a vowel, while little Nugent was drawing back on her bow with her tiny trembling arm, ready to fire.  We probably should have just gone with the ubiquitous Frozen theme, but the threat of losing an eye sounded better than hearing "Let it Go" sung by 1st-graders.

Grady, from past experience, knows where to stand when the arrows are flying.  He holed up by the hot dogs and cupcakes and avoided trouble.

The very next weekend was the May Rodeo.  We shined up our boots and went to town.  Dylan is still hell-bent on being a Mutton-Buster, so she donned her kitty cat helmet and Wranglers and gave it a shot.  She had the grit, unfortunately, her lamb didn't.  It ran out of the chute and rolled over.  Kind of like what happens when you try piggy back riding on your drunk friend's shoulders.  Dylan was smothered in soft and smelly lanolin fuzz, and got up grinning and planning her July rodeo ride.

What else?  Dylan and Grady both have new bikes that they're rocking.  It's a Hanna tradition to be unable to ride a bike until A) you are mocked by your classmates, or B) Grandma bribes you to learn.  We're bucking tradition and Grady cruises behind my mountain bike on a tow behind while Dylan rolls on a princess bike.  Grady's supposed to pedal along, but he's figured out it's more fun to watch his fat old man struggle than to actually help out.  Dylan's legs and elbows bear the marks of a kid learning to ride a bike on loose gravel.  Regina and I sit in the backyard, sipping wine, and listen to the soft sounds of a bike skidding out in the dirt, punctuated by the immediate, "I'm okay."

So, come visit us this summer.  We'll fling a few arrows, shoot a few squirrels, and place a few bucks on the crafty speckled hen.  It'll be a hoot.