I told you this morning that my Aunt Betty passed away and the funeral was last Friday. She was 94. Sadly, she was the last of that generation on my Dad’s side so it’s my generation that is on the top of the totem pole now…or would that be the bottom of the totem pole. I’m not exactly sure.
Anyway…I rode with my sister and her husband. It was nice to have company for traveling. I don’t see my sister often so it gave us a chance to visit as well.
All of the cousins who lived within driving distance were there so it was nice to catch up with everyone.
My Aunt Betty was short…and sweet. When I say short, I mean really short. Maybe just over five feet! She and my Uncle Bert had two kids…both boys. The boys were older than me…I’m by far the youngest grandkid on that side of the family so much younger that I really didn’t have any cousins to play with so although, now that we’re grown up, we have things to talk about, back as kids, I was a little bored with my Dad’s side of the family. I am so thankful that it isn’t that way anymore.
My cousin Charlie is the oldest grandkid and he’s soon to be 80….me, I’m the youngest and am 57. Most of us are late 60s to late 70s. There are 15 grandkids in all.
The minister at the funeral was so encouraging of us all visiting and sharing stories and that is exactly what we did.
Some of my siblings and I had plans to be together over the weekend before the funeral was even announced. My brother Jay’s son Jake was running is demolition derby in a neighboring two to me and my sister and I have been wanting to watch him compete but have never made it. Being he was competing in Iowa (he’s from Minnesota), it was our chance.
My brother Jay was coming as well and had plans to stay overnight at my house as it was a two-night competition.
My sister, Judy, her husband George, and I all made it back to my house before Jay arrived. As we were pulling into town, George asked where Kalissa lived. I showed him and the next thing I knew he pulled into her driveway and said, “Let’s go see how the remodel is coming”. I didn’t even know if Kalissa was home. She was and was a nice hostess and showed them around. Currently, they are finishing the demo so it was nice they were able to see the place mid-progress.
From there it was back to my house and waiting for Jay to arrive. We visited and then were off to the derby. Actually, we stopped and picked up my son Karl first. Karl is always up for something fun so the derby was a great way to support a cousin and check out the derby.
In the picture, it’s Karl, George, Judy, me, and Jay.
Kelli, my daughter, and her husband Jason along with her three kids came too.
If you aren’t from rural areas, you might not have heard of a demolition derby. People modify old cars and then go to the derby. They purposely smash into each other and work to eliminate other cars. The last car that can move with a running motor wins. They were doing a special derby that had teammates with four cars to a team. Jake ran in the last heat.
A heat consisted of two four-person teams driving against each other. They would battle until one car was left. The winning team automatically went straight to the next level of competition which would happen on Saturday night. The losing team would go to a competition on Saturday at noon. If they won they could go to the Saturday evening competition too. During the time between competitions, the car drivers would have to try to fix and work on their cars to get them ready for the next match.
The best heat of the night was the second one. The drivers were so good and the cars even though really smashed performed wonderfully. We all agreed they were tough competitors. I think besides my nephew Jake’s team, we all like WBH.
In between the matches, big telehandlers would come out and clear the cars that wouldn’t start off the field. Kelli’s kiddos loved watching that too.
Jake’s team won pretty easily which was great as they wouldn’t have to do a ton of work to get ready for the next competition. Sadly the other team we liked WBH lost and their cars were in bad shape. They would have LOTS of work to do before the next competition.
After the derby on Friday night, we all went down to the pits to see Jake. Emmett was so impressed he got to sit in Jake’s car. I just love his smile in this picture.
Georgia does this new “posing” thing every time she gets her picture taken now. There she is…
The next day Jay and I went back to watch the losers from the night before compete to see who might win a chance to play in the evening derby. I was amazed at all the work the guys did overnight to have their cars ready. WOW. If you had asked me the night before I would have been sure all the losing cars wouldn’t have made it back.
It turns out that the team I liked from the night before WBH, won and would be competing in the evening rounds. YAHOO!! Well, I didn’t know for sure if that was good or not because now Jake would have to run against them and they were tough.
Jay and I had a big break then and lots of time to kill. We ended up going garage saling and then we went to the Amish. My brother Jay is recently divorced and was looking for a few household items. They have some great kitchen supply stores there and we were able to find a few things. He had not really shopped in an Amish community before so it was interesting.
We did see three different signs with puppies for sale. These were cute Bichon mixed puppies.
From there we stopped at a Mexican place and ate lunch/supper. This was my food.
Before we knew it we needed to get back to that derby.
There were several different races before my nephew ran. It was fun to watch. The young people’s match was won by a girl. Both Jay and I were cheering her on. She did a great job.
Before long it was Jake’s turn…that’s him in his car #122. There were 24 cars in total in his heat. Sadly Jake was about the eighth or so from the end in being eliminated but he still had two team members battling on. Remember there are four cars in each team. At that point, we had Jake’s two team members and one car each from three different teams. We were so hopeful that Jake’s team would win. They had the advantage, but then just like that, both were eliminated. Then there were only two cars left. One of them was from the WBH team that I had enjoyed watching earlier so Jay and I started cheering for them being Jake’s team was out.
The WBH guy ended up winning. All of us agreed that he totally deserved the win. We ended up going down in the pits to talk to Jake and talked to him as well. He was a really cool guy. He was very gracious and proud with not a bit of arrogance. It was so nice to see a wonderful winner.
Jake was a little sad they didn’t place higher but was happy with third place. It was so nice to see Jake happy and excited about something he really enjoys doing. I don’t get to see my nieces and nephews nearly enough. With my own kids and tribe of nieces and nephews, it’s so hard to keep up. This was fun and I’m going to try really hard to do it again. Jake’s younger brother Logan also does demo derbies. I’m hoping I can catch one next summer and see them both in the same derby.
After the derby Jay and I headed back to my house. He stayed over another night and then in the morning started packing up. I was giving him a hard time that there was no way he was going to get all of his purchases onto his bike but he sure did. He had groceries from the Amish store, a mini crock pot and two strainers, along with a cassette player and cassettes from a garage sale. He was a great packer.
It’s kind of odd that Jay and I are both single now. My mom died at 61 so my dad spent lots of years being single…my Aunt Agnes’ husband died early as well. My dad and Agnes, his sister hung out and did a lot of things together including their favorite thing, going to lutefisk suppers. As Jay left I told him I could be his Agnes…but I wasn’t too sure about going to lutefisk suppers. (for those of you who don’t know, lutefisk is a Scandinavian thing. It’s fish that is put in a brine to preserve and later boiled in butter. It’s SUPER stinky and kind of slimy. UGH.)
We both decided maybe we’d leave our Swedish roots behind and just check out the Mexican restaurants instead. HA!!
Anyway…I had a really fun weekend. It was totally out of my normal and I loved it. Many thanks to Jake for putting on a good show…and many thanks to George and Judy for letting me tag along to the funeral and many thanks to Jay for a fun weekend doing some of my favorite things.
So curious me wants to know…How many of you have been to a demolition derby and how many of you have had lutefisk? Let us know in the comments.