Friday, December 01, 2006

Land of the Shrunken Heads

During our getting-to-know-you period, you remember that, right? The time when you had so much to talk about that there was never any silence between you? The time that, after ten years or so, became marked by saying, "Shhhhhh, I want to hear what penalty the ref is calling!" Anyway, during that period in the first ten years of our relationship, Don and I learned that we had both always been fascinated by the idea of going to Mt. Rushmore. Every year when we received our new geography books, we learned that we would both thumb through and find the Mt. Rushmore picture.

So, now having a partner in crime to visit South Dakota with, off we went.

We saw some amazing sites during our trip to South Dakota: Huge rock formations that would take anyone's breath away, and we saved Mt. Rushmore for last, knowing it was going to be the highlight of our trip.

After running to the hotel to drop our bags and get checked in, I drove to the parking lot, which in and of itself was massive and very enticing, and we started the trek to the mountain carving that had intrigued us since our youth. The walk to the seating area was impressive. They had a huge walkway with a flag of each state hanging above it, and that was breathtaking. Don said, "Oh, my God, this is going to be soooo awesome!!"

Suddenly in front of us, there it was. The object of our affections. And it was very, very neat. Just listening to the history of it, learning about the carving process, was amazing. We sat there with a couple of hundred other people and listened and waited, and at dark, the lights were turned on to illuminate the presidents and show them in all their majestic glory!!

We were pretty quiet heading back to the hotel. The conversation was a little lulled by what we had just seen. About the only thing we said was, "Was that not just cool?" And "Yeah, that was cool."

Months passed. We were back in our respective routines of working, eating and sleeping, and then one day, as we were watching a show on TV describing the wonders of the world and they came to Mt. Rushmore, I could not keep it in anymore. I said, rather quickly, "I wasn't as impressed with Mt. Rushmore as I thought I would be...I was lying."

Don let out his breath and said, "Oh, GOOD! I thought I was missing something! The whole thing was cool, but the heads...they were...I don't know...like shrunken or something, just not as big as I was expecting."

So forever more, Mt. Rushmore will, at least in our household, be known as The Shrunken Heads.

And there is a moral here: The things you think are so huge when you are young, really ARE just anthills. Take it from me.

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