Sunday, December 27, 2009

Explosion at the Goat Lick

My sister, Caren, is like a sprite. She is petite and adorable. She is cute, and she gets cuter with age. Caren looks one hundred times better than she did in high school. She is athletic and competitive. Don't try to beat her at anything because she won't let it happen. If you happen to get lucky and beat her at something, she'll go home and practice and challenge you to a rematch. Caren is everything I am not. That is why I always told her the mailman was her father.

One must have a great self-esteem to hang out with Caren. Everybody loves Caren. She is the life of the party. Caren will make friends at the drop of a hat. Don't sit next to her on a plane, if you don't want to make a new friend. Don't even try to put up that invisible wall. She has special sprite powers and she will break down that wall and become your new best friend.

Children worship Caren. It could be because she is a kid at heart. She will play anything kids want to play a million times, but don't think she will let them win because they are kids; she won't. Caren is a get-dirty-roll-on-the-ground kind of gal. She, also, has a very special talent that all kids big and small love. Caren is a burper and a farter! Kids of all ages line up to worship at the Church of Caren.

One summer a friend
that I teach with, Lauri, and her family came to visit Caren and me in Montana. Lauri has two children Seth and Larissa. Seth and Larissa loved hanging out with Auntie Caren. Seth especially loved Caren's "special" talent. He admired her ability to fart a tune and burp the ABCs. Lauri has always said, "Caren corrupted her sweet innocent son. After that summer in Montana, Seth became a regular burping and farting boy."

When we have visitors in Montana we do the regular Montana sight seeing tours: Big Mountain, Bear Park, Jeff Fleming Studio, Horseshoe Dam, Flathead Lake, Moose's Saloon and Pizza Parlor, Huckleberry shakes, and, of course, Glacier Park. Visiting Glacier is a full day trip. When driving through the park there are places where all sight seers stop: Glacier Hotel, Trick Falls, Lake Mary, Glacier Visiting Center, and the Weeping Wall. Montana is one of the most amazing and majestic places I have ever seen. It's beauty is so difficult to explain. it is one of those places one has to see to believe.

We were taking Lauri and her family on our official Glacier Park day trip. We had to take two cars. The girls: Caren, Larissa, Lauri and myself in my van, and the boys: Darrel (Caren's husband), Terry (Lauri's husband) and Seth in the truck. We communicated between the two vehicles with walkie-talkies. Our catch phrase for the trip was, "Hey, where are you aaaaaattt?" This phrase drove the school teachers in Lauri and I crazy because of the dangling preposition. Lauri became somewhat frantic about the phrase because not only were her young vulnerable children being corrupted by the fun loving burper and farter but, they were learning and using improper grammar.

On the way to Glacier we always stop at the Goat Lick. It is an exposed river bank where goats and other animals come to lick the mineral-laden cliffs. The cliffs are steep, so the mountain goats are the ones that are able to get to cliffs easier. On the opposite side of the cliffs is a paved trail that leads out to an overhang where visitors can stand and view the goats. As we walked toward the lookout with Caren and the kids in the lead laughing and giggling we saw a couple standing at the rail. When they saw or heard us coming they stepped away from the rail and made room for us. Caren was in front blocking everyone's view. Seth pleaded, "Come on, Aunt Caren, move so we can see!"

"Yea, move!" urged Larissa.

"Move, please!" insisted the the ever-correcting mother of Seth and Larissa.

At that moment, Caren lifted her leg like a dog and farted. It made a noise like a Whoopee Cushion being sat on by a fat man. It sounded like a rocket taking off. I am surprised the force of the explosion didn't lift her sprite-like body off the ground and over the rail.We all fell silent. Unbeknownst to Caren the older couple that was originally standing at the rail was still there. As Caren was turning around to face us she giggled, "Come you guys, you have to admit that was a good one." And then she saw the couple and her face went as white as a porcelain doll and she shyly said, "Oooops! Sorry!"

As the couple scurried away in bemusement, we all shouted, "Please, excuse our friend. She is a bit addled!"

"Aunt Caren, you should be ashamed of yourself, " guffawed Seth and Larissa in unison.

"Yea, Aunt Caren, you should be ashamed of yourself," the rest of us chimed in.

"Aaah, who cares? I'll never see them again!" replied Caren. "And you have to admit it was a goodie!"

"It wasn't just a good one it was a great!" worshipped Seth. "I gotta practice some more."

"No you don't!" shouted Lauri.

We continued on our trip through the park. When we were pulling into the Trick Falls parking lot Seth came over the walkie-talkie, "You guys aren't going to believe who is here!"

"Is it someone famous?" Caren asked over the walkie-talkie.

Seth laughed with gusto as he replied, "Yea, your famous fart friends."

And there they were, the couple Caren had so rudely imposed upon at the Goat Lick. And when we stopped at Lake Mary, there they were. And when we stopped at the Glacier Hotel, there they were. Every place we stopped, the people we were never going to see again were there.

Seth and Larissa are now much older. Larissa is a junior in college and Seth is a senior in high school. And when we have the opportunity to get together we still talk and laugh about that summer in Montana. The summer Seth and I came face to face with a bear. The summer Terry fell in love with huckleberries. The summer Seth became a regular boy. The summer of the explosion at the Goat Lick

Paco's Perspective

I love summers in Montana, but I don't love Auntie Caren's farts. I do love it when she shares he wine with me.

The Flip Side

I can't wait to go to Montana. Paco says there are lots of trees. More trees than in a dog's dream.

1 comment:

  1. I love your description of Caren. So, so only a sister could tell it.