Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Experiences

This has been the weekend for new experiences, all of them a little strange.  The first occurred Friday night when Joey took me to my first-ever tractor pull.  I've been to horse-pulls and seen the horses' muscles ripple with strength as they pulled a weighted sled, but I had never been to a tractor pull.  The event was going on  a few counties over at another county fair and as we pulled into town we spotted billows of black smoke.  Joey followed the smoke to the fair grounds, where we paid $40 (!) to get in.  When the ticket guy in the parking lot said $20 a person, Joey thought he was joking.  Nope.

We made our way to the track and surveyed the stands and decided to cross over to the inside field where many people were standing to watch the action.  Lined up all along the straight-away of the track were truck trailers, covered with people in lawn chairs, or standing and drinking beer out of coolers.  I told Joey, "I am sooo out of my element right now!"  All around me were cowboy boots, tight jeans, and little kids with sound-blocking headphones.  We were not in the suburbs anymore.

Basically, a tractor pull involves a tractor that someone has souped-up attached by chains to a "sled" that is like a semi truck trailer.  As the tractor pulls the sled, weights move from the back toward the tractor, making it harder to pull as it goes forward.  The idea is to pull the sled as far as you can until the weight is too heavy and the engine cannot pull it any farther.  Then they measure the distances and whoever had the longest pull wins.

It is very loud and there's a lot of black smoke.  But it was also pretty exciting.  The loud roar of the tractor engine kind of captivates you and compels you to watch as the weight moves forward and the front tires come off the ground from the force of pulling so hard.  The tractor drivers sit in a roll-over cage and wear the same outfit a race car driver would attire.

Going so fast!

Joey has seen this show in an inside arena at the Farm Progress show in Louisville, Kentucky and he said it is LOUD.  He said it is pretty entertaining to watch everyones' hands go to their ears in one motion, and then move them again all together when the sound dies down.  We plugged our ears with our fingers when they brought out the tractors that had six engines mounted on their exteriors.  They were so far beyond what I thought a tractor looked like, more like an alien machine.

These things were ridiculous! And LOUD!

On Saturday, we left for our friends' wedding about an hour away.  We decided to stay the night at a Bed and Breakfast close to the farm where the wedding was taking place.  Joey had been nervous about the B&B all week.  I didn't understand.  He kept saying that we were sleeping in a stranger's house and then we had to eat breakfast with them!  I think he was totally creeped out by the idea.  We found the old Victorian house in the city and Joey kept saying, I thought the B&B was out in the country...I think he was even more weirded out when we pulled up and knocked on the door.  The owner led us to our room and showed us the bathroom and set a time for breakfast the next morning.  We got dressed for the wedding.  I was taking longer with my hair than Joey could tolerate so he decided to take a nap while he waited, and discovered the bed was a waterbed!  Neither of us had ever been on a waterbed before.  Especially a waterbed in a stranger's house...that pretty much sealed the deal for Joey not liking the B&B idea.

The wedding was beautiful.  The ceremony took place under a grove a trees and the reception was in the  150 year old barn.  The barn was decorated with strings of lights and dried herbs and the tables were covered with jars of purple wildflowers.  

The only bad thing was the heat.  It was HOT.  Everyone was drenched.  The bride told me the bottom layer of her dress was completely sweated around her legs and the groomsman were in various levels of undress, their jackets tossed aside, shirtsleeves rolled up, and vests swinging open.  Joey rolled up his sleeves and lost his tie before we ate dinner.  It cooled a few degrees in the evening and most of us dragged our chairs outside.  It was too hot to dance in the barn so we all celebrated under the stars, with the music streaming out of the open barn doors and echoing off the walls of an opposite barn.  

In the end, we survived our night on the waterbed and breakfast with the other guests and the owners of the B&B, although both were pretty weird.  I don't know whoever thought it would be a great idea to sleep on a bag of water, but it was not very restful.  Every time I rolled over I sent a tidal wave over to Joey and it made me feel a little seasick to be sloshing around every time either one of us moved an inch.     The whole thing was weird to us.  I mean, how to do you even fill up a waterbed?  With a garden hose?

The people at breakfast were another story.  They were a couple traveling from Minnesota to North Carolina to take their son to grad school.  When we walked in, the husband was talking with the owner and then turned to his wife and said, "Honey, what a coincidence that just last week we were talking with the ambassador from Swaziland..."  How weird is that?  The whole breakfast was name dropping foreign countries and talking about our jobs.  He was an epidemiologist.  They were interested in my job as a librarian until they said something about a library degree and I told them I didn't have one.  But they gave us something to laugh about on the drive home.  

We asked our neighbors how the dogs fared when we got home and they told us Jip was great, but that Daisy hid under the bed and growled and would not come out.  She didn't go out the whole time we were gone from 3 pm to 11 am and she didn't go in the house.  Kinda embarrassing though since we had to apologize for her being so cranky.  

We just got a call from our friends saying that they have lots of left-over food and beer from the wedding and invited us over for dinner.  I was going to cook tonight, but left-over wedding food sounds better than dirty dishes.  Especially since I washed three sink-fulls yesterday because I didn't want our neighbors to think we were totally disgusting.  Instead, they got to look at all the fur-balls under our bed when Daisy refused to come out.  

1 comment:

  1. I still have yet to attend a tractor pull OR stay at a B&B, but I'm guessing the latter will happen much sooner than the former :)

    I totally feel your lonely dog troubles. Though Ben and I have a cat to contend with instead, she pretty much attacks us every time we return from a trip, even if it's only 24 hours.