My son took me to the Xfiniti race at Charlotte (NC) yesterday. This was my delayed Mother’s Day gift. Originally we had planned on going to the Darlington (SC) race that took place on Mother’s Day but my own mother’s trip and stay in the hospital prevented that. On a side note it was one of the times I was glad my son waits to the last minute to purchase tickets. There was no money lost on unused tickets. But yesterday. Wow.
Yesterday morning my mother calls me as she usually does. In the course of our conversation she casually mentions how she would ‘really’ love a tomato from the farmer’s market. She was ‘really craving’ a good tomato. In the voice of one wanting but not wanting to ask. I told my mother that I believed I had time to take her before we left for the track but I’d check with my son to be sure. We did, so in a short time we were on our way in search of tomatoes and squash and dad wants okra. There was no okra but there was some nice looking cabbage. Mom left with some nice produce so she was happy.
Once she was home, I made my way to the house and prepared breakfast for me and my son. After eating and cleaning up, we got ready to go. I loaded a cooler with bottles of water and grabbed my bag of essentials. A little cash, eye drops because my contacts dry out and hard candy because so does my throat. I had purchased a pair of safety glasses and a pair of safety sunglasses back when we had been planning on Darlington so I grabbed those as well. Finally I grabbed a bottle of sunscreen and shoved it into the side pocket of the cooler. Making sure the dogs and cats had plenty of water, we headed out.
We finally arrived at the track. Waiting at the traffic light I heard someone shouting but wasn’t paying attention. My son turned and said “she likes your jeep”. That enough made my day. I shouted thank you but not sure she heard. My son was looking for a certain place to park. I had neglected to bring my actual glasses so I was no help in reading signs. We passed several areas to the point my son had to turn around and go back. The place my son had thought was free parking was twenty dollars. Thankfully I had that, because I still carry some cash while my son rarely carries any. Parking where we were directed, we prepared to get out and head toward the track. Suddenly I heard a very familiar voice. A dear friend from the jeep group came around the vehicles between us, greeting us with nothing less than pure, unadulterated joy. But then, that is the way this individual greets everyone. Walking, no actually dancing through life as the adventure that it is. When her and her son returned to their jeep, I had to do this. I grabbed a small rubber duck from my jeep and sneaked around to the front of hers. Placing the duck on her jeep I heard the people chuckling behind me as I ducked down to prevent being caught. Slipping back to my own jeep I caught my son laughing. Before I could say I did it, our friend’s son came hurrying around to hand a little duck to me for my jeep. Together we all walked toward the track. Separating only when we reached the point where they had to go purchase tickets while we headed for our seats.
My son has the amazing ability to get tickets at the end of the row. While we usually don’t have to leave often, it does make it easier. There are times when we have to move to allow others passage but this was not one of those times. The row directly in front of us was empty so anyone on our row traveling just climbed over and made their way to where they were going. Speaking of them, we had amazing row mates. The seat between us was empty, but the man beside of my son was friendly and he and my son had several conversations. He even offered us sunscreen but my son showed him that we had some but thank you.
Before last year I hadn’t paid a great deal of attention to the Xfinity races. Last year we met Noah Gragson. Super nice guy, I immediately had a favorite. Noah immediately went to the front of the pack when the race began. Fourth lap in, it became obvious there was a problem. His car lost a cylinder. Over the course of the race he spent extra time in his pit box and a lot of laps at the back of the pack. At one point he was even a lap down. But even with all those issues, he did not give up. He showed us how to act and react to and through adversity. No, it was not life threatening, but winning races is every driver’s goal. They don’t often come easy. By the end of the race, Noah had managed to move up to come in at fourth place…with his car operating on less than full functions. He showed us all, no matter what keep pushing. No matter where you find yourself, don’t quit. Keep pushing, keep trying. Show any and all who are watching that you are strong and capable. Even you are not the one to break the ribbon crossing the finish line first, simply by not quitting, you are a winner.