Sunday, October 11, 2009

Peanuts and Pumpkins...Turkeys and Trade-Offs

We are having a drizzly, cool-ish (for us) Sunday morning. And we even had an extra hand at breakfast!

Halloween is around the corner. The kids are begging for me to get the Halloween decorations down and they are the same Halloween decorations we've had for 17 years and they are not so scary, anymore. But the kids really don't seem to notice. They hang the sad little ripped up plastic bats around the house....put up that nasty spider-web stuff even though we have real spider webs lurking in every corner. The little guys will make lots and lots and lots and lots of construction paper pumpkins that they will tape on every surface. The big climax will be the carving of the pumpkin, of course. And let me tell you - Ellie is a master pumpkin carver. Look at what she did last year!
It really is a jack-o-lantern. If you look closely you can see the outline of the pumpkin. She downloaded a pattern off the Internet. The funny thing was - it looked like NOTHING until we lit it up and turned out the lights. Then we were like, "Wow!!"

We live on a farm and so we get no trick-or-treaters. So we always haul our jack-o-lantern to my sister's on Halloween. She has a very old, very adorable little house right in the middle of town - she gets lots of trick-or-treaters. She proudly put our Barack -O - Lantern on her porch. Nobody messed with it. Now, if she lived out in one of the residential neighborhoods with the big houses and the lots-o-cars and the signs in their yards that say things like the Jesus-Inspired, "Home of the Free - Not the Free Hand-Outs!!" then it is quite possible that someone would have smashed (or at least blown out) our Barack-O-Lantern.

Now if you happen to live in a nice neighborhood with lots of cars and a sign on your yard that says "Freedom Isn't Free!!" - I am not accusing you of possibly smashing a pumpkin. Most people do not smash pumpkins. I acknowledge this. I am asking you to acknowledge that I am acknowledging this. I'm just sayin....well, let's just say that my kids and I enjoy lots of friendly one-fingered salutes around here when we're driving around with our "I Support My President" bumper sticker. Often, from people who have fish symbols and/or some other religious insignia on their cars. And that sucks.

Anyway - enough about the pumpkin smashing that never happened.

Fall is my favorite time of year. It isn't always cool, though. We have trick-or-treated with half-naked sweaty children dragging their discarded costumes in the dirt - their buckets full of melting chocolate. With us, it is all about whether or not a cool front blows through on the right day. Sometimes we're freezing our candy corns off - sometimes we're not.

Right now it is cool and delicious. The kids are wanting to bake some pumpkin bread and I think that sounds like a brilliant idea.

Our town's Peanut Festival was this weekend. We managed a trip down to the town square for a couple of hours. We have a delightful little town square.

Joel and Jules played chess in front of the courthouse with their chess club (of which they are new members). Joel says, "I wasn't attracting enough chicks with my other interests....Star Wars, Runescape, I decided to join the Chess Club." He is so funny. And he did attract a "gang of girls" as he called them.

"Hey Boy!" they said. "You're hot!" (yes these are teeny boppers) and then one of them, bless her heart, tripped and fell! To his credit, Joel did not laugh. Very Much. On his way to the Chess Booth.

I grew up here and the Peanut Festival was a Big Deal to me. My husband's father was a peanut farmer, as were his uncles, grandparents, etc. We have a royal court and his family has held every position in the court. My husband was a Prince one year. I was a Page...and a Duchess. We both marched in the parade or rode on floats or walked with various groups/clubs pretty much our entire childhoods. In fact, he and I had our first kiss at the 1979 Peanut Festival...right on the courthouse steps (and we still stop and kiss there every year because it makes our kids so dang should see them when we do it....they are thrilled to death).

So I was a little sad when this year's festival snuck up on me. If Joel hadn't mentioned playing chess I'm not sure I would have thought about it at all! I think that our decision to homeschool and do things differently than most locals has made us a little non-local - even though we live here. Our kids aren't ever going to be in the Peanut Festival Court....they're not going to march in the band or ride on a float. And they don't care at all.

They love to go down to the Square to eat cotton candy and see people - but they don't even want to go to the parade because they claim it is long and boring. Ellie hasn't gone with us at all the past two years.....her life is elsewhere and centers around other things.....

"I can't go, Mom, I already have plans. We're trying a new vegan restaurant in San Antonio and heading to the movies...."

"Really?" I said. "You don't want to go with us?"

"I'm sorry, Mom, but not really."

And she's happy. They're all really happy. They have roots and family in this town (that was one of the reasons we moved home - we wanted that for them). But they have roots elsewhere, too.

Their lives are so different from Jeff's and mine when we were kids - which is strange because they are growing up in the exact same house that their dad did. Camille and Jasper sleep in his old room. I cook in his mom's kitchen. Their grandfather built this house with his own two hands. But yet, they've not spent the past few weeks getting ready for the Peanut Festival as have their local peers.

Ellie's been getting ready for the International Piano Competition - she is honored to be a junior judge and she's performing in a Master Class with Gustavo Romero - that is what has been on her mind. Joel, Jules, and Camille have been focused on Odyssey of the Mind.

Their lives are different - but not better or worse - than the other local kids' lives. We chose this difference for our family and we're happy with the results. But it feels odd to take the children to this Big Festival as visitors. And that is what they often are - visitors in their own community.

Oh well. Everything is a trade-off. And they seem unaware of the trade-off. I'm just not always as unaware, that's all.

So Thanksgiving is just around corner, it seems! My FAVORITE holiday!!

And here sits our Thanksgiving Dinner - roosting on the roof of the hen house - they like to be up high.

Except for one. Who likes to sneak into the hen house every night. He climbs up on the roost and says, "Don't mind me! I'm just sitting here....a laying hen.....ya know. Yessirree, ain't nobody here but us chickens!"

Happy Fall Y'all!

Signing off as a Fallishly Frisky Sardine Mama

1 comment:

  1. By the time I read this, it's hot again! I am so ready for fall to stay more than a day. I asked how your dad was doing on my blog, but it's more likely you will notice if I ask here. He hasn't been able to work, has he?