Sunday, August 3, 2014

Happy 147th, Canada!

Man, I hardly even remember this…. back to July 1…..that is too long for my brain.  I'll give it a shot, anyway.  It makes sense to do it now as I just finished blogging about another misadventure, also taken with the Loewen family… my sister and her kids.
This adventure began at the Mennonite Heritage Village.  It used to be called the Mennonite Village Museum and I am having a hard time adjusting to the change from my childhood.  It probably changed names over 20 years ago - that should tell you something about how long ago childhood was for me.  Let's not think about that anymore.
Carrying on…  The main part of this place is a village, so I guess the name change is sensible.  It is all set like an old Mennonite place with the houses, general store, barns, blacksmith shop, church, school, windmill (it works and still grinds grain!) and all that kind of stuff.  It really is pretty fabulous if you like that kind of stuff.  Which I do.  I like that kind of stuff a lot.  In fact I often wished I lived that kind of stuff.  But the grass is always greener on the other side of the century.
This first little house is kind of what you would think of when you read "On the Banks of Plum Creek".  It seems a little bit like what the Ingalls' house would have been like.

Plenty of farm animals to watch, pet and smell.  You don't have to watch them or pet them, but the smelling is not optional.  Kind of ironic because as I sit here writing this, it smells just like I am there.  Somebody's hog farm is pretty ripe this evening and Eric and I are not sure just how the smell is carrying all the way in town this strongly.  We are not in Quito anymore, folks.
Maybe someone took their cow for a walk through town and it took a dump right under our window.  It certainly is how it smells.  Maybe if I move on to writing about the next area, the smell will pass as well….  Here's hoping.

One of the favourite features is the housebarn.  It is basically a big building where the front is your house and the back is the barn.  It is kind of like a house with an attached garage, only the garage this time is rather large, probably larger than your house, and houses animals as well as your "vehicle" - carriage/wagon/chariot/cart - or whatever your horse-drawn dream-ride is.  I think it is a brilliant idea if you are a farmer in the crazy cold of Manitoba (although perhaps the issues that I mentioned above could gain a little strength, if you catch my drift… or draft, in this case).  You wouldn't have to go outside in the frigid temperatures to feed your beasts, hitch up the horses and all that.  Nor would you run the risk of loosing your way in the blizzard of 1896 when trying to check on the livestock.

Shockingly Lucy wanted to buy everything in the general store and let me tell you that the prices were not those of 1896 or even 1986 for that matter.  They had them listed of course (don't know what year from, but sometime way-back-when-everyone-ate-what-you-grew-and-worked-to-just-survive) but seeing those prices didn't make me want to buy anything, if you know what I'm saying.
After we made our way through the village, we parted ways for a time.  We needed a little warming up - it had been raining and was rather a chilly day - and a bit of a rest.  Then we met back up at the Taj Mahal of slurpee sellers - Timber Trails.  While their buildings are not lined with gold, their slurpee cups may well be, for what they charge, but folks, you can't beat the selection.
You may think from these pictures that Canada Day (have I even mentioned that this is Canada day we are talking about here?) tradition includes throwing rocks into over-full ditches, but then you'd be wrong.  That is just the way prairie kids are.  Give them Taj Mahal and they'll take the crick (as opposed to creek….. they don't really say crick, but it just makes it sound like we are all super-hicks if you say crick.  And exaggeration and mild deception is a lot of fun).  It is kind of like giving a two year old some dumb electronic game table thing to try to teach them how to read 6th grade level books before they hit kindergarten but they completely (and smartly) ignore the table and have the best time ever with the box.

Since things finally cleared up weather-wise, it was looking like the Yahoo-Canada fireworks display was a go, as were various activities that were at the park where the Yahoo-Canada fireworks display was going to be.  We thought it would be swell to be there nice and early for all the activities and to get a great spot to see the spectacular show.  Except that there really wasn't much happening.  Not much at all.  Except some hot dogs and chips and things.  So we had some of those.  And then we entertained ourselves, Karate Kid style.  Just call Uncle Eric Mr. Miagi.  
Side note:  He may as well be Mr. Miagi because the for-real Mr. Miagi graduated from the same high school - Fairfield High…. in Fairfield, California - as Eric.  They are pretty much the same person.  Pretty much.

It started off with Eric teaching Timaya.  And the numbers grew.

Then we went to jumping off the stumps.  After one picture was taken of Mia jumping, everyone else needed their moment in pixels as well.

Then we tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried to get this picture right.  There were several issues with timing.  And an issue with Riley jumping down (almost more like falling), instead of jumping up.  But don't worry…. they worked the kinks out.

Lucy and Riley also entertained themselves by having a funeral for a leaf.  Or something.  They buried it, marked the grave and had a service.  It may or may not have something to do with Lucy's grave yard (thankfully quite mild) obsession.  OH!  Dead people!

After all of this got old, we decided we may as well head back to our place and wait until such time as the fireworks were only an hour or less away.  In the meantime, Timber Trails transformed into a veritable children's wonderland.  Or they just blew up those floppy attention-grabbing thingies.

As the evening wore on, we seriously…. like very very seriously considered skipping the fireworks show (by the way, they really aren't called the Yahoo-Canada fireworks, but they should be, don't you think?  So catchy and enthusiastic).  We should have paid much closer attention to our considering.  Because we did go. And we waited.
We met up with Brent, Glenda and the kids, as well as some of their friends. And we waited. We got a great little spot, I busted out the always-necessary glow sticks, and waited, did a little dancing (much to the embarrassment of my children - I mean really, why else would I dance?), snuggled with Kim for a little to keep warm, waited, snuggled with Glenda, back to Kim, back to Glenda (there are names for people like me….), and waited.  Forty five minutes after the intended start time, we figured it was time to pack it in (keep in mind that out here, on July 1, the sun doesn't set until almost 10:00 as is still light for some time after that since this is way-bigger-sky-than-big-sky-Montana…..fireworks don't start until around 11:00).  The kids were done anyway.
As we turned onto our street - a minute from our house, we heard the familiar bangs in the sky.  Sure enough, they started the fireworks about five minutes after we left.  Thankfully at that point the kids were so exhausted they couldn't have cared less.  They were done and so were we.  
Yahoo Canada anyway.

By the way, I haven't written anything about any farm animal or cow in particular for a while now and I'm still smelling the barn.  I guess it is not me just getting into the experience.

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