Thursday, May 31, 2007

Family Tree 2

2nd Edition to the "Long Family Diaries"

Team Cheerleader – Sally Long (aka: Mustang Sally, Silly Sally, Sal, Sarah, Mom, the Salmeister)
So, if you know me... you know cheerleading was my life from about 1993… until, uh, pretty recently. You’d think that would make me the family cheerleader, well… think again! Sally is our ball of energy; a spirit of positive energy and thought. An energizer bunny with contagious optimism. She’s a bright-eyed, smiling, zealous, clapping, wonder woman… always ready to pump-up a room. This is all of course, assuming she’s had ample sleep. Most of you know this Crazy Sally… but, as her daughter, I can tell you that from time to time she does have to decompress and recharge her batteries.

Not only is Sally an amazing mother and friend, she is quite the accomplished triathlete! This year at Memphis in May, Sally (age 55) posted a 2:31.26! Her bike split was 1:06.38 (that’s averaging over 22 mph!). In looking over the results… she would have cracked the top ten in the F40-45 age group!!!!! Simply amazing.

Anyway, Sally never ceases to astound me. Dedicated to her job at CAT, supportive of her friends & family, and firmly devoted to athletic training… there’s a lot on her plate. With all this going on, her ADHD flairs up from time to time. Don’t worry, Sal, we understand!

This causes me recall what I said about Doug. Writing about them almost creates clarity… Maybe Doug & Sally are Yin & Yang. Doug is routine driven, predictable, organized, temperamental, scheduled, firm. On the other hand, Sally is spontaneous, creative, compassionate, easily distracted, lively… He keeps her grounded; honestly I don’t know where she’d be w/out him sometimes. And here’s where I risk angering my dad: I think she provides him with someone to watch over. She needs him, and he likes being needed. Yin & Yang.

Now, to be fair, I have to fill you in on humorous anecdotes about Sally. Wow, the tales that instantly come to mind… memory overload! Here are some Sally stories that stand out:

- Talking her way onto (and flashing her company ID badge… nice, very nice touch) for a ride on the US Military bus: to get from the Memphis airport to a motel in Millington for the MIM triathlon. Of course she made a friend along the way, and the entire group wished her luck in the race!
- Presenting me with a plastic grocery bag of vending machine goodies as a birthday present. She’d been busy that day, and my b-day slipped her mind. No time to hit the mall, she was in an airport. Next best thing: Peanut M&M’s and Doritos ;)
- Running the family van out of gas… I mean, totally out of gas. When the car rolled to a stop along the highway (think nighttime, maybe somewhere in Kentucky) Sally shouts, “Doug, we need gas.” His response, “Well, how about we go to a gas station.” “No,” she said, “I mean, we don’t have any gas.” Leaving Doug to walk along the highway shoulder to the closest exit.
-Getting trapped under a cafeteria worker when the woman passed out. Sally was, like normal, helping someone in need. However, she’s probably the smallest employee at the Aurora, IL CAT plant… and when the woman went down, Sally could only yell for HELP, as she was held down by the unconscious person.

The list of stories like these could go on. I’m sure more will make it onto my blog soon.

Sally, always remember… As crazy as you are sometimes, I wouldn’t change a thing. I love you for who you are, and who you make me want to be. (well, who I want to be… minus a little crazy).

1 comment:

Sally said...

Ashley I love you - for understanding me, loving me and helping me laugh at myself. XOXO Mom