Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Visit From A Loved One

Family (including extended family) has always been very important to me, and I ache to see them when we are not together. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of cash to get together with my side of the family because they live over 3,000 miles away. The more kids we have, and the more the airlines raise the prices, the less often we get to see them. It has been nearly 2 years since I have seen most of my family, with the exception of one. My dear sister. She blessed us just last week by flying out to see us. My sister, who is full of life and excitement, loves to bless me and my family.

Of course, the first stop on the agenda was Boston. Last time my sister visited (7 years ago), we took a late night trip to Boston and missed visiting all the old historical sites. And this time, Kaylynn joined us. She eats this stuff up. Oh, Boston, a city of culture, history, diversity, and entertainment. I am not a city girl, but I do enjoy visiting the city.

 Kaylynn took our picture in front of the Paul Revere House

On to Concord and Lexington where we stayed in a cute little bed and breakfast and made our most favorite tourist stop: the Louisa May Alcott House. Kaylynn just finished reading Little Women for the first time, and I had just finished reading it again. What a delight to see the desk where she penned Little Women, and the house that inspired her. What a surprise to see her sister's drawings all over the walls of the house and to learn that Little Women was actually written about her life with her sisters. She intertwined real life events with imagination and created a beautiful story that has been loved by so many.

A photo taken by Kaylynn of our room at the bed and breakfast.

 Our last stop before heading up to Maine was Salem. I had given Kaylynn a mini lesson on the Salem witch trials, and we were ready to see some historical sites. We were extremely dissappointed by this little town as it has taken its history and created a village full of witchcraft, haunted houses, and every nature of these things. The town felt more like an amusement park (without the rides) than a historical place. We did enjoy one house that was directly linked to the late 1600's. A house that belonged to one of the judges. We were fascinated by this place. We learned the hard way that much of the part of our nation's history is found in Danvers, Mass which used to be Salem Village. Salem lacked beauty and originality (which is why there is a lack of photos).

On to Maine where we explored some of our local hang out spots and Fort Knox. We spent some days just hanging out at home, playing board games or running around outside.  It is always so hard to say goodbye and return to normal life, but we do it all while remembering our time together and waiting expectantly for the next time we will see one another. We miss you already, dear Auntie Angie!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Spontaneous ~ A Pig Story

Such a long lag between posts....I am still here and still living a full life. We have gone from extreme illness (laid up in bed for days with eyes swollen shut and more) to our first days of homeschooling to my sister coming for a visit so life has not exactly been conducive to writing. But, I am here again to chronicle some of what has happened in the last few weeks.

I have always thought of myself as adventurous and spontaneous. It's no wonder that my children are the same way. We took a trip to the local fair in mid September to watch the demolition derby. There is something about watching those cars smash into one another that brings out the redneck in me. Not sure why it is so entertaining, but hundreds of people swarm the stands and the surrounding area just to get a peek at people driving their cars around in the mud, smashing into one another. We arrived early so we could enjoy looking at the animals. Then we heard it, over the loud speaker, "The pig scramble for ages 8 and 9 will start in 30 minutes. Sign up at the pavilion if you want to catch you own pig." Yes, my dear 9 year old daughter, in her spontaneous, adventurous spirit exclaims, "Can I do it?! Can I catch a pig?!"

We relent, because really....what are the odds that her name will even get drawn. We sign her up and head over to the scrambling arena (not sure what it was really called but scrambling arena sounds good). We take our seats just as the gal starts announcing the rules. Then she tells us that there are 70 kids and only 15 get drawn. There are only 10 pigs so only 10 out the 15 kids gets to keep a pig. Sigh of relief as Alan and I look at each other. With so many kids, there is no way her name will be drawn.
First name, some kid from who knows where.
Second name, yup, you guessed it....our daughter.
She runs down to the arena laughing with delight.
I look at Alan and say, "Maybe she won't catch one."
He says, "She is going to catch one."
And I know it....because she is the one who is the first to catch a frog or a snake or to get a chipmunk to eat out of her hand.
What are we going to do with a pig?

I must insert some history here: I LOVE pigs. Since my first year of college, I have wanted a pig (for a pet). I know they get big and fat and smelly, but for some reason, I just love that about them. I guess I like it that they can feel completely comfortable rolling around in the mud, eating just about everything, and snorting (and they always go to the bathroom in the same place).
So, I am hopeful because I want this pig too.

Back the scramble, it begins...pigs and children are running wildly everywhere. They crash into each other, and again, I wonder "why do we do this?" Then it happens; she catches a pig; she is the third child to catch one. She holds it by the legs then puts it into the burlap sack. She is covered in mud and whatever else may have been in that arena.
When it is all over, we rush down to meet her. She holds her sack proudly, while talking to the little piggy to calm it down. A buyer approaches us and offers us $50 for the pig. Alan is thinking, "yes!" I am thinking, "I want to keep the pig!" We both look at Kaylynn and say, "It is your pig, what do you want to do?" She says, "I want to keep it!"
So, we put it into the holding shed while we finish our time at the fair. While driving home, it hits us.....

Jeremie says, "Let's put it in the chicken coop." It is still small enough so this is possible. What a great idea!
The pig stays the night in the chicken coop. She gets used to us; she eats out of the kids' hands; she lets us pet her. We fall in love with her.
Reality sets in: We have no place to keep this darling piggy because she is going to grow up. We make phone calls to try to find her a new home: no success.
We break the news to Kaylynn, "We have to take her back the fair and sell her."
They are all sad; I am sad. Alan is thankful. We make it back to the fair just in time for the 6-7 year old pig scramble. I wait in the car with the pig. Alan and the kids go to find a buyer. Alan starts talking to parents, and Kaylynn....She looks for the kids who are crying. The ones who are so disappointed that they did not catch a pig. She finds a little boy whose face is covered in tears (her description) and asks if he would like to have a pig. Grammy and Grampa were with him, and they approved. They wanted to know how much. Kaylynn says, "How about $25?" Grampa thinks that is reasonable but he only has a $20 and a $10 so he gives her $30. Kaylynn, being the generous, kind person that she is gives the $10 back to him. She said later, "$30 is way too much for a pig, and I didn't want him to have to pay that much." It was a done deal. The boy was happy;

Kaylynn was happy because,
"Mom, it felt good to give the pig to someone who really wanted it and could love it just as much as we did."