Just kidding. I mean, unless there's air conditioning in there.
Sadly, John's father died of cancer and his sister's cancer is now in remission so John has taken it upon himself to start "Wheelie for Life". For every foot he rides a wheelie on his dirt bike people donate a penny. So if he rides in a wheelie for a mile he earns $52.80 to go toward Cancer Research.
Leon has been riding horses his whole life and has trained horses and cows to jump over cars, maneuver through fire, dance, bow, and lie down, among other tricks.
Kerri, John, their little girl, Jadee, a friend of theirs named Sarah, Walter, and I all piled into John's truck and headed up to a rodeo in the town of Cushing to see Zayne and Vicki perform.
We were supposed to leave the next day, but we didn't get home until late and probably didn't fall asleep until 1am so we didn't really want to get up at 4 the next morning. We had thought about riding that night (last night) so we weren't behind a day, but Kerri and I got all of our leather stuff out and plans of a basketball rematch were whispering through the air so we decided we would just leave early the next morning.
John, Zayne, and Walter playing HORSE. Kerri and I showed them how to play a little later on in the evening.
I love seeing passions passed down and picked up by younger generations. Vicki and Leon found each other in Denver, CO through a common love for entertaining with horses and passed their skills down to Kerri. Now Kerri's son has had hours upon hours upon days upon years with his Grandparents working copiously on the tricks of the trade. John said to us while we were driving to the rodeo, "When you have kids, teach them something."
The art is amazing, but the time with family, to me, is unmatched by anything else. I was thinking about life and my Poppy today (as I often do as I ride) and I thought about what he would say if I said "Well, Pop, you did it. You lived life. So what is it all about anyway? What do you say?"
I am sure to the bottom of my heart he would say, "my family".
There are so many talents carried by incredible people, but the teachers and the parents, the stories and the lessons, that's what gets me. That's what I look for and live for. I suppose this is why I wanted to slow down so badly and concentrate on what I really believe in. I want to hear the stories and I want to see the past in an old man's eyes and I want to really know this animal I have loved since I could speak my first word.
Sometimes people ask how we found the time to do this or they say, "when we get back to real life", but to me this is real life. What does it mean to find time to do something? Time is time and we walk through it and here it is always. I don't get it. Sometimes I wonder how we find time to drive our cars to jobs we don't like when there are so many other things to do.
I suppose my lifestyle is a little more open to this mentality because I am single and without children, but nothing I do will ever be a time-out from real life. This is it and this is real and everything is forward moving toward whatever is next, but right now my life is here on the back of a horse out in a country I am happy to be more closely acquainted with.
Vicki had a dream as a little girl so her father got her a trick saddle for Christmas and from there she was able to turn a little girls dream into an incredible career. My father used to drive me two hours each way to a theater so I could perform because he believed in what I loved and my mother made me confident I could succeed at it. My mom, Stephen, and Walter have done everything in their power to help make this dream of mine to ride across the country come true. A woman who is very dear to me told me with tears in her eyes that her father told her she was "always so capable" and with that confidence she built her own successful business. All of us have someone who helped us and someone we live to do well for.
The future is in the hands of the children, but the prosperity of the future is in the hands of the parents. Teach them something.