Racing Through Time

This is a re-posting (with minor updates) of last years' post… because it pretty much says it all just the way I wanted to say it!

Today is my youngest son's (youngest childs') 25th birthday! He is the car racer in the family. With Brad's help, we've gotten a new site set up for his racing over here, it's still not been updated for this year so please keep that in mind.

This kid (yes, although he is a man, he will always be a "kid" to me) has been racing in one form or another ever since he was born. As the youngest of four, he was the last to speak – (who has to speak when you can just grunt or point to something and three siblings will jump to do your bidding?) – yet he was very active physically from the get-go. Always impressive with his hand skills, he was able at an extremely young age to not only escape his crib, then playpen, but would take down the baby-gate and put it back up, leaving me with no clue he was out roaming the house in the middle of the night. (Can you say, yikes?!?)

Sometime in his teens he got the racing bug. He started off in the class "cruiser" cars – old junkers that had a two-man crew. One would steer and one would run the footfeed. Entertaining to watch, to say the least, but not very safe. Through the years he's moved up from one class to another, always being successful in every class he tried.

As a mom, I find it difficult to watch the races. My imagination is a bit too vivid and my heart a bit too easily bruised. I told him from the beginning that I probably wouldn't be at many races as if something did happen accident-wise, I'd be an embarrassing basket-case although he would probably barely have a scratch. Hubs goes to every race as I wait by the phone for the call that says "the car is on the trailer"… and how he did. What broke or didn't break, how well the car handled, and how he finished in placement. A win would indicate a late night as they celebrated with fellow racers and friends at the track, and a breakdown would be days of grumpy males grouching around until the problem could be fixed. (update – I actually have managed to go to more races the last year than every before! I grit my teeth and get through it the best I can…)

In all cases, my son would take it in stride. I am so proud of him. Although he farms with Hubs, he's really found his niche with racing. He's earned so much respect from his peers and has fans too numerous to count. I know his dream is someday to be able to make his living racing, and with his talents I could see it happening.

I've watched him grow from a small, shy kid to a very tall (tallest in the family), out-going, loving, sweet and caring man. He's an animal nut, like his parents, and between him and his fiance'  wife he has several critters that he already treats like children. A wedding date has been set for next February, but it will just be making "official" the life he's already living. The wedding was a complete success in February. As a human being, he's so loving and considerate of his family and friends and he does it without a second thought. One of those things I think about when Amy talks about her small children and how they interact. Although my kids didn't always get along when they were younger, they seem to be very good friends now.

At the track, he treats everyone as an equal, whether they young or old or at the bottom of rankings. He gets along with the consistant winners but will help the losers with advice when asked. He's as good a mechanic as he is a driver and much of his success can be directly related to his keen eye and ability to find little problems before they become bigger problems.

When he wins, he is as generous a winner as he can be a gracious loser. Time after time as he's stood in the winners' circle to have his picture taken, he's encouraged kids who want to have their pictures taken with the 'winner' to "come on in"… giving them a piece of himself. To him, that's what it's all about.

I'm probably getting sickening about now… but for those of you who are still reading, thanks for sticking in here. yeah, I love my kids, all of 'em… they all have a special place in my heart. This one will for all intents and purposes always be "the baby"… the last one. All grown up now (and another year older!) Love ya, honey.

This ‘n That

  • Eldest daughter is on the home stretch. She has a treatment today, three more next week, then is done… as far as we know. The treatments seem to be helping, although the last one on Wednesday was a bit harder on her than they've been. She's seemed more muddled since that one and I stayed with her yesterday at home while her husband went to work and she just seemed 'out of it' all day. In a good mood, but confused and not remembering many things. On wednesday she was supposed to get her treatment at 11 o'clock and due to some back up in the operating rooms, she didn't get her treatment until 2 o'clock. I don't know if that had some effect or not, but hope that doesn't happen again. She isn't allowed to eat prior to the treatment because of the anesthsia, so she had to go all that time without eating. I was teasing her yesterday that at least she didn't remember having to wait! We are still able to find humor in it… you have to or you'd go screaming.
  • Youngest daughter is in pre-finals week. I don't understand why they call it 'dead week'… because they still have to attend classes and all. I thought it meant there were no classes and they could study, but I think it means you go to class AND study and end up dead by the time you are ready to take your finals. So far she's not appeared overly stressed. I hope it all goes well for her. One semester closer to her goals.
  • Youngest son has a birthday tomorrow (will post then) and he's supposed to race on Saturday nights. He wants to take food and drink and cake to the track and share with his race buddies. I've got the grooms' cake from his wedding that has a race car decorating it. It never got cut and I put it in my freezer just for this occasion. Now if the weather will only cooperate!
  • The weather. Oh, lord… what can I say about the weather? Rain. Rain. Rain. Frost. Yeah, frost. Rain. Rain. What a totally screwy spring this has been. Hubs just got into the field a couple of days ago for the first planting and many years they are done by now! More rain expected today, although I think the greater storms we were to get last night may have just missed us. Between the cold and the rains even fields that could have been planted would have just sat there. Keep your fingers crossed a little sun and warmth and dry weather heads our way for awhile and we get these crops in.
  • Still going to physical therapy. Yadda yadda yadda. Same old, same old. Still improving in small incriments at a time. Guess that's the way it's done. If I didn't have proof there was actual improvement, I'd be tempted to just call it a day, but as long as it still seems to be working I guess I'll still keep on.
  • One last thing and I'll get off my soapbox. Something that irritates the hell out of my husband and myself. As most of you know (or if you are new here you may not), my husband is a farmer. A grain farmer. Corn and soybeans. No, not sweet corn. The latest scare going around is about food prices increasing. True, food prices have gone up some and may continue to. It never fails that when they talk about food prices going up it suddenly becomes the farmer's fault. The evil farmer is getting more for his crop and food prices must raise to pay the evil farmer. Up until this year, the price for corn was the same as it was in the 70's. Yeah. Everything else had gone up… all the inputs and living and so forth that the farmer has to pay for went up, but his income stayed the same as it was in the 70's. I wrote about it all before. Right now as you are fretting about that $3.60+ gasoline to put in your car (yes, mine too), we're looking at $4.20+ diesel fuel to put in our tractors, combines, and trucks. (Filling one tractor one time easily costs $800 and to fill the semi-trucks it can be $1000.) The anhydrous ammonia that is used for fertilizer has risen over $400 a ton since last fall! We, too, have the same bills to pay as you do… electricity, groceries, etc., and trust me. We are not the reason that food prices are going up. I just had to say that. Again.