Monday, March 24, 2008

The Butt Scoot

(Mira: 4, 13 hours ;) Thanks for asking!)

Today, I butt-scooted down a Mountain. Well, it wasn't really a mountain. And no, I certainly didn't butt scoot all the way. Just part of the way.

You know - butt scoot.

The thing our House Monster does when she's got an unmentionable stuck in her rear end.

The first time Nathaniel saw Tabbitha butt scoot was in North Carolina. He was amazed, had no clue that a creature of any sort would do such a thing. We were still living in our first apartment on Cherry Point, MCAS (we moved into a house on base after nearly 2 years in the apartment, only to leave for Florida 9 months later. We were told by the housing office to move...another story). Tabbitha had just dropped a bomb of sorts in her box, and front-paw-pull after front-paw-pull, was powerfully dragging her butt across the floor - towards our bedroom - while giving Nathaniel a blank stare.

He claims that she was giving him the most innocent, nonchalant of looks. A look that clearly stated, "I know I'm up to no good. But I'm so cute that you'll let me do anything."

Determinted Tabbitha, was just beyond the door, a mere foot or two from our beautiful 5 X 7 Oriental rug...

At the time, I was in the bedroom, relaxing and reading on our antique wooden bed. The only carpet in our airy apartment was said Oriental rug next to the bed.

Suddenly Nathaniel, while standing at the end of the bed exclaims, "What is she doing?"

I looked up, momentarilly paralyzed by what I saw, and felt my heart nearly stop beating. I swear. Scouts honor. There was Tabbitha, her pressed hams (Nathaniel's term for her butt - another being "hamhocks") pressed firmly on the floor, happily butt scooting her way towards our precious Orientla Rug. The ONLY rug in our sparsley furnished/decorated apartment. She was literally one or two determined pulls away from achieving nirvana at the expense of our red, yellow, brown, and green rug.

Ass-dragging, skidded bliss. Our Oriental Rug was about to have a little more brown added to its color pallate.

I saw the cat. Saw the bewildered look on Nathaniel face. And realized in an instant what was about to happen.

"NO!" I yelled. "Don't let her get to the Rug! STOP HER!"

Nathaniel was even more startled than Tabbitha. The poor guy - he jumped at the sound of my voice. Our determined cat, however, continued on her path towards kitty bliss.

Sensing the urgency of my voice, and watching in amazement as I lept out of bed towards Tabbitha, Nathaniel lunged towards our butt-scooting cat, and managed to save our beautiful Oriental Rug from Tabbitha's cat-rear. Tabbitha, a mere paw's length away from making her very own deposit, was forced to abandon the transaction, and fled in the direction of the kitty box.

But we did notice a few turd marks and skids on the vinyl floor. Which was a lot easier to clean than the alternative, poopey carpet. Trust me.

So yes, that was Nathaniel's first encounter with the butt scoot. And it was a close, close call.

Today was his second. And it was at my expense. And no worries - I didn't have any unmentionables stuck in my rear. That, my friends, had already been taken care of earlier, thank-you-very-much.

Because we're staying at the Best Western Stratford Inn in Del Mar, CA (sounds beautiful, doesen't it. It is, I promise!) we're a mere stone's throw away from the sparkling Pacific. We can see the water from our suite - and it's beautiful. So we decided to head out towards the beach, for a hand-in-hand walk along the crashing surf. The tide was out, our timing was perfect, and after a quick jaunt down a block through a friendly neighbor's backyard and past some beautiful houses, Nathaniel and I found ourselves at the edges of Del Mar's cliffs.

Well - first we had to head down a steep, short, rocky hill...

And then - we had to cross (carefully!) the railroad tracks, used by Amtrak and the Pacific Coaster... (no trains - hooray!)

Finally - we were walking hand-in-hand along the beach.

One small, teeny, weeny, insignificant little detail - we were about 50 feet or so above the ocean, up on the Del Mar cliffs.

NOT the surf-side stroll we had in mind, but the path was nice (next to the train tracks), the day was loveley, sky the same sparkling blue as the ocean, and we were willing to walk along the path as long as it took until we found a break in the cliffs.

Only other small, teeny, weeny, insignificant little detail - the sandy cliffs extended a long way in both directions.



And then, as though sensing our slight bewilderment, a surfing diva appeared from behind us. Her wetsuit was rolled halfway down to her waist, her feet covered in the same material as the suit. Her black sports bra was the same color as her wetsuit, and very carefully, she balanced her ivory-white surfboard ontop of her head.

We greeted her Hello! - and watched, impressed with her balance as she continued her way along the path.

Even balancing a surfboard on her head, this chick was faster than me. Then again, I had back surgery less than a week ago, was sporting a catheter and folley under my capris (YES YES YES - I GOT INTO MY FAVORITE CAPRIS TODAY FOR THE FIRST TIME!!! No - my body isn't back to normal - yet - but at least this was a promising sign. The khaki capris were a lot more snug than I like. But the poit is, my friends, is that they fit! Huu-ray!), flimsy flip-flops on my feet. Oh well - she really wanted to surf.

And I don't blame her one bit.

If I was a surfer, today would have been a beautiful day to ride the waves. Yes - they were little. But the swell looked amazing, and there were surfers dotted along the coast in both directions. It was wonderful - watching them hop on their boards and ride the waves. Just like a dance.

All of a sudden, our white-surfer-board friend paused, looked over the cliff, and proceeded to walk down the cliff towards the water - white surf board on her head the entire time.

Nathaniel and I paused, awestruck by her balance and dexterity. The surfboard was now mere inches above the cliff top, rapidly descending behind a flowering shrub of some sort. Quickly Nathaniel and I made our way towards our wetsuit-clad friend, and peeped over the edge. Navigating a rough trail cut into the sandy cliffs, this girl was making her way effortlessly down the path, surfboard still expertly balanced on her head.


What great a great core! What great balance! Spectacular stability!

Then again - she IS a surfer...

Nathaniel and I looked down. And then looked at each other, simultaneously sizing up the cliff and sizing up each other. I just know... I've know the guy for nearly 8 years. I can tell what kind of look he's giving me...

"Can we do it? Can you get down with your thingy? Will you be okay?" The questions tumbled out of his mouth before he could stop them.

I just gave him "the look" (The look of incredulity.) My "thingy"??


"Of course!" I replied, cheerfully trying to calm my sweating palms. "I'll just butt scoot down the hill and everything will be okay."

It had gone from being a "cliff" to a "hill".

It's all about perspective, right?

Then again, I looked down and felt myself internally squirm. The cliff, er hill, was steep. And it was sand. And unstable. And there was a long drop to the sand and ocean below. And I had just had surgery... And I was carrying a "thingy" around (Folley - thank you very much!). And my flip flops weren't exactly the most appropriate of footwear for the terrain.

But I really wanted to be at the water's edge...

And my surfboard-toting friend had made it down just fine, surf board balance on her head the entire time.

Let's face it - how bad could it really be?

But still... I thought of my humorless, stern spine/neurosurgeon. He wouldn't approve. I thought about my parents. They definiteley wouldn't approve. I thought of my coach. And she - moreso than all of the others - would kill me if I made myself worse...

But my determination won out, and carefully I made my way down the cliff, er hill.

Butt scooting on my ass the entire time.

It was sandy, and I felt my shoes slip a bit. And firmly on my butt I sat. Legs would extend out, feet would plant as firmly as they could, hands would support my torso and butt, and gingerly I scooted forward. Foot-by-foot. Down the cliff - er hill - down, down, down. Very much the embodiment of Tabbitha. Like I said before, no deposits were left. Even though the sand was of a similar consistency to kitty litter...

I don't really remember how many switchbacks I crossed - perhaps 4 - but kept going. Feet extend, heels dig in, hands plant under my butt, butt moves forward, legs bend, and repeat. And repeat. And repeat. I don't really think I could have gone back up, quite truthfully... I let Nathaniel pass me towards the end, and remained firmly planted on my derriere, even as he jumped the final 6 feet to the sand. I could feel his impact.

The final 10 feet were the worst. I slowed my scooting (I was quite efficient at this point) as I neared the edge. To my dismay, there was nothing but empty air the final 5 feet between the edge of the cliff bottom and the sand. And newsflash: I'm a bit over 5 feet. A loveley 5'4, thank-you-very much! I thought briefly of jumping into Nathaniel's arms - how romantic! But that thought was soon squashed away by the fear of our impact together. The thought of me, catheter, folley, body-post-surgery all falling-like-a-stone into Nathaniel's open arms was simply too much.

Knowing me, I would probably squash the poor guy. He would be a body imprint, 18 inches below the sand. And me - with my catheter and folley - would lay spread eagle and moaning. Just my luck. We would take each other out by our foolish fantasy. Yeah. Not so much.

Don't cue the romantic music. Don't think of the couple - locked in embrase at surf's edge. We would both be hospitalized. Nathaniel for injuries sustained by his wife's impact. Me for insanity, for making the leap in the first place.

And ever so briefly, while the fantasy played through my mind, I was overcome by a fit of giggles.

If we had actually attempted this leap, I'm positive Coach Jen would have REALLY killed me. Dr Leary would give me another stern lecture. And my parents would swear that they weren't related.

Imagine that conversation: "Hi Jen - I made it down the cliff intact, but it was my stupid attempt at fulfilling a romantic fantasy of jumping into my husband's open arms at the water's edge that did me in."

It makes me sick just thinking about it.

Thankfully, Nathaniel managed to point out a few well placed foot ledges that had been carved out of the sandy rock. Whatta Man!

And after a few more minutes of turning off of my butt, placing my feet in the proper spots, I found myself on the soft Pacific Sand. And a mere 50 meters away from the crashing surf.

Safe, sound, intact. (Cue the romantic music!)

Needless to say - we walked 2 miles down to the public beach in Del Mar, and then slowly (and safely) made our way back up the hill side community, through the town and past the quaint shops of Del Mar, and eventually found ourselves back at the hotel.

It was a wonderful day, a great adventure for Nathaniel and myself. Even if I had to butt scoot down a cliff - er hill - to do so.


Beth said...

Sounds like a wonderful day Marit - once you butt scooted your way down to the water that is!! I had that country song Boot Scooting Boogie (or whatever it's called) in my head the whole time I was reading your entry! :) Great writing!! Hope you guys have a great day today!

Trigirlpink said...

lol.. awesome post. Glad you are feeling better and hope your appointment goes well today. My kitty scoots too. I'm gathering most cats do this. All my rugs over the last year went from non-washable to... you guessed it... WASHABLE.

Pedergraham said...

I had a feeling like that surfer was some sort of mermaid siren-type, luring you down, down, down to the sea...

Glad you made it down. Hope your appointments are going well. And, BTW, Molly scoots ocassioanlly--but always at my mom's house. -Danielle

Mel said...

OH Marit....keep taking those Meds...I was crying/laughing so hard with the cat butt scoot...too funny:) I can't say my cats scoot, but I have seen many dogs do it and I always thought that was a sign of them having worms, but I am sure they get butt itch too :) Glad you are still you chipper self!!!

CAMI said...

You are truly an inspiration! And funny to boot :) Keep scooting

Courtenay said...

while i am highly confused by this mira winky smiley face code language at the top of the post, i am nevertheless quite happy and impressed at the image of a long beach walk with a thingy!!

charlie doesn't scoot (or walk around much at all for that matter). he also doesn't play with toys, so don't ask me why i keep buying them for him... when i try the laser pointer thing, he looks directly at my hand and then at me and then blinks and stands there like i am the idiot. sheesh.

anyhow: hi!!

Eileen Swanson said...

So happy to hear that you are feeling better! I am so sorry that I did not contact you sooner. I am home now and just know that we were wishing you well from Oz.


Kellye Mills said...

Rocky butt scoots all of the time!! Not because anything is there.... I think maybe because it just feels good! :)

I'm glad you're getting to enjoy California while you're out there!