One holiday event in the life of the Ratliff family

We still like each other.

This swing pulls the pusher down the hill uncontrollably:

Imagine this. 
Three boys and a dad.
The mud is gooey and deep. 
The boys are shouting for dad to push them again. 
The huge tractor tire is heavy requiring all one's gusto to give it the desired motion. 
This dad looses his traction and is suddenly now flying upon release
for the tire takes out all in it's way, stopping for nothing.
The dad is IN the mud,
Scrambling to get back up before getting pounded by the spinning beast again.
Mind you, this is a man who likes to be clean.
He shudders at the littlest amount of sticky on the silverware it seems he always gets.
He never has bare feet for fear of unidentified objects attaching to the bareness.
And now he is quite covered in mud.
One could not even begin to wipe it off.
Gooey, thick mud.
He then checks his socks, boasting they must have stayed clean.
But they had mud on them, too.
We all are laughing.

I am lost in the great moment, forgetting the camera in my hand,
but here is the great swing just moments before:

It's good to laugh. 
Life is so complicated that I forget.

 A few silly attempts of juxtaposition at the direction of my oldest son:

My men talking:

 My man of 28 years:

No. They are not all mine. But what a time was had.
Mud made us kindred spirits, if only for a short time:


  1. Fantastic! I LOVE the photos. I love that place, too.
    What a great day for you guys!

  2. these pictures are so amazing....you have a beautiful family!


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