Zip Line

     When Kela turned 21, we asked her what she wanted for her birthday.  She replied, “A family vacation that doesn’t involve a stock show, John Deere meetings or ag teacher meetings.”  So, we went to Costa Rica.  It was a phenomenal trip.

      As part of the adventures, we went zip lining through the jungle canopy.  Fun.  Tammy had a goal.  She wanted her family picture put in the Eskimo Joe’s catalog.  She bought special t-shirts for all four of us.  And then when we were all on one of the platforms high up in the jungle, she had our picture taken.  All 4 of us in our Joe’s shirts and all of our zip lining safety gear.  She submitted the picture and sure enough the Kelln Krew ended up with our photo in the Eskimo Joe’s catalog.  Woohoo!  No free cheese fries or shirts.  I could have cared less.  I don’t even know if she kept a copy of the catalog.  

       The other part of that zip lining adventure was the really long, steep line that you could really zip.  Before we started down this part of the zip line, the guides really stressed all of the safety features and how to properly slow yourself down.  Use your gloves as a brake and slow down.  If you don’t, you will be going to fast at the end and the guides will get out of the way and let you hit the tree.  They reiterated these points numerous times.  I got it.

       Two guides went first and were waiting at end of the line.  I then went.  WOW!  You could really haul some donkey.  It was a really long line.  I didn’t see any monkeys like the brochure promised.  However, the howler monkeys were howling as I went through the trees.   Just as I had been instructed, I slowed myself down several times.  As I neared the end, I slowed way down and then stepped onto the landing platform.  No problem.

        Duke came next.  He went to get going really fast, then slow way down.  He did this numerous times.  He got to the end, slowed way down and the guides caught him and helped him unhook.  And then here came Kela.  Just as she does everything in life, all out.  Flying, not slowing down at all…….until the very last instant.  She braked and stepped right onto the landing platform.  Perfect!

       And then came the Dragon Lady.  She was hauling butt.  And as she neared, we could all see that she didn’t have a hand on the cable.  She wasn’t slowing herself down.  And she was picking up speed.  Both kids and I were yelling for her to slow down.  But she wasn’t listening.  The guides started yelling as well.  We were all on the edge of the platform, yelling and waving for her to slow down.  As she neared, we could see the fear in her eyes but she wasn’t doing anything about it.  Grab the damn cable!!!  The guides got out of the way.  I stood there, prepared to catch her.   One of the guides was pulling my arm. But like a matador, I too stepped aside.  And wham!  She hit the tree.  She should have paid attention to the instructions.  She wasn’t hurt too bad.  Maybe a bruise.  But I guarantee you two things–1–she will follow instructions next time.  And 2–it was a good thing we had already taken that dang picture.  

       Raising goats is a lot like the four of us.  Some breeders go hard, but follow instructions and practice some safety and patience.  Some are cautious and conservative like Duke.  Some are like Kela and go way in, way hard, way fast and then end up properly at their goal point.  And some don’t follow any advice and go until they hit the tree.  It all works.  

       Pray for rain.  Have a good one.

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