This is me at 14 years old getting a piggy back ride from my much smaller younger sister, Cassie. I am wearing a Mennonite bonnet.
What you can’t see:
We are standing in a gas station parking lot. The car to the left is red and belongs to our soon-to-be stepmother, Tina. We are on our way home from spending the weekend at Amish Acres. I thought it was hilarious that Cassie could give me a piggy back ride since I was so much bigger than her; I laughed until I couldn’t breathe. This moment may be when her “freakishly strong” nickname started. That weekend was definitely the start of another nickname that will not be mentioned because she IS still freakishly strong and I don’t want her to beat me up!
The entire car ride there and back we listened to the Dixie Chicks CD on repeat, singing Wide Open Spaces at the top of our lungs. I’m wearing (what was then) my favorite fleece sweater that I got on sale at the Gap. It is hot pink, and I wore it at least once a week during 8th grade.
While at Amish Acres, we learned about the Amish and Mennonite community by interacting with the local people, sampling the food, and riding in a horse and a buggy. I gained a lot of respect for the Amish during this trip, and remember being especially surprised that they encouraged their youth to “sow their wild oats” so they would be adults that were strong in their convictions, rather than blindly following what they had always been taught.
We each picked out a souvenir in the gift shop and mine was the bonnet pictured. It is hanging up on a hat rack in our second bedroom now. We had so much fun with Tina on this trip. I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed so hard in my entire life. Cassie and I already really loved her, but this trip made us realize how much she cared about connecting with us and how lucky we would be to have her for a stepmother.
How this picture makes me feel:
Happy. Like I said, this trip was a blast!! It also makes me miss Tina, who I don’t get to see much due to our busy schedules.
*Title of the post is a line from “In Color” by Jamey Johnson. Buy it here!