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TAYLOR'S TIDBITS: The clinks and clanks of life PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 09 June 2011 20:32

My grandpa used to call me Blue Eyes. Riding with him in his Ford pickup was sometimes like trying to stay on a bronc. Especially when you’re three years old and the bumps in the country road are bigger than the size of your very shoes.

He taught me how to ride a horse and then laughed at me when it took off so fast my hat flew away quicker than a temper. But I stayed on. By the look on his face I could tell he was proud of his tough little girl.

That tough little girl soon learned that growing up on a farm with an older brother was an ongoing learning experience. And its woven together with little moments that never stray too far from your heart.

While playing hide-and-seek I learned quickly what a sticker patch was. A few years later the game, Marco Polo, taught me two chipped teeth.

After being forced into a dummy for his roping practice, I soon realized how a right arm breaks. And once a cast gets to itching like crazy, surprisingly the handle of a fly swatter is maybe the only device that makes the perfect fit to scratch inside.

My brother’s budding engineering skills and curiosity sent me down a ramp made of books on our stairs in a little blue car that was unfortunately just my size to drive. This experience taught me the effects of whiplash, and how valuable breaks truly are.

Moving cattle together, my brother later educated me on a pretty lengthy list of cuss words. No matter what the rules were in laser tag, he always won. And there were some things that were just better not to tell mom and dad.

It’s silly, but if you want to know the real truth, there was a time that my horse took off and I didn’t stay on.

Even though grandpa bragged about his tough little girl, I cried the first time I was bucked off the horse he taught me to ride. The trouble my brother and I got into growing up taught me these tears too.

Maybe I wasn’t so tough after all.

Maybe that’s okay though. Maybe that wasn’t why my grandpa had called me his blue-eyed girl with a smile.

Life might buck you off. It’s kind of strange, but it’s often the scuffs and dings, clinks and clanks that we learn the most from. Hold onto closest ten years later.

One night, my brother and I laid on the trampoline until the sprinklers woke us up at sunrise. Gazing up at the stars, we were imagining the future we now strangely live in, and hiding in our sleeping bags from it.

I didn’t know it at the time, but it was one of those memories — the big kind — you never know of at the time. You always expect another moment to just be there — to always be accessible, not something you have to look back on instead.

You never know when that big moment is going to happen, the one you’ll be looking back on one day. But if you don’t have a few messes, casts or dings on your vehicle, you’re not living. You’re not letting yourself make those big ole memories.

My grandpa didn’t bust at the seams with pride necessarily because I was tough. He knew something I didn’t at the time.

That memory was going to be a big one. Memories we laugh together about now when I come over to visit and eat a piece of watermelon with him. Just like I used to when I was younger.

Every moment has something to offer — a nugget of value. Sometimes they sparkle from the get-go.

Sometimes they aren’t so pretty and you have to crumble off the dirt enveloping them. Brush off the tears. But after a little time you’ll realize the glow. Who knows, you might even learn a new use for a fly swatter.

I’ll always be my grandpa’s tough little girl. Treasuring the little moments when he grinned, calling me Blue Eyes.

Luckily I’ve learned along the way that the scars on my shins aren’t a total shame. These imperfections hold extreme meaning, and are simply rich in the real.

 

TAYLOR LUTZ is currently interning as a staff writer at The Breeze.