Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Pony Rides for the Birthday Girl?

OK. Do NOT hand me that "TLTR" junk about this post being too long because it's a good post (for this blog) with a real story in it, and so you should read it. (I'm trying the old "best defense is a good offense" strategy. I came on strong to bully you into reading this. I think it's working.)

Last Saturday, the best birthday of my life, three of the 7 couples in our small group went to Brown County, Nashville, Indiana, to see the foliage and shop, which we all know is every guy's preferred way to pass a Saturday. You could almost see our husbands' giddiness as we made our way through shop after shop after shop after shop after shop after shop of fall wreaths and candles. Pretty soon, the excitement was so overwhelming, the guys nearly collapsed on a bench for three more short hours, proving the old maxim: "Shopping = Exhilaration!"

So these are two of my best friends, "Marilyn" and Diane. I've told you about Diane before; she's courageously making her way through a fight with cancer of an unknown primary source. (Have I mentioned lately how much I hate cancer to death and that someday, in heaven, we're going to lock arms and dance on cancer's grave?! Oh, yes we are!)

I've told you about Diane, but I've never told you about "Marilyn." What comes to mind right now as far as describing her to you is that she routinely mixes up the gender of her two dogs, calling "Petey" a male Yorkie, "she," and "Cookie," a female mixed breed, "he." I just cannot wrap my mind around this anomaly which rolls of her tongue, and believe me, I have spent hours asking her to please explain to me how this occurs in her head. She says it's because they're really more like "its" to her instead of actual gender-beings or people, so it's not a big deal to her. In fact, when I grill her about it, she just shrugs her shoulders as if there are bigger questions in life, but Internets, at this moment, there are no bigger questions for me, for this quirk to beat all quirks astounds me and eats away at my curiosity. So that's what you need to know about Marilyn, who is completely oblivious to and flatly disinterested in pet genders. Here she is with Petey the Androgynous Wonder Dog.

Here are the three of us girls at Abe Martin's Lodge, not to be confused with Abe Lincoln's Lodge. I don't know who Abe Martin is, perhaps he's Dean Martin's ancestor (probably a bootlegger, in that case). You can see that we are too cute for anything as we mug away for the camera, feigning tiredness. Because we all know that "Shopping = Exhilaration!"

I hesitate, slightly, to show the next picture due to it being of questionable taste and therefore implicating my moral impropriety and baseness (Wow. It's like that last sentence was possessed by Charles Dickens), but the possibility of your not believing the next part of the story outweighs my nickel bag of decency.

We went into the upstairs landing of the Lodge to have a look-see, and there was an elderly woman stretched out, looking for all the world as if she had departed in spirit and remained bodily because she liked the cozy fireplace and good conversation in the lounge area.

Lest you think I'm overreacting, you could literally hear other tourists talking about "the dead woman" in the lounge. I'm not making this up, as Dave Barry would say.

So of course I had to go check it out because I love a mystery.

And indeed, there she was, oblivious to everyone walking/talking around her. In person, it looked way more bizarre than it does here. Trust me.

We then went back into camp and went on a 2 mi. horse trail. My horse was cleverly named "Mr. Ed." Mr Ed. had an attitude, which he mainly communicated by slowing down the entire line, drawing the attention of the guide to the "blonde lady in the sunglasses" to give him a few kicks to keep him up to speed.


Uh, no thanks. I didn't want speed; Ed didn't want speed ... translated: "We don't want no stinkin' speed!" But we had to stay up with the crowd. Mr. Ed also constantly sighed and snorted at me, as if to say, "Lady! What did you eat this morning? A truckload of oats and gravy?!" (Pretty much, I did.) I just sensed that he was not a happy camper.

Jorge was on "Little Frances" right behind me, and Frances was like a 5th grade boy who had just downed a case of Red Bull "energy" drink. He could not stay in line or stop bugging Ed, who was in no mood for that "crap." So Ed dropped a "load" right in front of Frances, which by default was right in front of Jorge.

After the ride, I asked the ranch hand how old Mr. Ed is, and he said "eight or ten," which doesn't mean a thing to me, except I wonder if Ed is maybe having a mid-life crisis, which would mean that his attitude wasn't about me personally, but about the meaning of life and how we just go around in circles most of the time until we make our final trip into the barn. Mr. Ed is a deep horse, and that is another sentence I never thought I'd say.

The thing is, Mr. Ed needs to know that age is a state of mind, that "10" is the new "8," just as "46" is the new "29!"

Question: What's your favorite birthday memory?


Becky said...

Happy Birthday!!! :-D Hey you look great up there on that Mr. Ed. Sounds like a great weekend... I'm jealous ;-) I love shopping through nick knacks and horseback riding.

Smilingsal said...

(singing in a lovely voice)
A horse is a horse, of course, of course....the famous Mr. Ed.

I love to sing in comments; my voice sounds so much better!

Gwendolyn said...

Oh my goodness...you know how to start my day off right, don't you? I can always come here and leave smiling. I love the way you write! :o)

I don't really have any great birthday memories, though. I think I'm a grinch when it comes to my birthday. They were never a big deal in my family, so I've continued that into adulthood. Now, with my kids...I usually make it a huge deal. So maybe I'm all resentful inside. Probably, I need therapy.

Robin said...

Happy Birthday ! There is nothing like good friends. I am the same way about the gender thing with dogs..That was so funny to me ! The lady on the couch ! What up with that story ? Did she have a little too many drinks at the near by tavern ? Funny, I have felt like doing that beofre but never really did it !

Dena @ Green Acres said...

Sounds like it was a great day! Well, except for the horses part. We have 5 but I don't ride them, due to the whole 'fear of any heights above standing on my tip toes' issue, so the only thing I do with ours is take pictures of everyone else riding them. But I am with you on the shopping = exhiliration part!

Cindy Swanson said...

Glad your birthday was so awesome, Linda! I enjoyed the pics and your recounting of the day. The "dead" woman would have totally creeped me out!

annie's eyes said...

Ever since I was thrown off a horse with my then 5yo daughter, I only ride "Mr.Eds" all over the world. I rarely ride, but I don't get "Nobles" any more when I do. What a great birthday--and to share it with your dear friends. Diane looks good. I hope she feels as great. She's in my prayers. I'll dance with you on cancer's grave in heaven! Love you, Annette

Chatty Kelly said...

What a great day! That is so awesome, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

My favorite birthday was this year too. I turned 40, had a party with a DJ & dance floor and 80's only music and we danced and played and had a ball. Most all my friends were there (except my sister ADHD, who was flat on her back with a back injury). But we had a ball.

Your blog wasn't too long today at all! Because every word was interesting, and their were lots of pictures to keep us part of the story. Kudos!

Susanne said...

What a wonderfully perfectly fun day. Spending it with your honey and your friends shopping. Heaven!

The "dead" lady is really funny and creepy all at the same time.

Mocha with Linda said...

So did no one actually check on this woman to see if she had departed for worlds unknown or needed CPR or anything? Or did everyone just gawk and take pictures?! LOL

Sounds like a wonderfully fun day, although the chairs at the lodge look way more comfy than Mr. Ed.

Maybe the lady had just come back from a ride.

Lynn said...

Happy Birthday! what a fun trip! That horse standing by you has his tongue out! LOL

sara said...

I'm with Linda..did anyone find out what was up with this lady? Was she just taking a snooze or what?

I think my best birthday memory is about to happen when I celebrate 48 in Italy!!!!!

Brenda said...

Looks like a fun birthday! I can't think of a birthday memory. All my birthdays were too long ago. Sometimes I don't care about the gender of animals either, which seems to make pet owners upset. Like I've just insulted their child. And now I've insulted you, haven't I?

Sandy Toes said...

How fun! You look great on that horse...I haven't been horse back riding in so long!
-Sandy Toes

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

Hmmm...I would have to say the surprise Burger King party I had when I was about 9 or 10. I figured it out but never told Mama!

You've got some good hair going on, girl!

lmerie said...

Happy Birthday!!!!! Looks like an awesome day to me!

Merrie said...

What a fun day! Sounds like a great birthday! I am planning to make my favorite birthday memory tomorrow... when I turn 59!!!! YIKES... am I really THAT old??? No, not yet!

Becoming Me said...

It is a great story...thanks for sharing and I love the pictures

skoots1mom said...

so...was she still lying there when you returned from the horseride?

i'm getting ready to celebrate a biggy...it starts with a 5... i can't bring myself to say the rest except that i am a cancer survivor, so in reality every birthday is MY BEST birthday!

We're gonna have a wonderful line dance celebrating NO MORE C...I don't want any one to have to be a member of that club, even though they are some of the most courageous people i've ever met and God works THRU THEM

i'm so glad u had fun in Brown County...it's beautiful there
..love the picture where you're looking over your shoulder...great pic!

Greg C said...

I hate to burst your bubble but my favorite birthday memory didn't have anything to do with shopping although I was thinking "man I wish I was with them" when you were talking about it. Yea right.

I really have boreing bithdays and don't really have a favorite although I do want to make it to the next one.

Deven said...

Happy birthday! I LOVE my birthdays, although I did feel a bit of a twinge as I am reaching 29 on Saturday. The twinge, I tell myself, is not because of the age but because I will be up at the butt-crack of dawn working our church's pancake breakfast.

One of my favorite birthdays was when I got a synthesizer (music nerd!), and my guests and I danced the night away to the demonstration track that came on it. I recall every note of that song to this day. :)

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Aww! That looked like an amzing birthday! I'm so glad you had a great one. You deserve it for many reasons I'm sure, but the one that comes to my mind is the fact that you are such a great source of entertainment for all of your imaginary friends out here. :)

Tammy said...

First of all, that lady sleeping is just TOO creepy!

My favorite birthday memories are from my "growing up" years when my mom had our parties at our house with games and outdoor fun.

Debbie said...

Photos always negate the TLTR of blogdom in my opinion.

Sounds like a great birthday! You would be accurate in guessing that Mr. Ed is at midlife crisis age. Impressively, in the picture you look like you know exactly what you're doing on that horse- wooohooo.

I love Nashville this time of year, so beautiful.

LISSALYNN2006 said...


Joanna said...

Hey my aunt lives near Brown County. Those shops are fun!! Sounds like a great way to spend a birthday.

I think I know a few who will join in that happy dance.

Edwina at The Picket Fence said...

Looks like you guys had a great time. The last pic makes me want to head out on a trail of my own

Tammy said...

What a fabulous birthday weekend!!!
I am so happy for you!
Since I too turn 46 on my next birthday, I heartily concur that 46 is the new 29...and when I start to feel down about my age, I just think about that bloggy friend, Linda, over at 2nd cup of coffee...the epitome of youth!

Now, come over and enter my 350th post giveaway I just posted!

Jules from "The Roost" said...

Look like tons of fun! The lady in the lobby cracks me up :)

Marina said...

what about the women did you ever fine out?

that is one pretty picture of you on the house you look like you had so much fun on your birthday !! love the story thanks for sharing, marina

Beverlydru said...

My mom took me on a Mediterrean cruise last year for my 50th birthday. Wow- took ALL the pain out of turning 50. It was awesome. As for horseback riding... uh, no. My memory there is of riding upside down, hanging from the stirrup of a runaway horse when I was about 8. Never did ask for a pony party after that.

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

Umm ... why didn't you tell me we share a birthday week? Maybe that's why we see eye-to-eye on so many things. Well, Happy Birthday!

carol ~ i throw like a girl said...

Even though I said Happy B-Day on Facebook, I couldn't not wish you a Happy Birthday on your blog. It looks like you had so much fun! I am happy for you!

Anonymous said...

That was a well rounded day,,,out of bed, fed...lady dead?, day ending with Ed!

Glad you had a fabulous birthday! And I will totally be there with you dancing on cancer's grave! Blessings to your friend.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Happy Birthday, Lidna!

This made me so homesick for IN. My folks do the Brown County thing every fall - it's just gorgeous. Love the last pic of you on the horse!

PJ said...

What exhilarating fun!!! And I will be right with you on that heavenly dance on cancer's grave. Wouldn't miss it!!

My granddaughters have a cat named Rose Petal. "She" is a boy. It's a cat!! (Sorry...are we still Soul Sisters?)