I really am trying to get smart.  Along the way to smartness I've done some really dumb things.  In fact, I penned the speech and spoke at my high school commencement - that riveting speech was entitled, "Successful Failures". (That's also the event where my mom's camera broke and there are no pictures of me giving that momentous speech.  But then again I am the youngest and there are really no recorded pictures of me anyway.  There isn't anything too thrilling that needs to be recorded by the time you have child #3!). I'm thinking at 17 I hadn't had as many failures or "get smart" moments as I have collected now at age 44.  Let me start at the beginning.  Some people are just smarter automatically and then others (of us) aren't.  There could possibly be a third category of sometimes smart and sometimes dumb people - I don't really know.  When I was a little kid I had four loves; my bike, the great outdoors, reading and possibly my doll.  That get smart moment occurred when I decided to combine my great loves into one event knowingly called disaster.  I finagled my doll stroller to the back of my banana seat bike with a rope, grabbed my favorite book at the time and decided to ride down the road.  Well, do you know how hard it is to pedal, hold the handlebars with one hand, focus your eyes on the words on the page while your doll is being thrown about behind you.  Let's just say I soon was off the bike laying in the ditch.  Before you think I really learned something - try again.  I decided it just needed to be perfected.  So I tried it a bit different.  Same result.  Really I believe that's why I can't wear mini-skirts:)....too many falls on my knees.  And if you get in trouble for your mom seeing you hit your sister, do it when she's not looking and then look innocent as only a youngest sibling can. There was also the time I drove myself to a school event in the dead of winter with no drivers license because my friend forgot to pick me up. I didn't think through it well though.  Cars get snowy and wet from driving in the winter and then they drip on the garage floor.  BUSTED I was.  If I remember right that's when my father had the, "are you on drugs" conversation with me.  Of course then there was the time when during my senior year in high school I was in the parking lot of school in my dad's Ford Mustang with a couple of girlfriends.  We were simply joy riding up and down the aisles of parked cars when another friend decided to do a "Duke's Of Hazard"  roll across the hood of a moving vehicle.  It didn't work.  The windshield shattered, injury ensued and we all got called into the Principal's office.  Still I continued to not get smart.  Another time I took my dad's motorcycle out for a drive (this time he told me to meet him somewhere) and my favorite ball cap blew off.  I wasn't about to lose that ball cap, I loved it.  My get smart moment came when a too young and small 16 year old girl tried to stop and turn the motorcycle around in the road.  It was too heavy and down I went with it on me.  I was rescued by some farmer who pulled the bike off me - both bike and girl were unharmed in that get smart moment.   Of course there was the time when me and a girlfriend decided to ride our neighbor's horses -neither of us being equestrian kind of girls.  Both of our horses for whatever reason took off running at full speed with us screaming and clutching their necks.  That get smart moment was very much like the motorcycle - horses are big!  My next get smart moment came at a pool party my freshman year.  Note to self:  If you dive off the diving board in a bathing suit that doesn't have a strap around your neck it will not stay up.  But, you won't know it right away when you surface until you see several guys getting an eye full.   Yet another pool moment....skinny dipping is great, great fun until your friend's little brother decides to spy on you.  What about dating?  If you have to triple date with your sister and a friend and their dates because well, you don't really want to go with this guy - you shouldn't go.  And when he falls off his chair backwards in the restaurant you get smart about saying no next time he asks you out.  If you see road workers who seem to be troweling cement at an intersection and have cones set up, drive where they aren't and where the wet cement isn't.   Honeymoons are real eye openers.  I locked our keys in the car twice during the first week of our marriage.  Cars were still able to be broke into with a hanger back then or a kind hearted police officer.   And underwear...I would suggest not wearing underwear with little blue bunnies on them on your wedding day with no slip under your wedding dress....I ended up going commando:)    If your house catches on fire and you have to quickly figure out what to run out with, maybe you should take more than just your toothbrush.  Although I have great oral hygiene.  If you try to turn and move a small boulder by yourself that weighs oh I don't know, say 500 pounds, you will injure your shoulder.  It will hurt for at least a year.  Not that I have done that:)   When burning what appears to be completely dead poison ivy, beware!  YOU WILL GET IT BAD FOR AN ENTIRE SUMMER!   When doing your own remodeling projects be cognizant of physical and geographical boundaries.  One should never stand on the tank part of a toilet that is no longer bolted to the floor.  There are such things as ladders.  It will tip and you will seriously injure yourself and require multiple surgeries - you won't hold a knife properly or play octaves right ever again.   And, always if you are not a licensed electrician do not attempt to crawl around in the attic for 3 hours .  There is not enough pain medicine or trips to the chiropractor to get you fixed.   Never take a 2 year old on a school bus with a load of high schoolers on a straight through drive to Florida.   Daytona Beach with MTV's famous Wet T-Shirt Contest is not the place for a high school youth group on spring break.   And if you decide to go on a bicycle trip remember that riding 60 miles in a day is rough, but even rougher when you go to climb on the bike the next day for the next 60 miles.  Ouch!    

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