Saturday, May 26, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Mary Alice Powell

Life is incomplete without truck ride

Did you ever think about your life and wonder, “Why haven't I ever done that?”

Those were my thoughts when I watched a televised soccer game, part of last week's Olympics coverage. So that's a soccer game, I thought.

That I have never seen the fast-footed game not only tells my age, but that I have not cared enough to find a school lot where soccer action is going on. We played a lot of basketball and volleyball back in my high school days, and the boys played football, of course, but soccer was not in our sports vocabulary.

I have jotted down a soccer game on my list of things to do. Who knows, it just might become my favorite spectator sport.

I always feel out of the circle when sports enter a conversation and everyone else is knowledgeable - or at least appears to be. I decided last year to become a Pacers fan after visiting their beautiful new arena in downtown Indianapolis.

Psychiatrists can probably give a name for why a person would have a list of things they haven't done, rather than of what they have done.

During a walk through the Cedar Creek Farm stables in Perrysburg, stroking the heads of one Morgan horse after another as they nosed through the grid, I told owners Bob Burger and Larry Bolen that I had never ridden a horse.

Larry, a horseman who trains Morgans daily and has hundreds of exhibition ribbons to show for his skill, suggested that I get on the stick and do a round of horseback riding.

The to-do list still includes the yen to drive a semi-trailer - and not just a scrubby, dust-laden vehicle that is on its last wheels. I want to step high into the driver's seat of a giant, shiny truck, preferably red with silver trim, and hit the highway in the style these road hogs are accustomed to.

My dream truck has to be equipped with sleeping quarters so I can pull into one of those big truck-parking places overnight and shoot the breeze with the other drivers to learn what's new around the country. The experience should be seasoned with meals at truck stops, although I long ago developed doubts that truck-stop food is like mother used to make.

A chocolate ice cream soda is on the list too. I wonder why I have never sipped a chocolate soda or any other flavor and spooned out ice cream as I have watched people do hundreds of times. Root beer floats are ambrosia, and ginger ale poured over rich vanilla ice cream is to die for. But soda never was appetizing, and I have avoided it faithfully all these years, even with scotch.

Besides, you can't beat a thick malted. I didn't even tire of two malteds a day many years ago when Mr. Schwartz, who had a restaurant in downtown Adrian, tried to fatten me up for my new newspaper career in Toledo. He whipped in raw eggs to boost my weight from 98 pounds. I have pictures to prove it.

I came close to joining a line-dancing group one night. It surely looks like fun and good exercise, but as someone who is too self-conscious to send a bowling ball down an alley, I fear I won't catch the steps right and will trip up the next guy.

The dancers make it look so easy, but then so do the sky divers who jump out of planes and dangle on colorful parachutes all the way down to a soft landing. Perhaps I will do a line dance one of these days, but no jumping out of planes. I'm just thankful as a passenger when the plane lands.

Taking a hot air balloon ride is off the wish list. I did that in Kenya, during my trip to Africa, and considered it a waste of $250. The pilot stayed at 50 feet above the ground and about all we saw were two elephant families and a pair of ostriches, which was no big deal after seeing thousands of wild animals from a van. He said the right time to take a hot air balloon trip in Kenya is during the migration of the wildebeests. That advice came after he had our money. Oh, sure, we'll be back, count on it.

Mary Alice Powell is a former Blade food editor.

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