Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The End

Today, when Dad locks the back door of his office and walks across the parking lot to his home, it will be the end of an era.

41 years and 13 days of practicing medicine here -- here in the brick office with the hitching post in the back.

Today he retires; and although I rejoice with him that this day has come, I'm almost too shocked to realize that it's true.  

A year ago, we celebrated 40 years of practice.  Somehow another year has flown by; and now, as a 70 year-old, he's ready to take this step.  I guess he's old enough.  ;-)

I talked on the phone a few minutes ago to one of his patients, a woman who's known him for 35 years, who first came to him with her fiancĂ© to get a blood test before their marriage, who later heard from him the news that she was pregnant, who was planning to come in for one last appointment today but cancelled it because she knew she'd cry through the whole thing and she didn't want to add to Dad's burden.  "After 35 years," she said, "he's family."

That, he is -- to many, many people in this corner of the world.  And I'm so proud of him, I could burst.

Farewell, horses at the hitching post.
Farewell, parking lot full of cars.
Farewell, patients walking into the office, knowing that even if they weren't suddenly cured, at least they would receive kindness and a listening ear.
Farewell, office staff.  (Oh, wait, you have to come back to finish up the endless paperwork that's resulting from so many patients requesting that their records be transferred to new doctors!  You're not done yet!)  :)
Farewell, Dr. Huffman.
Farewell, white shirts every day of the week.
Farewell, the morning walk across the parking lot to the mailbox to get the newspaper and then into the office to open up and prepare for a new day.
Farewell, dear office where a Spanish-speaking immigrant could be treated in one room and an Old Order Mennonite with a laceration be waiting in the other room.
Farewell, 41 years of tradition.

One thing stays the same though:  you might be retired, Dad, but you'll always be Doc.  You don't get to retire from that!!  :)

Monday, August 30, 2010


They say confession is good for the soul.  So here goes...

But first, I adore this boy.
Scooter II, I love you!

OK, time to tell my secrets.

1. I'm intimidated by baking.  Oh, cakes and cookies are easy enough; but anything involving yeast (bread, pie crust, bread, pizza crust, bread, cinnamon rolls, did I mention bread?) seems so difficult to me.  So I don't do it.  But one of these days/months/years, I'm going to be a big girl and get over my yeast-phobia and learn how to really bake.

2. I love McDonald's. I know smart, health-conscious people are supposed to dislike McDonald's because what do they make those hamburger patties out of anyway?  But honestly, McDonald's makes me happy.  I do get tired of it if I have to eat it a lot--by the end of our vacation last month, for example, I was more than glad to not have to eat McDonald's food for a while--but every once in a while, I love to pull into the drive-through, roll down the window, and order up some greasy, fattening yumminess.  I felt that way when we lived in San Diego (when I was pregnant with Josiah, I would occasionally get a serious craving for a Big Mac and Chicken McNuggets with sweet & sour sauce), when we lived in Israel (it was a treat for Jeff to take Josiah and walk to the nearest McD's and bring home food for us), and now that we live here.  I do not, however, like the silly, cheap plastic toys in the kids' meals; they clutter up our house until I can discreetly throw them away.

3. I'm not caught up on laundry.  Not even close.  In fact, my laundry situation hasn't been this bad in a long time.  Way back in February, I took drastic measures to conquer my laundry; and it worked.  But I haven't been able to maintain it so I've had ups and downs.  And right now, I'm having a major down.

4.  I rarely use my clothesline.  Despite the romanticism of fresh sheets hanging from the clothesline, I do not find it convenient to lug myself, a basket of clothes, and some boys out the door to the backyard so I can hang up clothes...which I will then have to return to in order to take them off the clothesline and bring them inside to be folded.  Maybe when all my boys are old enough to transport themselves--and mature enough to not wander off and to come inside when I say it's time to go in--maybe then I'll become a frequent clothesline user.

5. I haven't been doing well with my weight.  I rejoiced back in March when my scale registered lower than 150; but in the five months since then, the lowest I've ever gotten is 146.6.  And truthfully, my weight has bounced around between 147, 148, 149, and even higher.  This morning it was 148.8.  I need to be much more disciplined in this area if I'm ever going to lose the 10 pounds I'd still like to see disappear.  Ugh.

6. I have too many blog posts started.  I get an idea for a piece of writing I want to develop, but other things come up and I never get back to putting the time into it to finish it.  Right now, for example, I've got a dozen posts started; and some of them have been hanging out in my drafts folder for months.  Yikes.  I need more discipline in this area, too.

7. I never did get my homeschool closet organized.  In this post, I announced that I wouldn't be able to plan for homeschool this year without getting the closet organized.  Well, the closet is still a mess.  But somehow, the year is off to a great start!  Maybe that's because I rescued the books and supplies that I need from that closet and brought them into the living room which is indeed organized.  I don't have to look in that closet every day, which is wonderful.  I do, however, still need to organize it.  Sigh.

8.  I'm not good at watching movies with my boys.  I know that "good moms" sit down and watch movies with their children so they can discuss them together and use it as a teaching tool as well as bonding time.  I, however, use the time that Josiah and David are watching a movie to make dinner, clean up the house, do some laundry, make notes about things for school, etc.  I can't remember the last time I actually sat down and watched a whole movie with them.

9.  I can only keep one room of my house clean and neat at a time, it seems.  Tonight it's the living room that looks good.  I cleaned it today and put up fall decorations which made me happy--especially when I thought about how last year, I never did put up my fall decorations because I was so overwhelmed with life with Shav, the newborn.  Today I felt energetic, happy to not be pregnant, able to focus on more than just survival; it was fun, and I felt satisfied with my accomplishment.  But tonight, I look around at Tobin's room which has toys scattered all over it, the upstairs bathroom which needs more cleaning than just a swish & swipe, the laundry room (see #3 above), my bedroom which is not currently the peaceful retreat that I want it to be, etc.  And I feel discouraged.  What good is it to get one room in great shape when there are 10 other rooms crying out for attention?

Well, now that I've laid my heart bare, I'm supposed to feel better, right?  If confession is good for the soul, some relief should be making its way toward me soon, correct?  OK, peace, I'm waiting for you.

Ummm...you don't have to take so long.

Really, it's all right, you can come out now.

Peace?  Hello, peace?


Good feelings?



I guess I'll go to bed.  Maybe they'll show up in the morning.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

O Jerusalem

~ Dad took this picture when my parents came to visit us in Israel - Oct. 2004

I have been missing Israel so much recently, probably more than I have since we moved back from there.  I'm well aware that the physical Jerusalem held a much more significant role in the religious lives of the exiles who wrote Psalm 137 than it does for me; but even still, I echo their words as my own.  My real longing, however, runs far deeper than for a geographic place here on this earth.  The new Jerusalem is my true home.  May I never forget it!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tonight Is for Listening

Who would have guessed that the little girl who, from shyness, hid behind her mother when someone approached and was known to cry when her brother's friend gave her a balloon would turn into a woman who talked typed so much, a woman with words pouring forth, a woman who always longed for more time to give expression to her thoughts?

But tonight -- tonight is for listening.  I need to hear His voice.

I have stilled and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother.
~ Psalm 131:2

Friday, August 27, 2010

Magnolias, Blood, & Childbirth

From Shav's window, I spotted a flash of white:  a blossom on one of the magnolia trees Jeff got me for my birthday a few years ago.  They're still spindly trees, and they don't blossom profusely--not yet, at least--so every single blossom is cause for rejoicing.

I wanted to see it closer so I carried my littlest son on my hip, beckoned the next two oldest sons to accompany me, and set off, still feeling the coolness in the morning air and the dampness on the grass.
There it was.  High enough above my head that I couldn't get the picture of it I had imagined in my mind, I simply held up my camera and pushed the button.  

A view of a magnolia blossom from below is still worth seeing.


You might be a mother of little ones if...

...an afternoon excursion to give blood while Grandma watches the children (and one child spends time at the barbershop with Daddy) is the most relaxing thing you've done all week.

That's how I felt this afternoon anyway.  Despite the tourniquet around my arm and the needle sticking in my vein, I thoroughly enjoyed my time and--for once--didn't regret the fact that I'm a slow bleeder.  I had a book to keep me company, of course (The Autobiography of George Muller, that my dear blogging friend, Margie, sent me), and was easily transported from the mall corridor where I reclined as my blood dripped out to Bristol, England, in the days of Muller.  That George.  He ALWAYS challenges and inspires me.


On Tuesday evening, we had Sally and her family over for dinner; and we loved having time with them and seeing (and holding) their sweet little three-week-old Marie.  As Sally and I were talking about Marie's birth and swapping details of our other birth stories, it dawned on me again that I sort of fell into natural childbirth through default.

Before Josiah was born, I thought it would be great to have a natural childbirth.  I also thought it would be great if the pain wasn't very bad so that I didn't need an epidural.  :)  Wishful thinking, I know.  At that point, I had not even heard of women who delivered naturally without pain and used the incredible power of the mind (and God's Spirit) to take away fear and pain.  Regardless, without taking the time to write all the details of Josiah's birth story, I'll just mention that I ended up getting an epidural when I was 9.5 centimeters dilated; and although it provided some initial relief, it also slowed my progress and made it extremely difficult for me to push.  The pain returned, the baby still wasn't out, and I nearly went out of my mind before he was finally born two and a half hours later.  Four months later, Jeff's sister had her first baby; and we were at the hospital, waiting to welcome our new little nephew into the world.  At one point near the end of her labor, Jeff was in the hall outside her room; and when he returned to the waiting room where I was playing with Josiah, he said in amazement, "She had an epidural, and she was laughing!"  Even with my epidural, I certainly didn't laugh when I was that close to delivering Josiah--not until after the birth, at least.  :)

So I didn't accomplish my goal of a natural childbirth, but I was just fine with that and didn't feel bad about how my labor had gone (well, I felt bad that the epidural didn't work better, but that's all).  :)

When I was pregnant with David in Israel, I again thought it would be neat to have a natural childbirth--if the pain wasn't too bad.  I was such an optimistic second-timer.  "Surely this birth will be easier than the first, right?"  And it was.  Easier, and shorter.  But even still, if I could have gotten an epidural, I would have.  The only problem was that when we got to the hospital, I was already dilated to 9 centimeters, and there was no time for one.  (The rest of his birth story is here).

I vividly remember that after David was born, I had the strongest sense of relief I had ever had up to that point in time.  I can't overstate how deeply the word "relief" became real for me, as I sank down onto that beanbag on the floor and held my newly-delivered son on my chest.  Besides the obvious relief of "the baby is out of me!", there was also a strong sense of accomplishment because I had done it naturally without pain medicine.  "Now I'm a real pioneer woman," I thought.  "Now I've reached that goal I've had ever since Carolyn Fields started influencing me.  :)  Now I can check that off my list.  Now I've proven myself.  Now I'LL NEVER HAVE TO DO THAT AGAIN!"  :)

Before Tobin's birth, I wasn't opposed to the idea of getting an epidural; but I had done some reading about childbirth without pain and my mental preparation was the best of any of my deliveries.  As I've written about here and here and here, I felt GREAT up until the very end.  However, once again, I hit the wall of "I can't take this, and I'd rather be dead"  :)...but it was short-lived, and Tobin was born soon after, and life was BEAUTIFUL.  Another birth without an epidural!

And then with Shav, I've documented (here, here, and here) how I wanted an epidural.  Really, really wanted one!  But the nurses couldn't get my IV started quick enough; and before I could get the epidural, I was completely dilated and ready to push.    Yet another birth without an epidural!

I don't feel like I should get any kind of Hero Award or Strong Woman Medal...or Woman Crazy Enough to Deliver Without an Epidural Badge.  If circumstances had been different, I would gotten an epidural each time - for sure!  However, I am EXTREMELY grateful that my deliveries went the way they did because--this is the best part--in my experience, you just can't beat the recovery from a natural childbirth.  I have loved the ability to get up right away, shower, walk, be normal, etc.  That, to me, was the major difference between my epidural birth and my natural ones.

And all of that is why I feel like I fell into natural childbirth through default.


My latest post for The Foodie Spot is up - a perfect meal for when it's 5:57 PM and you suddenly ask yourself, "What are we having for supper???"  :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What I've Learned in the Kitchen This Summer

~ Canning tomatoes isn't difficult, but it is a little time-consuming and A LOT messy. In fact, it's impossible to can tomatoes and keep your kitchen clean and neat at the same time. Which reminds me...one evening, Dad walked in for supper while I was in the middle of getting a cannerload (that's odd; my computer tells me "cannerload" isn't a word!) :) of tomatoes ready; and as I bemoaned the state of my kitchen, he looked around and then said, "This kitchen isn't messy!" Bless his heart. He's a good man. In actuality, it was horribly messy with almost every flat surface covered with some kind of canning paraphernalia and sticky tomato juice; but I guess he was looking through a man's eyes and didn't think it was so bad. Bless his sweet heart.

~ One of the sweetest sounds of summer is the "pop" that comes from jars sealing.

~ My man has proven once again that he can can.  Salsa and hot peppers (jalapenos, cayenne, habanero, etc.) are his specialties, and I'm not sure how many quarts he's canned (a lot).  My Fisher Man is hot--in more ways than one.  ;-)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

3rd, K, Toddler, Baby

And so the year begins.
Bright and fresh with promise...
...just like the faces of...
...these young men...

...this bountifully blessed band of brothers.

The Third-Grader

The Kindergartener

The Toddler

The Baby

And just for fun, more pictures from the first day of school...

I believe it's going to be a WONDERFUL year!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Wasn't Sure I Wanted It...

...but now that it's gone, I miss it.

"It" is our kitten.

Tiger, formerly known as Squeaks, has disappeared; and we fear the worst.  Did it, in a moment of false bravado, go into the pasture and confront those pesky, noisy dogs, finding out too late that it couldn't win in a fight against them?  Or did it wander too far from home and meet its demise in the road?  Or something else completely?

We'll probably never know...not unless we find a little piece of green collar someday and are able to use that as a clue to figure out what happened to our little "key ca" (Tobin talk for "kitty cat").

Ironically, the very night that it disappeared (last Wednesday night), I had spent some time outside with Tobin and Shav earlier that evening; and we had such a good time playing with Tiger.  Tobin did so well with the cat.  He came up with the idea to roll a ball on the driveway for the cat; Tiger would run and pounce and chase the ball; Tobin would chase the cat and then gently take the ball away to do it all over again.  It was so much fun to watch them--and so amazing to see how fast the cat ran and how high it jumped as it got ready to "attack" the rolling ball.  I also noticed that night, how high it arched its back when threatened and how quickly it got into that position at the slightest suspicion of alarm.  When I would pet the kitty and hold it on my lap (for brief moments before it went off to explore something else), Tobin would come over, sit down beside me, and ask to hold it, too.  My heart was warmed by that evening outside together.  I had no idea I would never see Tiger again.  And when I took this picture, I didn't have a clue that it would be the last one I would ever take of our little buddy.

We miss you, Tiger.  Thanks for all the happy moments you gave us this summer.  We'll never forget you, our very first cat.

I Never Get Tired of...


Shav always sleeps diagonally or full-on sideways in his crib; at least, that's the way I always find him.
I love to "study" my boys and memorize their sweet little habits.

All of this talk about sleeping children and all of these links and pictures make me think of a quote by Joe Houldsworth:
The only thing worth stealing is a kiss from a sleeping child.

It also reminds me of one of the funniest sleeping-boy episodes we had.  When we lived in Israel, we came back to the East Coast about once a year; and during those trips, we packed so much into our schedule.  There were always so many people to visit and so many USA-only activities to do.  On one of those trips, we were visiting Lisa (one of my college roommates) and her husband Andrew in the D.C. area.  Josiah was old enough by that point to walk and talk and play with toys; but even though it was a new house to explore, he was shy enough that he stuck close to Jeff and I and didn't wander too far away.  At one point, Jeff was sitting down talking to Andrew, and Josiah was standing right next to Jeff's leg.  We knew he was tired--those trips were such a whirlwind, between the jet lag and the busy schedule, that fatigue was normal--but we didn't know just how tired he was until his body started wobbling.  

He had literally fallen asleep standing up.  :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

So Far

So far, we have made funnel cakes for breakfast (our traditional first-day-of-school breakfast).

So far, we have read about Isaiah and Daniel from The Jesus Storybook Bible (which I am loving).

So far, we have had a friend drop by and have enjoyed an impromptu visit with her and her two cute kiddos.

So far, my mother has prepared 7 quarts of peaches for canning in my kitchen.

So far, we haven't covered all the subjects I thought we would discuss during our first day of school.

So far, our day hasn't gone as planned--not as I planned anyway.

So far, this is my favorite from our customary first-day-of-school photos.
They're so sweet, I could eat 'em up with a spoon.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What Will Happen Tomorrow

~ I took this picture on Singers Glen Road - August 22, 2010

I'm a little melancholy tonight. That's what happens to a woman when she's breastfed her baby for the last time and doesn't know if she'll ever have another one to nurse. When Shav had his fall back in March, I thought he might never nurse again; but thanks be to God, he did, and I've treasured these extra five months of bonding with him in that way. Now they've come to an end, and I think tomorrow will be the first day of his life as a totally weaned child.

I think I know something else that will happen tomorrow: the first official day of school. But even when I think I know what's coming in the next 24 hours, this verse from James stops me short and reminds me that my feelings of control are an illusion. Only God knows. It seems so simple, almost trite, to say it, but it's profoundly true: only God knows.

This picture serves as a sobering reminder of this truth. I'm sad to say that it's the place where a lady we knew died in a car accident 10 days ago. Did she have any idea, as she read a book the night before she died, that it would be her last night here on earth? Did she have any clue, when she said goodbye to her husband that morning, that it would be the last goodbye they would ever have to endure? But what a painful, long goodbye for Ron! Did she guess, as she sat and sewed with other ladies from the church that day, that she would never see them again until the grand reunion in heaven? Certainly not. She did not know what would happen in that day.

Neither do I know what will happen tomorrow.

Neither do you.

But He does--and that makes all the difference.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Not Your Average Midlife Crisis

When you think of someone having a midlife crisis, what vehicle do you associate with that? Something small? Sporty? Red? Two-door? Fast? Extravagant?

Not in our family.

We still tease my dad that, when he had his midlife crisis, he got all crazy and went out and bought a...get this...headlight for his riding lawn mower. Mowing your yard after dark: now that's life on the wild side.

Jeff is approaching 40 so I've been looking out for signs of his midlife crisis. Actually, since he's going to live to be at least 110, he's not even close to midlife. But in case it hit early, I was keeping my eyes open for it so I would be ready.

His midlife crisis is here.

A few days ago, he went out and bought THIS:
Is it a beauty or what?
Let me tell you about this amazing vehicle.
It's originally a 15-passenger van, but now it only holds 11 because the back bench seat is gone (which is actually nice because there's more room for luggage).
It has 197,000 miles on it and has absolutely no frills. Plain Jane, all the way. It does, however, have a cassette deck. That could come in handy whenever we want to listen to our wedding ceremony or my senior recital. On long trips, that will make the miles speed by, for sure. ;-)
It's a '99, one year older than our minivan. Instead of moving into the 21st century, we're going back in time, folks.
I thought we should call it Max. Our minivan could be Minnie (of course), and this van could be Max. Ingenious, right? Josiah and David didn't think so. In fact, Josiah informed me that it had to be a girl's name because ships and cities are always referred to as females. He's right about ships and cities, but I'm not sure I've ever heard any rules about naming vans. Nevertheless, the boys and I settled on Daisy (because she's white) as a good name for her. However, I didn't realize that Jeff had already started calling it The Yacht, so perhaps the whole discussion about whether vans are girls was pointless. Perhaps.
When I mentioned in this post that we were envious of the homeschoolers' van, I wasn't joking.
Jeff found it on Craigslist, and we paid $2500 for it--hard-earned cash that Jeff had responsibly saved up for it so that we wouldn't have a car payment. (We haven't had a car payment in years, and don't want to start now.) The original asking price was $3150, but the seller quickly came down when it became obvious that we would have to do a little repair on it (i.e. get the driver's window motor replaced so that the window could roll down...although why do we say "roll" when, these days, we push a button and it magically glides down?).
On a serious note... The van was owned by a company and used for work; but when they wanted to get rid of it, the man who sold it to us (who works for that company) bought it and fixed it up to resell. It's been taken care of very well, even if it is lacking any luxurious touches. This was the first time we had bought a vehicle (or anything of much value) through Craigslist, and you know how it is: there's a little insecurity about who the seller is, whether they'll be honest or not, how good the item really is, etc. Jeff knew that the seller was Russian (just to be clear, this is not a slam on Russians...we LOVE Russians...our best friends in Israel were Russian...I could write a whole post on this, but I won't tonight...maybe someday), so Jeff decided to call up one of his Russian friends who lives here, gets his hair cut by Jeff, provides us with delicious local honey, welcomed us to his home for a house church service earlier this year, AND happens to be a mechanic. This friend, Michael, out of the goodness of his heart and his love for the Lord and for his brother-in-the-Lord Jeff, met us at the home where the van was, helped with any communication hurdles that arose, AND checked over the van to make sure we weren't being sold a lemon. While we were there, I watched Jeff really seesaw about whether we should get the van or not (mostly because of a rattling noise that sounded odd); but I also saw how God used Michael to give clarity to Jeff's thinking and peace to his heart. It was really beautiful to watch. And--more good news--two days after we bought it, Jeff took it to the auto shop right next to his barber shop (where he always goes for auto help); and besides fixing the driver's window, they also checked it over thoroughly...and proclaimed it in excellent condition!!! We are so grateful for God's provision, and we hope and pray that we will be able to squeeze quite a few more miles out of this ol' beast!
If it's not already clear from the pictures, the boys LOVE it and are thrilled that we got it! All of us are.

Now. On to the important question...

Some of you might be assuming that, by acquiring this van, we're thinking of...ahem...adding another family member.



I wasn't going to say anything so soon, but...

I might as well tell you...


You're right.

There is another family member on the way.

And it's a she.

Her due date?

October 17.

Oh, and did I mention she's 70 years old?!?! ;-)

Jeff's mother is coming in October and will stay four weeks with us. We really wanted to have a vehicle that all of us could comfortably ride together in; and with this new van, we can do that--plus some. Besides, ever since our little family grew to include four boys, we've missed being able to ride places with my parents in one car. Now that's no longer a problem.

Jeff told me that any time he tells someone about our new van, the very first question out of that person's mouth is, "Is Davene pregnant?" So I thought I'd better go ahead and lay that rumor to rest. Be assured that, in buying this van, we're planning on transporting Grandma Fisher, not Baby Fisher.

But I had to have a little fun with this anyway.


Friday, August 20, 2010

He Told Me a Story

"They're ALL full-time jobs!" I moaned to Jeff one night after the boys were tucked in bed. "Caring for the boys is a full-time job, caring for the house is a full-time job, and everything else is a full-time job." (And by "everything else," I meant keeping up with friends, blogging, reading other people's blogs, trying--in vain--to stay on top of email, sorting through and organizing the picture files that litter our computer, canning several bushels of peaches, serving through various opportunities beyond the four walls of our house...not to mention the things that never happen but I wish did, like weeding my flowerbeds or playing my piano.) "When I focus on just one of those jobs, I do OK with it. Like this evening, when you were gone, things weren't going well, so I just said to the boys, 'All right, we're going outside to play.' And we did, and it was fun, and everyone got along, and it was great--because I was giving my full attention to caring for the boys. But the dishes didn't get done, and neither did anything else. When I try to handle more than one of those full-time roles, things fall apart!"

He listened attentively, thoughtfully gave me words of affirmation, then told me this story:
When I was growing up in Big Bear, one of my first jobs was working at a ski resort. My task was to take the ski boots that people dropped off, wash them off with hot water to get all the mud and snow and ice off them, spray them with disinfectant, then hang them on their rack that had blow dryers that blew into each boot to dry them. My other task was to keep the counter clean on which the skiers set their boots to return them. A group would come in and set their wet, dirty boots down; I would take the boots and do what I needed to do to them and wipe the counter off. More people would come in, set their boots down, and the counter would be dirty again. I constantly had to be cleaning it because when the next customer walked in, they didn't want to see a messy counter. But it was impossible to keep it clean.

Your life is like that. You're constantly cleaning a dirty counter, and people are constantly bringing their dirty boots to put on it. It never ends.
"You get it!" I thought. "You really get it! You know how wearying this job of being a stay-at-home-mom is. Thank you for getting it!"

The next day, the counter of my life got as dirty as ever, and just as many yucky boots got put on it as soon as I had cleaned it up, but at least I was comforted by the fact that...

...Jeff gets it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Best Part of the Fair

There's just something about the county fair.

Maybe it's the pungent odor as you walk through the livestock barns. Maybe it's the little bit of awe you feel as you come close to the backside of a huge cow (and you're wondering exactly how far it can kick...and what would make it likely to launch a blow in your direction). Maybe it's looking forward to this year's batch of ducklings who will be taking the risky walk up to the top of the slide, reaching out for that bite of delicious food, then sliding down to the pool to repeat the cycle all over again. Maybe it's marveling at the size of the pumpkins. Maybe it's eating a bloomin' onion (and remembering how you ate one three years ago at the fair when you were pregnant with your third child...and how good it tasted, the grease dripping down into your full-of-baby insides). Maybe it's knowing that, as you round the corner in the exhibit hall, you'll get to the hospital booth, and they'll have cold bottled water there, free for the taking. Maybe it's watching your sons try to keep the plastic firemen's hats from the fire department's booth balanced on their heads. Maybe it's the noise coming from the grandstand (a concert or a tractor pull perhaps...you never actually pay the extra money for the ticket to go in, but sometimes your boys peek through the holes in the fence). Maybe it's thinking as you do every year, "We really should have entered some stuff. Next year, we definitely will." Maybe it's running into people you know and stopping to chat for a few moments, before eager kids pull you away (see and be seen--that's what we do at the fair). Maybe it's the joy that comes from putting your little ones on a ride, stepping back behind the fence, and seeing their faces come alive with joy and excitement as the ride starts to move. Maybe it's the caramel apple your husband always buys you (some cotton candy for the boys, a caramel apple for you, and then it's time to leave...you arrive at the minivan with sticky hands and faces, and lots of sugar in tummies). Maybe it's the combination of the unusual (it only happens once a year, after all) and the familiar (the honeybee exhibit is always in the same corner of the flower building, the rides are always the highlight for your children, the poultry and other small livestock building always smells funny, you always look for a table in the 4-H pavilion when it's time to sit down and eat, you always see Jim with the sheep). The air is thick with tradition.

All of this made our annual visit to the county fair special this evening. But the highlight for this year? For me, it was discovering that this talented young lady won a blue ribbon for photography. Even better, the picture for which she won it is near and dear to my heart.

See the blue ribbon hanging there? Recognize the photo it's hanging from?
Yep, it's Shav smashing his cake. Here's the famous young man posing by his photo.
I always knew that I loved that picture of Shav and the cake, but it's nice to know that some judges thought it was good, too. And it's nice to see Emily rewarded for her hard work and determination with photography. I'm so proud of her!

And that was the highlight of the 2010 fair. :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

When the Bathroom Door Gets Left Open...

...someone sneaks in and has a ball.

I wonder what happens when I pull on this.
Wow! This is AWESOME! I haven't had this much fun since I got to play in cake!
Uh oh. They're on to me. Gotta make a run scoot for it.
That's it. I'm outta here. I didn't do nothin'. You can't prove a thing.
Ummm, maybe I should have dropped that last piece of toilet paper in my hand before she caught me. Evidence. Rats.

At the present time, there's still a big pile of toilet paper on the floor of the bathroom. I'm considering leaving it there, so that each person who sits on that throne can simply pull off however much they need. We wouldn't want to blow our toilet paper budget* in one afternoon of revelry, now would we? Fortunately, corn cobs are plentiful these days; but just because we have an abundance of them doesn't mean we want to be like our forefathers** and use them on such tender parts.

* No, we don't really have a toilet paper budget.

** Actually, our forefathers were much more advanced than this. They used the Sears catalog.