I was riding my horse, Joan, who was walking precariously close to the edge of a cliff that had a 200-foot dropoff, when I began to question my husband's idea of a good time.
He's an overachiever where fun is concerned, with an unerring sense of adventure. Countless friends and relatives, all in search of a new escapade, will drop everything to join his exploits. But sometimes I wonder if he lives by the rule, "No pain, no gain."This time, after reading an article in a magazine about some people who went sightseeing in Canyonlands on horseback, he put it on his priority list. "The kids will love it," he said.
But my idea of a nice vacation is just camping somewhere like Payson Canyon. "Boring," my husband said, and everyone else agreed, so he continued with his plan.
"But it's hot in the desert," I complained.
So he moved the date up. Canyonlands in winter is definitely not hot. As we all sat huddled around a campfire with bats diving around us, my husband said, "Now, isn't this fun?"
I rearranged my blankets around me. Compared to what, I thought.
"We'd better get to bed early. We've got a big day planned tomorrow."
When we got back to camp the next day, I slid off my horse and discovered that my knees had turned to rubber.
"How are you holding up?" my husband asked good-naturedly as he caught me just before I hit the ground. "Are you having a good time?"
"You bet. Did you see that country out there today? Wasn't that something?"
Well of course I'd seen it. It was impossible to miss it the way it just stretched out there for miles in every direction. But I had to admit, albeit grudgingly, that I had enjoyed seeing the Anasazi ruins, and the towers and spires of sandstone country.
That night, huddled around the fire again, my little girl began pointing excitedly at the sky. "That's the moon," I told her, and her fingers made little curling motions that said, "Gimmie."
"You want the moon?" I asked, and she nodded yes, yes.
Finally, at home in a warm bed, I remembered how I had questioned Ron's idea of a good time; the narrow ride over a sandstone ledge, the vast open country, and the moon so close that Aliza had thought to ask for it.
I guess it just takes time to get used to another person's idea of a good time; next time, I'll even look forward to it.
(Patt Jensen lives in Provo with her husband, Ron, and three children, ages 1 to 15. She writes about kids, kin and family every other Tuesday for the Deseret News.)