Roller Coasters

Hello everyone, this is Mimi writing. Here’s a picture of me (on the left) with Sweet Pea.

If you don’t know me, here is a tiny biography: I am the second oldest of the kids, nineteen years old, a junior at the university, majoring in creative writing and public relations, and considering minoring in French. I love people, books, coffee shops, dancing, the internet, driving with the windows rolled down and the radio up, the New York Times, and the smell of lilacs at twilight. I hate oatmeal and the current price of gasoline.

And now, back to our not-so-regularly scheduled programming:

Have you ever ridden a roller coaster in the rain? I have. Some friends and I drove up to Silverwood yesterday, and in retrospect I’m not sure whether I highly recommend it, or advise you to avoid rainy roller coasters like the plague. The weather was beautiful most of the day, partly cloudy, a nice breeze, about 60 degrees. Shortly before the park closed, around 5:40, the wind picked up, it started sprinkling. And we decided to ride one of the big wooden roller coasters one more time.

Silverwood is a really nice little theme park–actually the biggest in the northwest. Two fantastic, huge, wooden roller coasters, a small steel one, and now they’re constructing a gigantic blue and green steel monster. They have the obligatory carousel, round-up, log flume, white water rafting, scrambler, tilt-a-whirl, bumper cars, bumper boats, a ferris wheel, a thirteen- or fourteen-story free-fall, all of the usual rides, you know. There’s also a water park that we did not visit.

Because of the weather (rain had been forecasted) there were no lines. It was the sort of day when you can get off a roller coaster, and then if you’re fast enough, you can run back around to the entrance and get on it again for the very next ride.

For the last ride of the day, we went on the Tremors roller coaster. It started raining a little harder as the cars were towed up the hill and we were serenaded by the ominous click-click-click-click-click-click of the chains propelling us upward. My best friend Jessa and I sat in the front, and she chanted, “We’re all going to die, we’re all going to die, we’re all going to die…” Her fiancé Joe, and another friend, Chris, were sitting right behind us.

I remember my first time ever riding a roller coaster. It was at the Lakeside Amusement Park near Denver, Colorado, a tiny family-operated park that was established one hundred years ago and was built, obviously, on the shore of a lake. One of the rides was a train that took guests all the way around the lake, and that was most fun at night, because the park lit up with neon and glittery lights that, in my mind now, evoke feelings of Coney Island, and the glory days of carnivals. There was a roller coaster called the Chipmunk, and it was my first roller coaster experience. I remember sitting in a rodent-style two seater car. I was short enough that my head banged against the metal sides of the car with every twist of the track, but I survived.

At the top of the drop on Tremors, the roller coaster came free of the chain, and hurtled down the hill along the track. As soon as we picked up speed, the raindrops began to sting our faces like hail, tiny pieces of glass, or, as Jessa would later describe it, “Gigantic acupuncture needles all over your face.” At the end, when we got out of the cars, we were all wiping our faces gently with our shirtsleeves. It was a climactic end to an excellent day, and before driving home, we stopped to get huckleberry ice cream cones.

* * *

In other words, I’m leaving for Colorado in five days. I’ll be gone for six weeks. And I just felt like sharing a story about time spent with friends, whom I will miss very much while I’m gone. Cheers!

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Signe
    June 4, 2008

    Great post, now I know why all of my kids want to go to Silverwood. Have a great time in Colorado.

  2. Jim & Laurel
    June 5, 2008

    Great story … which brought back a crazy memory.

    A couple of years ago, we took our 9 kids to their first amusement park (in Iowa … in the middle of a cross country road trip).

    My 17 year old son and I were the only ones daring enough to go on the roller coaster with the upside down loop. As we were starting to ascend the first hill, the rain and hail started, quickly followed by lightening. I immediately realized that not only were we on a huge metal rollercoaster, but that we were probably the tallest structure in all of Iowa. Therefore, we were riding a Lightening Rod. A bit scary, to say the least.

    As soon as our ride ended, they closed the ride until the lightening storm quit. As we wiped the rain off our faces, my son and I laughed that we had both had to keep our eyes closed the whole time because of the hail … so neither of us had “seen” the entire ride.

    Thanks for the memories.

    Laurel 🙂

  3. Kemery Kane
    June 5, 2008

    Hey there Mimi! I know your friends and family will miss you terribly, but I am *so excited* to have you coming!!!

    The Chipmunk is still alive and well (although the train around the lake is now a walking path) and you, my friend, are going to love reliving that memory. (Although granted, the Boomerang and the Mind Eraser at Elitches will be *way* more fun.)

    Love you! See you Monday!!! 🙂


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