"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Monday, October 20, 2014

Farm Camp Day 2

      There are days, many days in fact, in which I am at the farm alone, working on things, catching mice in the pantry, coaxing the gardens to stay alive, mowing, repairing, you know, life stuff.  I wake up on those mornings at whatever time I wake up, usually when the first bird sings. But when there are little people staying over, I almost always wake up to the pitter-patter of little feet and a sweet, sleepy face peering around the doorjamb.
      Day 2 of Fall Camp started with Maggie snuggling into bed with grandma and visiting awhile. We sneaked out the front door to enjoy the morning together and the boys continued to snooze.
     Soon the boys woke up and the phone rang, announcing that Able and the Korenak boys were nearly there and bringing donuts. Hooray! What could possibly be better? Able promptly got a little fire going and I brought out some scrambled eggs and little smokies which we all ate out of plastic cups, while sitting on the ground.

 It was quite pleasantly reminiscent of camping, but without a tent.
       Sometimes these cousins have some trouble getting their songs to match up at the beginning of a visit.  I don't know why, but it is a pattern. I'm sure they will figure it out soon enough.  Let's just say it takes awhile to iron the wrinkles out of their relationships but it happens, eventually.
     After the fire, some of us headed for the swings, the younger boys and B, and Maggie and Zane began to construct a space ship on the south side of the barn while Able cleaned up my garage for me.  It took quite awhile to get everything loaded on the ship, tools, food, a flag, various types of weapons, the usually things you need for space exploration.  They happened onto some alien babies out there somewhere and took them onboard to raise. Oh no, Zane told me alien babies don't grow up, so….they are now living in the garage under the supervision of the cats. That can not be good.
       Brendan gave the littlest boys a wagon ride…. everyone had hats at one time or another that morning although in this picture they are holding them, for some reason. Zane's is the orange OSU knit pullover that was Danny's. The one Z wore all last winter when he and his family lived at the farm. He has claimed it as his own. Good. It needed a home now that the only person who really likes that bright orange color isn't around here anymore. Go Pokes!
     Brendan is seven and more than a half and is getting much stronger lately.  He is tall and thin without any of those bunchy Blakley muscles but he can do heavy work for me and does, any time I ask him to.  It is so nice to have a strong helper with that sort of thing. I remember when B was the baby in this wagon and then when he was lifting Maggie into and out it. Now he is the official wagon puller and is very careful with the littles.
      About the middle of the morning Uncle David came by and deposited a pile of dirt in front of the house. We are in the process of berming up the west side and adding some new steps out front.  Kids may have all kinds of wonderful toys and games to play with but there is nothing in the world more fun than pile of dirt.  These guys did not disappoint in that regard and ran to find small shovels and a bucket and then dug right in, literally.

         There was some amateur archeology which involved the excavation of large treasure rocks and the gentle brushing off of loose dirt to determine their value. Wonderful. And later much of this dirt was hauled around in a small red wheelbarrow that has been in our family for years and years but which actually belongs to the Spencers, friends of mine from before I even met Danny.
       And there was lunch and there were naps, the second day.  This bunch was worn to a frazzle by then and slept for three hours, throwing us a tiny bit behind schedule for the next big event: Daze In A Maze, which is right down the road but on the way home.

    This is a great maze…well, really there are four mazes of different types as well as lots of farm animals to see and pet and/or ride. Some of the kids rode the pony, and everyone except Rowan ran wildly through the big feed maze with Uncle Able (thank you so much, Able).  Rowan and I looked at cattle and horses and were finally joined by Everett at the slides and the sand pit.
    One of the best things about this maze place is that it is operated by people I have known for years.  I taught all their kids at Chisholm, and they were all in my honor choir. Their mother is also a music teacher, instrumental instead of vocal, and used to come and demonstrate the different instruments for my classes at school. We're good friends. I hear she is helping with the band at Pioneer now.  The family is beyond wonderful and it is always a treat for me to catch up on all that is happening with them.
      The one thing we forgot to plan for was how hungry everyone would be when we got done with this event.  Their mothers would have thought about that, but their mothers were not there. We all had chips and water and headed down the road toward home and food.
       This Daze In A Maze would be a fun destination place for families or groups. In the evening they light campfires here and there and you can bring your own food and eat outside. There are picnic tables, a basketball goal, a big climbing playground and, of course, a wagon ride around the entire property.  Fall fun for everyone.
    Here is Rowan climbing the corral fence to see the horses and cows. Below is a shot of Everett on the slides. No Grandma, thank you very much, he does not need any help with climbing those bale steps because he is a big kid, whether he looks like it or not. Just ask him.

 This might be the biggest sandbox I have ever seen.

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