Thursday, October 27, 2011

State Fair

Every August, the Minnesota State Fair rolls around. 
 This is one of those times when our experiences growing up come into a little conflict.

John grew up in Columbus, Ohio, the capital of that fine state, and every year his family went to the state fair.  One of those implacable traditions that families develop, and, all in all, I think, a fairly good tradition.

I grew up in Western Pennsylvania where the biggest fair within driving distance was the Canfield County fair and I don't think I went to it above once in my life. 

So, when state fair time rolls around here, our attendance is a foregone conclusion for John.  Not so for me. 

I've suggested various alternatives: Renaissance Fair, picnic at a lake, staying inside in the air conditioning.

I've pointed out the many attendant evils of the fair: overeating; enormous, sweaty crowds; greasy food; smelly animals; heavy, sweet foods; sunburn; tired, aching feet; deep-fried Twinkies; the high cost of everything. 

But, no, nothing but the fair will do. 
 It's one of those implacable traditions we're creating in our family, building relationships and fortitude.  This year, one of the ways we did this was by sharing a deep-fried Twinkie among the six of us. 

I think that we had plenty of relationship and fortitude building right there.  Enough for many years to come. 
 One of the new areas this year was the Alphabet Forest which Johanna and Sam enjoyed very much.  Here, you can see that they picked out letters and made large signs for their names (Johanna thought her name was too long so opted for JoJo, a common nickname for her around here.  Her brothers give her other nicknames, too, but she's not as fond of those).

The three youngest kids did a bungee jumping "ride;" we visited the birthing barn; we watched a horse show; we saw a troupe do Irish dancing; we ate lots of delicious bad food; we saw many of the arts and crafts entries; we visited a college booth (which freaked me out just a little, that we have a son who isn't quite thinking about that but will soon); and finished it all off with a bucket of Sweet Martha's chocolate chip cookies and many cups of milk. 

Not a bad tradition, really.  But I'm glad it comes around no more than once a year.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fallen into Fall

Our temps have fallen.  Today's high was 46 F, firmly in the autumnal range.

I refuse to think of the snow soon to fly. 

I choose to think about pumpkins and sweaters and hot cider and smoke in the crisp, cool air. 

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."

– George Eliot

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Happy birthday, my love!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Indian Summer

 Last Friday, the fall sports teams had pictures taken.  Here is Johanna, the player, and Mom, the assistant coach.  William and Micah's soccer team is in the background.

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns"
– George Eliot

 We are enjoying an unusual, prolonged Indian summer.  It seems to me, if my memory is correct, that anything we've called "Indian summer" around here has lasted a day or two, not a couple of weeks.  We've had sunshine and temps in the 70s and even 80s for quite some time. 

Last night, John and I went out for dinner and ate outside on the patio with no jackets or heaters or thermal underwear.  Very strange.  But a welcome strange. 

The picture above was taken (with my phone!) a week ago near Johanna's school.  Around here, most of the trees turn yellow or brown so a red tree really stands out.  Simply beautiful.