And by the way, you know, when you’re telling these little stories? Here’s a good idea – have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener!
For the 4th of July, we did our patriotic duty, as we do almost every year–for the benefit of our nation’s security, we spent money and burned gas. Specifically, we burned through about $120 worth of gas, because we know that if we all stopped driving and admitted that blowing tons of smoke out our tailpipes and into our lungs will eventually kill us all, the terrorists will have won.
Unlike past years, it was a working trip for me, so I spent our days in Vermont on phone calls, in meetings, videotaping interviews, driving through the Green Mountains, and pulling water chestnuts out of Lake Champlain.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let me start at the beginning…
We drove for approximately eight hours to Mama’s aunt’s house in Saratoga Springs, just up the road from the Serotta factory. Even though he was a little screamy at times, in general, 3B was a rock star the whole way, content to roll along while we read him books and tossed snacks back to him…
And, in case you’re wondering–yes, it is possible to survive seven straight hours of listening to Wheels on the Bus on repeat.
And then, because we thought our hotel didn’t allow pets, we dropped off Barky at a nice place. If only we had known that they had a limo that they could send around for him…
Also, if you were staying near Saratoga Springs and were woken by someone running up and down the hall, I wish I could blame it on the teen soccer team that was staying there, but I think that might have been us…
3B had a good time with his second cousins, and their yard, and their toys, and in the rain, and on their train…
OK, just kidding about the train, but the week was peppered with references to Green Eggs and Ham, even though that’s one book we left at home.
In the hotel, after fixing his jacuzzi–seriously, how weird is that tub next to the bed?–3B went to sleep in the hotel Pack N Play. Seriously, how cool is that?
Very cool–even when he joined us in our bed at 3 a.m. He snoozed for a moment between us, then sat bolt upright and asked, “Would you, could you, in the dark? Would you, could you, in the rain?” Fortunately for all involved, he then lay down and slept until a reasonable hour.
On our way to Grammy’s, we stopped at the home of the beautiful MLTU, and her beautiful new baby brother, DMTU. 3B and Barky immediately took to their backyard, and even managed to avoid getting any ticks while playing there, although 3B did work up a bit of a sweat playing with toys in the yard, and playing the blues on the back porch…
(Full disclosure: There are several pictures of the TU’s beautiful daughter and new baby boy, as well as some of Mama and friends fruiting around in the back yard, so if you don’t like looking at cute babies or beautiful Mama…well, this probably isn’t the right blog for you…)
Then we were at Grammy’s (Mama’s Grammy, 3B’s Great Grammy), where work in the sawmill commenced immediately…
I missed the daytime activities, like 3B catching his first fish at Perch Pond with his Grammy (full disclosure: the fish were all tossed back after 3B, who has long been fascinated with fishing, examined and touched them–“Slippery!”), but I was still around for activities in the early morning and into the long summer evenings.
And then, suddenly, it was the 4th. There was the daily mule (actually, a small 4wd vehicle complete with car seat) ride, a visit with Cousin D, some time checking pictures of his cousin Z with Grammy, and then an evening boat ride on Lake Champlain on Uncle P and Aunt J’s boat, after which we didn’t stay up long enough to see the fireworks at Devil’s Bowl Racetrack, but we did enjoy some sparklers by the lake.
On Saturday, after sleeping in a little, we took our daily trip to the sawmill, threw red rocks in the stream (where we managed to recover one of a pair of socks that fell in during a vigorous game of Pooh sticks on our first day at the farm), walked up through the woods to a pasture, and saw a frog in the puddle in front of the manure spreader up at the barn. (You can see all of this fun now, or wait for the video at the end, which has most of the fun in it.)
I know that some of these activities–OK, most of these activities–seem dangerous, and it’s true that most of them do have elements of danger. However, while 3B does play in a sawmill and sit on a 4-wheeler and handle tools and roam around near farm animals, he is never operating any of this equipment, and we keep him a safe distance from the animals. So, none of what 3B does is nearly as dangerous as the work that his uncles and cousins undertake around the clock.
Unfortunately, every so often that dangerous potential is realized, as it was on the day before we headed home. On the night of the 4th, the cows in the pasture by Grammy’s were apparently spooked by the fireworks at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, broke down their fence, and bolted up the road. A cousin managed to get the cows penned in a neighbor’s pasture where, the next morning, they had to be separated from the neighbor’s cows, loaded up, and hauled back home after the fence was fixed.
While Uncle P was loading the cows, one butted him in the face and bolted. Uncle P was initially transported to Burlington, then airlifted to Dartmouth. Eventually, he was sent home to wait for the swelling to go down enough for the plastic surgeon to see what he could do.
We love all of the uncles and each has captured a special part of 3B’s heart. Uncle P is the one who is taking 3B for a tractor ride in that first video of a trip to the farm, and who always takes 3B for a ride–most recently taking him out every morning on the tractor pulling the manure spreader for half-hour long trips into the pastures. 3B loves this to the point that, whether we’re on the farm or not, he cries out, “Want to ride on the manure spreader with Uncle P!” several times a week.
While 3B often balks when we ask if he wants to ride on a tractor, four-wheeler, or fire engine, Uncle P is smarter than Mama and I and simply grabs 3B as soon as we arrive at the barn and carries him up into the tractor for a ride without asking. And 3B loves every ride with him. And when we are away from the farm, it is that video that is the single most requested item in our house, and has been ever since I posted it–always requested with the plaintive cry, “Want to see Uncle P.”
So, we were all glad to hear this weekend that Uncle P is recovering from successful facial reconstruction surgery…or, as we told 3B, and as he repeats, that “A cow butted Uncle P in the face. He has a bandage, and he’ll be OK.”
Hope you all had a happy and safe 4th, and next time you take a sip of milk, don’t forget to give thanks to a dairy farmer.