The best of days

My cousin Mark is the king of recycling, upcycling and any other kind of ‘cycling’ you can think of.  Today we went down to his “pond” as it is known in our family, ostensibly to feed the turtles and the bluegill who live wild in the pond but are so tame they will literally eat out of your hands.  Mark has built an enormous dock, complete with ‘kiddie pool’ and feeding areas for the turtles and fish.  All of it from found materials he has re-purposed.

That's Jim, having a snack from Ben's hand

Needless to say, fishing is not allowed.

Joe and his bluegill posse

We showed up at around 1:30.  It was already over 100 degrees and HOT.   Even though I knew that Mark and my cousins often go swimming at the pond, I didn’t think anyone in our crew would want to.  We had plans to go to the pool later in the afternoon, and so we didn’t bring our suits.   After 15 minutes of feeding the turtles & fish, we were dripping from the heat.   Mark dove into the water in his shorts and I thought, “Why not?”  So I walked to the edge of the dock and said, “Hey kids, watch this!”  and dove in.

Heaven.

The dock, complete with carpeting & a bunny to scare away the geese.

It took all of five minutes before both Maya and her friend Greta, along with Ben and Joshua were in the water clothes and all and loving every minute of it.

Going in, clothes and all

Ben jumping to Joshua

In the water

Maya & Greta

Once it became apparent that the pond was going to be lots more fun than the pool, my Mom made a run back to the house for bathing suits, goggles and sunscreen (which for some reason none of us thought to use once she brought it and so we are all a bit sunburned…).   We were there for 4 hours.  It was fantastic.   Mark’s girlfriend Cheryl brought snacks and frozen fruit as well as drinks, and I have a feeling that the pool is going to lose out this week.

We got home at around 5:30 with plans to head out to the county fair, heat and all, at 7pm.  Before we could leave, however, a miracle occurred!

It rained.  Hard.  For the first time in well over a month.  You could almost hear the cornfields sighing with relief.   In the 30 minutes or so that it poured the farm got almost an inch of rain.

Rain was cascading off the barn

The unusual sight of a wet road

We headed out to the fairgrounds and the rain followed.  By the time we arrived it was only a light rain and had succeeded in taming the dust and cooling the air.

Driving in to the fairgrounds

We ate dinner at the pork producer’s tent and then hit the fair proper, which consists mostly of the midway.  Oh, we did poke our heads into the demolition derby first.  Now THERE is some fine midwestern entertainment!   Guys driving beat up cars around in the mud and crashing in to each other.   Woo hoo!

The midway was a mixed bag.   One ride, which was a favorite for me growing up, now has an added feature;  music so loud I’m sure we all lost our ability to hear high pitched sounds as a result.  I mean LOUD.  So loud my kids were covering their ears, and then in the midst of the loudness as you are being flung around in a jerky circle, they hit the air horn.  Repeatedly.  And then they ask you to scream.  And they tell you they can’t hear you.   No kidding?

This is my brain on ear-shattering music

Other rides were more successful, including a trampoline jump, zip line and some massive swings, but let me tell you, New York City’s got nothing on the county fair when it comes to noise.

The swings

End of the midway at around 9pm

We got home at 10:30.   We will undoubtedly sleep well.

The best of days.

About Amy

Amy Milstein was born and raised on a farm in Indiana, but after 20+ years considers herself a full-fledged New Yorker. She is married with two kids, who do not go to school but are instead life learners. This means they learn by living in the world (real life ) instead of hearing about it and simulating it in a classroom. With her family, Amy loves to travel, read, watch movies, write, sew, knit - the list is endless.
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