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Holli Deal Bragg - A resolution to have more fun

Holli Deal Bragg - A resolution to have more fun

Holli Deal Bragg - A resolution to have more fun

Holli Deal Bragg

      When my friend Donna told me one of the highlights of her year was when she and I went mud bogging on a four-wheeler with no brakes, it made me stop and think: life is all about your adventures.
      It was drizzling rain, and we had a trail ride in a few hours. Plans involving the original trail went awry, so we had two hours to mark a new trail. Four wheels are faster than four hooves, so with Donna driving, we took off cross country on a borrowed ATV.
      There we were, two women in our 40's, roaring across newly plowed fields, over flattened fence rows, down hunting trails, stopping here and there to tie yellow ribbons on tree branches. We were soaked, our faces freckled with mud, and we were having a ball.
      One trail of verdant overgrowth hid the mire of mud underneath, and we found ourselves axle-deep in black, sucking muck. It stole my shoes as I helped push the four-wheeler out of the quagmire, and when Donna stomped the gas pedal in attempts to get out of the bog, I was transformed into a mud monster. We'd never laughed so hard.
      We got the trails marked, and I must say the ride was one of our better ones. I had time to dry out a little after rinsing the mud from my jeans and we had a great ride. It didn't beat the one Donna and I enjoyed just hours before, though - for an all too brief couple of hours, we were two wild-haired little country girls, racing down farm trails, riding over fallen logs and across ditches, tasting the sweet, wild freedom of life.
      Why do we, as adults, cheat ourselves out of so many opportunities to be free? To have fun? Why must we be so staid and controlled? Who said we had to become old fogies?
      My New Year's resolution, aside from the vow to saddle up more often, is to have fun and enjoy life. Too many people I know have either passed away too soon, too young; or too many have resigned themselves to a passionless, boring way of life, and I'm not gonna do it.
      There's nothing wrong with silly. My friend Nancy and I have giggled over the most inane things on road trips, but there is something about occasionally acting like teenage schoolgirls that releases tensions and eliminates the doldrums.  One trip to a South Carolina equine auction had us in stitches over humorous signs. It seemed we found one after another oddly named businesses along the remote country roads we traveled.
      We always have some sort of adventure when we hit the road together. I don't think she will ever forget my being pulled over by a state trooper in Tattnall County.
      We were in my old trusty Dodge, which was on its last legs but kept on trucking in spite of needing Mopar Hospice care. The trooper sauntered up to my window, waved away the thick cloud of oily smoke, and said "Did you know your truck is smoking?"
      Bill Engvall's "Here's Your Sign" comedy act popped into my mind, and before I could stop them, the words tumbled out of my mouth. "Yes sir, I've tried putting her on the patch, but it just ain't working."
      I thought Nancy would choke on her laughter, and the trooper almost swallowed his chaw of tobacco.
      I wasn't being disrespectful - just having a little fun. And after a few words about how that old Dodge just wouldn't die, the trooper let us go with a laugh and a warning about a tail light that would not stay in place.
(I'm happy to say I am driving a 2005 Ford F-150 four wheel drive now, and in spite of loving it to pieces, and the realization that a V-8 beats the heck out of a V-6, I still miss old Black Betty the Dodge.)
      My husband Stan has had a hand in the fun too. While I sat in the sale barn at Metter Livestock Auction (before it burned to the ground), he was outside checking out what the vendors were selling. One man had some kind of python or boa, and Stan brought the thing inside to show me in hopes I would say he could bring it home.
      He never gave a thought to other people being afraid of snakes. He handed the snake over to me, and the slithery rascal (the snake, not Stan) promptly crawled right into my shirt.
      In front of hundreds of people (OK, maybe 200), I had to discreetly remove the snake. When I did, all you-know-what broke out.
      Lewie, who owned the sale barn, stood stock still, open-mouthed, his sales banter frozen in his throat. A frightened murmur rippled across the crowd and a handful of people walked all over their neighbors as they made their way out of the sales area. One woman squawked "She got a SNAKE!!!!" and it was instant chaos.
      Needless to say, the snake went back to the OUTSIDE vendor very quickly, but I still get a chuckle to this day as I remember Lewie's expression of disbelief.
      Aaah, the memories. The times I had the most fun cost - nothing. And I vow to do more of it in 2011.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.


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