Monday, March 14, 2005

Red Top Drive

Yesterday was a beautiful day. It was 77 degrees out and perfect weather for a "top down" drive.

So in the afternoon Ruth and I decided to go for a ride, a sort of picnic date. I know it sounds sappy but we really had such a good time that we may just make it a habit.

We headed up north to Red Top Mountain. There are several boat ramps, campgrounds, and picnic areas up there. We chose to hang out at the boat ramp where several jet boats were out skimming the lake.

We found a concrete picnic table where we spread out our sandwiches, chips, soda, tea and cookies. Yeah, we may have go overboard on the simple lunch. There was a gentle breeze across the lake that made the temperature ideal.

There's a green trestle bridge that spans the lake. Boats and jet skis were passing underneath. A father and son expedition got underway just as we finished lunch. The young boys, about 8 and 10, helped dad push their fishing boat out and off they went. One guy came back with an ice cooler full of fish.

We pulled out our study materials after lunch but people must have thought us nuts. You're supposed to go to the park to relax NOT study. But we are committed to our Chinese studies regardless of how crazy we seem. That reminds me of a time I went to lunch at a small restaurant. It was crowded. I found a table alone and after my noodle soup I pulled out a book and a highlighter. The restaurant became quiet and still, I thought that odd. I looked up and was suprised that the entire place was staring at me as if I needed a straight jacket. One of them said: "Look at this guy, what is he trying to prove anyway?" I went back to my studies but I was feeling very uncomfortable and left soon after.

Learning a foreign language has been very interesting because my enthusiasm vacillates. Some days I don't want to push my brain another inch and other days I can't get enough.

We packed up and drove around looking for some deer. Last time, a group of tourists decided to take a picture of one. Trouble was they stopped on a blind curve. We came around and almost plowed into them. On another visit we found a group of deer grazing in one of the small valleys.

It's always the simple things that matter most.

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. -Hans Hofmann