Not that I don’t remember all of these fondly, but newspapers rarely have “Personals” anymore and I wanted to have that on my site – only, I write them. So aside from the nationally renown memories I will be writing about all the time. This is where I share more “personal” memories, which I experienced first hand.

When I drove an ATV for the first time

On Saturday, July 23, my family and I went to Elliot, Illinois (about 8 miles east of Gibson City, so my grandma says). There we got to chitter chatter and hang out with my aunt and uncle and cousins. One of my cousins, Sandi (bless her heart for this), brought her and her husband’s All Terrain Vehicle, better known as an ATV.

I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant to hop on the beast and take it for a stroll, but at some point in the late evening, Sandi’s husband, David, talked me into it – I don’t know how, but I got the urge to try it. David had pretty much talked it up to me all night, and everybody had already ridden on it who had never done it before.

It was my turn, and my uncle, Roger, rode up on it to end his trip. He told me to hop on so we could go riding around.

“No, I’m going to drive it by myself,” I said like a cocky 10-year old thinking I could do something alone which I may not have been capable of. Nevertheless, I took the wheel (in this case, heavy-duty handle bars). Oh, and I was ready for it.

After Roger and David gave me a quick, 30-second tutorial… something about shifting gears, the numbers one, two, three, four, and five, this thing called a “brake,” and a light that told me I was in neutral… I was ready to roll. Maybe the only thing I took from their tutorial was something David told me at the very end.

“This is where the gas is.” Mmm, yes. The Gas. Actually, their tutorial was very informational and deserving of a teaching certificate.

Then, I went. I sped out of the make-shift parking space, by the fence, and headed for greener pastures. Wind at my hair, throttle in my hand, nobody to slow me down, and zero cars on the road, I hit the ground running.

After my brief stint on the road, back and forth, I got off the road and traveled into a ditch where I got to experience first hand what its like not to be driving on a flat surface. Here’s a brief lesson about ditches:

When you’re in a ditch, it’s hard to steer straight… and very easy to tip over.

I didn’t tip over. I got out of the ditch after a while and back onto the grass, where I started going all the way around my aunt and uncle’s property. I felt free as a bird, like the song. With the encouragement of my cousin, Charlie, I “ripped it up.” For those of you who don’t know what this means — wreak havoc, push it to the limit.

So I did. Then when I came back to park it, I felt accomplished. And David gave me good news, telling me I “picked it up quickly.” I’m a quick learner, and proud of it.

If you have never ridden an ATV before, I advise you to get out there and try it. It’s really fun and particularly manly (at least for me).

No bloggers were injured in this experience.