The Cloverdale Rodeo: mere miles from where I grew up, but I always had homework on the May long weekend. Now, again mere miles (9 miles or 14.6 kilometres, according to Google Maps) from where Darrell and I live, getting there by public transit made going seem less appealing.
When my friend since high school Meike Krug asked if I wanted to go to the Cloverdale Rodeo last Saturday, I didnâ€™t hesitate in saying, â€œSure! Yes!â€
We were there in time to watch the parade. The nice thing about this parade: I actually saw it! No bums were standing in my wayâ€¦
Cowgirls and horses!
A Zamboni and cowboy hats together in a paradeâ€¦only in Canada, eh.
Here come the Shrinersâ€¦
One Shriner came over and gave me a pin, which has special meaning for me. Back when I was around four years old, I was in hospital for several months: first in traction, followed by surgery and recovery in a cast from my ankles to my armpits. As I share in my autobiography Iâ€™ll Do It Myself:
Eventually, I was allowed to go home on weekends. As the doctor signed my release for my first weekend home, he ordered my parents to ensure that I had a quiet weekend. â€œYes, Doctor. No problem,â€ they assured him. Bright and early Saturday morning, we lined up for the Shriners’ Parade. Mom and Dad propped me, in my Y-shaped cast, against the curb so that I could see everything. One Shriner passed by and tucked a $5 bill in my hand. Awhile later, another Shriner tucked a $5 bill in my other fisted hand â€œso that I was balanced.â€ The clowns, the noise, and the action combined were more excitement than I had experienced in several months.
With the parade over and our car packed, we then went camping with friends. A hike was part of the plan and not to exclude me from the group, Dad and Uncle Jim carried me in my heavy body cast the entire way. Upon returning to our campsite, we discovered a Styrofoam cooler does not withstand bears. Oh, what a mess! And, probably not quite what the doctor had meant by a quiet weekend! But, oh what fun!
Thank you Shriner, I will cherish the pin.
Once on the rodeo grounds, Meike and I headed straight for the animal building (first for the bathroom and then for the animals). It was like the old days: hanging out with horses on a Saturday afternoon. What could be better!
Whatâ€™s a country fair without corn on the cob!
I am a proud 45 year old Canadian and this is likely my first photo with two Mounties in full red serge. Why leave this privilege to only the tourists?
Near the end of our day, we walked passed one booth with two huge, beautiful motorcycles on display. Meike suggested I park beside one, she would take a photo and the caption would read something like, â€œGlenda considering an upgrade.â€
A voice from the back hollered, â€Go ahead and sit on it!â€ I could have responded with a wimpy, â€œOh, no thanks. Its okay,â€ and not bothered getting on the bike, butâ€¦that isnâ€™t me!
I stood up beside the bike and sat on the seat. Getting my leg over the front was a struggle. One woman suggested I sit sideways for the photo, butâ€¦that isnâ€™t me!
With more effort and leaning back (who knew that helped with getting on to a motorbike), we managed to get my right leg over. (Thinking back, it might have been easier to mount it like a horse and swing my leg over the back. Next time!)
Sitting there felt great! I can only imagine what it would feel like to ride on the open highway.
Thank you Paula and Ray from Sturgis North!
Looking back on the lesson I learned when I was four (besides ignoring doctorâ€™s orders when appropriate) and that has guided me through my life is to live life to the fullest. We get only one chance to make the most of the ride.
Thank you for a great day, Meike, my friend!If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.