Farm Show… Here We Come!

before my efforts

After finishing up Alice’s shelf unit for her room, I dove into the living room clutter full force last Saturday. Twenty minutes into that project I came to a realization and ventured down to the basement to relay this message to Daniel. “I want you to know that I’m working on the living room, but it’s going to get a lot worse before it looks any better.” His response as he battled his neat-knick tendencies, “Ooookaay? [Are you sure this has to get out of control?]… alllrrriiight [I guess if it has too.].” By Sunday evening, it was finally looking better.

Earlier that Sunday, we hit another milestone in our SITO (single-income-two-offspring) lives. Since our spending freeze from our bathroom project is officially null and void, I convinced Daniel to treat us to a local sandwich and soup shop for lunch after church. Usually we like to persuade Daniel’s parents, who also go to our church, to come along for a lovely meal and exciting conversation…. them helping to entertain, distract, herd, serenade, etc. our kids is just an added bonus (who am I kidding?). But this Sunday, the grandparents had plans of their own (imagine that!), leaving just Daniel and myself to manage the kids and make the meal enjoyable.

We were slightly apprehensive. Eating out with kids usually isn’t horrible, but it can quickly take a bad turn if the service is slow or if “someone” decides to get tired, grouchy, or attitudinal (usually not the waitstaff, mind you). So once we arrived at the restaurant, for possibly the first time in my life, I decided to be a picky customer and asked the hostess to seat us at the table near the salt water fish tank. If for no other reason, I knew I would enjoy the soothing effect of fish floating around the tank while I dreamt of snorkeling or scuba diving, both activities which usually occur in a location where one doesn’t hear kids whining for carrots without! ranch dressing. I was, in fact, hoping the fish would entertain the kids, leaving Daniel and myself time to talk about the morning. The fish did their job; the meal commenced and concluded without any huge mishap. During the drive home, this was Daniel’s epic comment:

“That was almost ideal. It was like we were eating with adults. What did we do wrong?”

The only lunchtime problem occurred shortly after Daniel’s comment, when he and I began discussing which day to visit the PA State Farm Show. Now, understand that Ian has been dreaming about and asking us when we can go back to the farm show ever since we got home from the farm show one late night in early January of 2012. So when he realized the farm show was indeed an imminent activity, he was ecstatic, which lasted only 3 seconds until we explained that he still had a couple more days to wait (tears). I spent Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday trying to explain that “in 3 days…. 2 days…. tomorrow after Daddy is home from work” is when we’ll go to the farm show.

On Wednesday afternoon, my accommodating husband left work early upon the request of his farm-girl-at-heart, so that we could get to the farm show early enough to see the ducklings last swim/slide of the day– yes, small things make me happy. The kids enjoyed it too. (Sorry my pictures of the ducklings are blurry.) My brother-in-law was kind enough to be an additional escort/child-shoulder-carrier for the evening as well.

By the way, if you didn’t realize it from the “farm-girl-at-heart” comment, I love the farm show too, maybe just as much as (more than?) Ian, but for different reasons. Ian enjoys the animals, but his true love is the tractors that he can sit on while drinking his chocolate milkshake.

"What's your favorite color Ian?" Ian: "Chocolate"

The reason I love the farm show is it’s part of my childhood (although I do love a good milkshake too!). My parents’ (poultry farmers) first date was to the farm show; and each year, our family braved the farm show weather (many times snow) to remember their beginnings and also to uphold the agrarian culture we came from – a long standing, calorie-ingesting, wash-making beautiful tradition. I’m secretly, or not so secretly now, pleased that Ian is enthralled with the farm show so much because I would love for the tradition to continue into the next generation. Honestly, who doesn’t get excited (or at least curious) about beautiful, graceful, horses… freakishly feathered chickens… and huge, powerful tractors? And by the way, if you ever get the chance to visit this rural phenomenon located in downtown Harrisburg, and you see the milkshake line is 80 people deep, there’s a reason…. they ARE worth the wait!



Watching turtles and snakes at the Shaver's Creek exhibit






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