Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Rodeo Mom

Parenting is a little different in this part of the world

Friday, the weather wasn’t good for sailing. The winds were nice, although they were getting stiffer as the day went on. But the temperature was cold and getting colder, which would have been unpleasant for sailing, and so what we did was measure the tiller so we could order its replacement. And we spent some time in the relative warmth of the marina store, chatting with the woman who runs the marina.

Both of her daughters are home for the holidays, and a lot of the chat involved them, and comparing experiences with Tadpole, who is a junior in high school and looking at prospective colleges.

In much of the rest of the country, the involved parent is characterized by the “soccer mom,” who drives a minivan (or a large SUV without having any good reason to have a truck). Rodeo Mom drives an F-350 P0werstroke, towing a diagonal-stall three horse trailer, and she can back it with precision within a half inch. Rodeo Mom drives all over the state – and it’s the fifth-biggest state in the nation, so that’s a lot of miles – with that truck and trailer. When the local team is host to a rodeo, Rodeo Mom is down in the chutes, helping load the steers and calves for the steer wrestling and calf roping, and the broncs and bulls for the rough-stock events. She’s also in the concession booth, flipping burgers for hungry rodeo fans.

Rodeo Mom’s daughters are both in college now. The older one is finishing up her teaching degree at Near Mom State, and she will be starting her student teaching in the spring (at the elementary school where Cornhusker, my regular foredeck crew, is an art teacher). The younger one went off to Rhode Island for college, and she’s still doing things with horses, although East Coast equestrian events aren’t the same as Western barrel racing. She has also discovered sailing, including racing sailing. I have my eye on her as potential crew when she’s home on breaks. If she has the strength and agility and kinesthetic sense to move with a horse going at breakneck speed in tight turns around the barrels, she has what it takes to stick it out on the deck of a racing sailboat.

Meanwhile, after hearing some of Rodeo Mom’s tales, passed on from her younger daughter, Tadpole seems to be considering Rhode Island as a great place to go to college. In addition to great sailing opportunities, most colleges and universities out there seem to have great food service. It’s a matter of adding our savings to his ability to land scholarships – the financial-aid formulas that calculate “need” probably will say that we should be able to pay way more than we actually can.

Meanwhile, Pat and Tadpole went up to Albuquerque last night for a music rehearsal and Boy Scout meeting that had been planned for today. They drove into a record snowstorm – the highest single-day total snowfall since records have been kept. And it’s still snowing. The music rehearsal was cancelled, and the scout meeting was delayed, so they won’t be getting back here until late today. It’s not snowing here, but it’s cold enough that the pipes, which were stuck onto the outside of the building as an afterthought, are threatening to freeze. The cats and I have the heat turned up, and we’re taking it easy.


Blogger Tillerman said...

Your son is very smart. Rhode Island absolutely has some excellent college sailing teams. And New England generally has a large number of colleges with sailing teams in a relatively small area so there's plenty of competition. Good luck to him in his college search.

Sat Dec 30, 12:53:00 PM MST  
Blogger Pat said...

The trick of course would be finding a college sailing team where he wouldn't have to be a superstar to participate fully. Because we're isolated from major sailing centers, he's never had the opportunity for the sorts of cradle-to-grave sailing that's available in places such as Long Island Sound or southern California; he has relatively little dinghy sailing experience and few opportunities to be coached.

Wed Jan 03, 03:56:00 PM MST  

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