It's a day of wonders, of weirdness, and a lot of driving for just about everyone.
After seeing the truck race, it's a bit disappointing to miss the real thing. I kind of hope this becomes an annual event.
Here is one of the strangest things to happen at the race - that's Cyndy standing next to a Jeff Gordon banner. It was Aaron's and my birthday present to Dad, and she personally hung it up for him (after a few cracks about toilet paper). Notice that she can't resist doing the three-fingered salute. (Apparently Dale got a salute because it was possible to show three fingers and still hold a beer. Poor Junior, with #8, is left out.) I realize that most people reading about my knitting don't give a rat's hind end about Jeff Gordon or Dale Earnhardt, but this is such a remarkable and unbelivable event that I want to make it public. Besides, if you're in Indiana, you might as well give in to the siren call of Auto Racing. I think "Hoosier" may come from "Who's yer driver?"
The guys with the Confederate flags took "serious" one step further, with this airplane circling the track. A little post-race research revealed that this is a project of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, in response to NASCAR's attempt to discourage fans from displaying the flags, in hopes of making a more diverse group of fans feel welcome. I suspect that for most Dixie-loving NASCAR fans, "General Lee" most likely refers to an orange car and some wild driving. Yee-haw!
I have to share this picture of Tweeter, the cuddly pit bull who shared our camp. I've never seen a more mellow dog before, although 85 pounds of "thinks he's a lap dog" can be especially challenging when only camp chairs are available.
And wonder of wonders, here it is, my mother and father with all six of Dad's kids - from 60-something Linda to 20-something Nancy. I'm trying to come up with a "24" gesture for Jeff, just to provide some balance to Cyndy.
With the group picture finally taken, the older bunch headed out for the race, and we left for home. This turned out to be a little more challenging than originally planned, since all the roads only go one way - straight into the track - all morning. So we had to wait until the race actually started to leave. But that gave the nearly-finished Monkey sock a chance to say good-bye, and to get a nice view of the Goodyear Blimp flying over the track.
I spent the trip home finishing the Monkey socks, and making a lot of progress on the Red Scarf. I had to give up knitting around 8:00 - I tried switching to the Nile Socks, but it turns out that while knitting in the dark is easy enough, fixing mistakes isn't. So we're all home, tired and filthy, but glad to have pulled off a birthday surprise. Maybe this will become an annual family reunion. Next year, I'll scout out yarn shops in Birmingham.
We learned about one more adventure after returning home - Cyndy tripped and impaled her hand on a tent stake. Most people wouldn't consider that a highlight, but she got to be hauled off to the infield hospital in a police car, and was stitched up by the same doctor who works on the drivers. I'm sure she's hoping for a scar.
And wasn't it nice of Jeff to win, and make Dad's happy weekend complete?