Saturday, September 10, 2011

Great America

We left the house at 7:30 this morning on a mission to have a thrilling experience at Great America.  Brahms asked the family to do this to pre-celebrate his 16th birthday.  It was a brilliant idea. 

It has been a long time since we went there as a family -  Brahms and Shannon remember all their earlier experiences of the place but Miriam was a little girl she could not even remember going there.  Now she's tall enough to be able to go into all the rides.  She had a blast.  During the course of the day, she had thanked us (her father and mother) many times for bringing the family to Great America. 

Shannon and Brahms took the ultimate thrill ride - the 'Xtreme Skyflyer' together.  Bundled and strapped together, they were attached to this thin string.  They told us later that as they were being raised up high into the sky they were telling each other their regrets for dying so soon.  

Shannon:  "I would have loved to have gone to college..."
Brahms:  "I wished that I had turned sixteen before I died." 

Fortunately, they made it down safely. 

This is the first time that we had gone to Great America when I went in almost all the rides.  (I skipped the 'Demon' because I was a bit scared looking at the very twisty tracks.)  All those years, I was with a small child who could only ride the children's ride like the Carousel.  My kids are grown up now.  The rides provided me a chance to let my adrenalines flow in dramatic doses.  I realized that I had not screamed so loud in a long time.  I must have screamed during the whole course of every ride.  Sometime I had my eyes closed because I did not want to see what was coming. 

Unlike me, Tim is always very quiet in all the rides.  He is always doing some daring things like raising his hands up instead of holding on tightly.  He is the expert on all these rides because he has been riding most of these since he was a young boy.  I still remember when we were newly married and we went in the Orbit (back then it was called the New Orleans Orbit).  He tickled me during the whole course of the ride.  I had no time to feel scared of the ride because I was too busy laughing.  From that time on I did not want him to ride with him anymore. 

We had all the fun today but we also lost one thing.  Tim dropped his eyeglasses while we were in the 'FireFall'.  Zippered bags were provided but he refused to put his glasses there.  So down into the water below went his spectacles.  Normally,  my reaction is to worry about them but this time I was suspended upside-down very high up above the water - I was more worried about surviving than anything else.

Overall, it was a very fun day.  We thank God for everything - experience, provision, safety, and lessons learned.  I learned that those thrill rides provide a taste of real life. Life is not always smooth-sailing.  Sometimes it gets scary and it seems that the world is coming to an end but then the direction of life shifts and your original fear is replaced by another one.  Right when you are getting used to and enjoying the sequence of these fearful events, the ride stops and life is over.  I also learned that when the rides are smoothly going, it is time to brace up.  That's what makes life interesting and fun.   :)

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