Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mama, she's a QUEEN!

You've got to love small town living sometimes.

On Sunday night, Skippy and I decided to say the hell with cooking. Everyone was recovering from colds, and I hadn't taken anything out of the freezer so we decided to chuck responsibility out the window and go out for pizza. We invited my mother-in-law Dixie with us and then headed over to pick up her along with Banana and Kbear, who had spent an afternoon playing blissfully at Grammy's house. Then we headed across town to Spooky's.

Having grown up in suburban Chicago, I am super picky about my pizza. Just any old pizza will not do. Unfortunately, oftentimes in many Oregon towns if you ask the locals where the best pizza place is, they will point you to Domino's in one direction, and Pizza Hut in another. Not many options abound. It is a sad sorry state of affairs.

However here in our own little bit of the middle of nowhere, we are 'lucky' enough to have Spooky's. Spooky's is our local pizza joint that specializes in locally brewed beer, insanely over-priced pizza, and a variety of sandwiches. They have a big screen TV for watching sports, a small arcade for the kids, and various temporary tattoo and lead-based toy machines that will dispense anything to you for a quarter. Last but not least is the giant moose head mounted in the doorway that oversees all of the proceedings. The killer fries make up for the moose head.

And let's face it...beggars can't be choosers.

So we get settled at our table and Skippy heads off to order way too much food for way too much money and the girls run off to the arcade while Dixie and I try to strap Chunk into his highchair. The place is hopping busy on a Sunday night and I'm people watching the long line leading up to the counter when a young lady catches my eye.

First of all, there's something about the way she's holding herself. Very confident, full of smiles and laughter. Her hair frames her face in big fluffy curls and her makeup is perfectly applied. She has cowboy boots and a gorgeous black cowboy hat sits on her impecably done hair.

She is without a doubt one of our local rodeo princesses.

When we moved to Oregon, the rodeo culture was completely new to me. And I have to admit, I get just as much of a kick out of seeing these girls in the local parades as Banana and Kbear do. I'll also admit that I'm not completely up on the logistics of the competition but I know that it takes a lot of time and money and dedication to support those young ladies. When Banana and K see them in the Cherry Fest parade every year, they literally squeal with delight at the gorgeous horses carrying such pretty girls in crowns seated in beautiful flower festooned saddles.

And there was one, right in the middle of Spooky's.

Once our cheesy breadsticks arrived, Banana and Kbear came running from the arcade and I leaned across our table conspiratorily...

"Pssssssst.....girls. Look over at the next table.....I bet that's a rodeo princess."

Kbear's eyes grow huge, "Can we go talk to her?" she whispers.

We three grown ups chuckle indulgently and give them some conversation coaching and watch while Kbear brazenly walks up to interrupt the other table's dinner, Banana play acting shyness behind her every step of the way.

"Excuse me," K says politely as the young lady in the cowboy hat turns around, "but are you a princess?"

The girl flashes my girls a big smile. "Actually," she tells them confidingly "I'm a rodeo QUEEN."

The girls eyes get HUGE and they scurry back to our table, obviously overwhelmed into stunned silence by their discovery. A few minutes later, Miss Cowboy hat comes over to our table and takes a moment to crouch down so that she can talk to each of my girls, asking them their names and signing little cards with her picture for each of them.

Without a doubt, it was the highlight of my girls' weekend. They jabbered about it all through dinner and all the way home and Banana even insisted on taking her "autograph" to school with her the next day.

So thank you, Miss Wasco County Rodeo Queen Melissa. You were sweet and gracious and made my little girls' night!


nana said...

That's my little Country Thunder Cowgirls!!!!YEE HAA!!!

Ms.Toni said...

That makes my heart smile.