It is now autumn in Vermont. This means that every weekend there is some sort of harvest festival, apple-fest, fall-fest, or solstestival. These things include apple everything, maple everything, and hay everything. And we, like everyone else in the state, go to all of them.
Last weekend we went to an orchard in Shelburne, VT for an exciting day of sitting in our car waiting to get into the festival. No, just kidding, that was only the first half of the day. Our friend Bleric was in town, and he lives in Maryland, which means he regularly drives in actual traffic, so he was not impressed with the long line of cars that stretched out of the orchard and down the main road, blocking all other cars from doing anything that they might want to do, like go to their house past the orchard. “Oh, you think this is traffic now?” his smile seemed to say. And his smile was right. We Vermonters have it pretty easy where traffic is concerned. Still, it is hard not to be annoyed with a system designed to be as slow and friendly as possible when the volume of cars is twenty times what is normally is. Here’s an idea for next year: instead of having everyone roll their windows down and telling them to drive towards the next person, perhaps just point at the next person without having them stop.
But I am not here to complain about the traffic. I am here to tell you about the awesome rope swing that I got to push Ruby on. Edward was too little, so he went on the giant slide instead, but Ruby got to sit on a little plank attached to a rope and then swing out so high that her feet hit the branches of the tree down the hill. It was epically cool.
And then we went apple picking! Both kids were excited to climb trees for apples, and all three adults were excited to plan appley desserts that we were going to make when we got home. We never actually made any of them, but it was fun to dream and pretend that we were creative Pinterest types.
But that was last weekend. This past weekend we had a different festival to attend. This one had no apple picking, but it had a hay maze! And it had really delicious maple popcorn! And a bunch of people walking around humming “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” thanks to a student production of Anything Goes that was taking place over near the port-a-pottys. We saw sheep, we saw cows, and we saw friends. There was a giant pile of dirt. It was a lot of fun.
But I feel like you need to hear more about this hay maze. You see, it was made of your standard rolled up hay bales, which meant that sometimes the walls rolled and moved, which would have been troubling enough without the fact that all of the children were walking around on top of the walls. It was kind of a strange and interesting sight, all of the parents walking around on the ground in the maze proper, while all of the children ran around, skipping and leaping over their heads. Normally I would be hesitant to allow my children to run around on unsteady round objects four to five feet in the air, but, well, everyone else was doing it!
In the end we had a great time and nobody was killed by the hay, so it was a success. I’m not sure what we’re doing this coming weekend, but it will probably involve apples. Or maple. Or even pumpkins. Is is pumpkin festival season yet…