Friday, September 25, 2009

A Day at The Fair

Excitement simmered for over a week after we decided on a day we were going to The Fair. That was two days ago. It was a practically perfect day in all respects, one to be repeated without hesitation. The morning was leisurely, enough time for exercise, breakfast and sweeping the downstairs floors so Clark could mop before we left. After an hour of travel on a warmish fall day and paying our $8 to park we (five of us) entered the Blue Gate and turned left into an exciting world of sight, sound and wonderful smells. We first went to hear Billy and the Hillbillies, we always do, but they weren’t there. We were pleasantly surprised by a family band. What a great way to start our day at The Fair, listening to the fiddle and watching a little tap dancing. Next it was on to the arena to watch Shetland ponies to Clydesdales parade right in front of us. I thought as I watched the drivers show their driving skills how different our lives are. I saw a few who looked to be about my age and wondered how much of their lives had been centered in raising and training horses with the days filling up and the years slipping by. I am glad we are all different.

Then it was on to kettle corn, a large bag to be shared as we wondered through buildings and stopped to vote for the best Grange display. We always do that, study each display to determine which one we individually want to vote for. What a lot of work goes in to each one! I never get tired of seeing how creatively an abundance of fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, and canned items can be displayed.

At 3:00 it was time to meet up with our youngest daughter, her husband and their eight-month old baby. I wonder when he’ll get tired of hearing how cute he is and getting lots of kisses. Now on to another tradition—the consumption of ice cream cones. Yum! Then it was on to more demonstrations of mops that will clean your floors, windows, or mirrors, pots and pans that can cook your vegetables with no water and cost only $400 at The Fair, Vita Mix that can pulverize your fruits and vegetables, seeds and all, and shammies of orange and blue that will suck a gallon of coca cola out of your carpet. We usually buy something.

To get revitalized we went back to the family band concert at 5:00. Of course, we were starving by the time the show was over so we hunted out something good to eat. Most of us settled on hamburgers with Walla Walla sweet onions and curly fries but two opted for teriyaki. After all of us were satisfied, we were ready for more demonstrations (and a few small purchases) before our finale—The Extreme Scream. This ride shoots you up 20 stories at 3 Gs and drops you at a negative 1 G. Wow! Pip and I went on The Big Sling a couple of years ago. This year we were able to talk our husbands into joining us. What a thrill and a perfect conclusion to our day at The Fair. And the bonus--Phil had not gotten lost (we have spent hours in previous years trying to find him).

Here is Phil's response to the concert.

And here is Clark's.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"I'll miss you, Mom"

I must admit I have been somewhat discouraged and a little depressed the past day or two. Phil got laid off from his job of six hours a week at a fitness center and Clark was in the hospital for two days while Paul and I were in Mesoamerica. He wanted to go with us and would tell me numerous times a day “I’ll miss you, Mom.” We would talk about who would be here to take good care of him (his sister and two brothers who live about two miles from us). I even marked the calendar so he would know exactly how many days left until we returned. I realized he wouldn’t really understand when he saw my hand-written number on a date but I knew Cherlyn could at least say “See, they will be home in ten, five or three days.”

We’ll get to work next week on trying to find another job for Phil. Actually, we’ll work through DVR (Division of Vocational Rehabilitation). I always start off optimistic. Phil is energetic, dependable and personable. There must be some job, somewhere, in a ten-mile radius from our house. He worked at Deseret Industries for six years but that is no longer an option since their philosophy is “Deseret Industries is not a landing place; it is a place of training and transition.”

Clark is now doing well after his two days in the hospital from complications from seizures. It is probably a good thing that we could not be reached in Guatemala since there was nothing we could have done (except worry!!!). Our five other kids rallied and stayed with Clark 24 hours a day. As soon as we arrived home we got all the details. I heard the words they were saying but it took a couple of days to digest. My appreciation for them grew as I thought about the sacrifices they made as they took good care of their brother.

Yesterday I took a friend to the hospital for a test to find out if her cancer has spread further. She is about 60 and has been widowed for ten years. She has two children. She is estranged from one and the other, who lives in another state, is angry and in denial concerning her cancer which is very painful. Oh, that puts things a little more clearly in perspective. I don’t have much to be discouraged or depressed about.