Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Great Frederick Fair

Sort of like I mentioned with the Italian Festival a few posts down, we just can't resist an outdoor public gathering.  For one thing, they are super photogenic.  People you'd normally not look at as being in front of the camera (i.e. Carnies) make great back drops around the funnel cake trailer. 
Anyhow, we traveled a couple of miles down the road to The Great Frederick Fair (its real name) so Mason could enjoy the cows, tractors, and mud.  The Great Frederick Fair is a true agricultural fair.  There is a 'birthing center' full of cows and pigs ready to give birth at any moment.  If you ever think you had it bad giving birth, go see these poor animals surrounded by gawking humans and flashing camera.  I'll never complain about the slow-working epidural again.  As predicted, Mason totally loved the whole experience


I don't know where this child gets his expressions.   Oh wait. 

After the tractor pool (ha ha), there were the farm animals to see:

I love how the one in the back is looking at him

Brand new baby cow

Finally, it was on to the midway

The wacky waving inflatable arms were everywhere and very entertaining. 
And the cour de gras, my favorite picture ever for now.  SO CUTE!!!!
I'll spare you the photos of once we took him off of the carousel.  He was having every bit as much fun as it appears, so the walk away was pretty bad. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Back in 2011, I was in college.  I was a sophomore taking a philosophy class that Tuesday, and as we discussed whether we were actually real beings or if we existed as only the dream or nightmare of a being totally independent of ourselves.  As the lecture ended and we heard "I think, therefore I am," the professor asked if we had heard that a plane had accidentally hit the World Trade Center.  We were concerned, yes, but it didn't seem like a tragedy, as harsh as that sounds.  It sounded like a horrible accident, and that was it.  Little did we know that as we discussed existing, all hell was breaking loose in the world. 

I waited for my boyfriend (now husband) and friend Dee to get out of the class next door, and as the footsteps of my classmates headed up the chapel basement steps into the bright blue above, I heard quiet sobs from a corner.  I tried ignoring her, but she kept at it, so I finally headed over and asked what was wrong.  She looked at me skeptically.  "Didn't you hear?" she said.  "There has been a terrorist attack.  The World Trade Centers have been hit by planes."  I smiled and reassured her that she was wrong, yes, a plane had hit, but it was accidental.  Of course it was accidental.  But she continued to tell me that there were two, there was no accident. 

I stared at her as the class I was waiting for finally was excused, and without a word I headed over to the two I was waiting for.  As I was visibly shaken, Craig asked what was wrong, and I told him what she had said.  As we made our own way up the steps into the bright sunshine and brilliant blue sky, it was not difficult to agree with him that she was misinformed.  Of course she was.  We parted at our separate dorms and went to our rooms.

I don't remember the rest of the day like I remember these few moments.  I know my roommate told me it was all true, she was watching it, we all did for hours that day.  Classes were cancelled.  I remember all this, but not like those moments with the girl, and I didn't even know her name. 

I think the reason that moment stuck with me is that it was the moment the world changed, from where I was a young, naive college student discussing philosophy to an adult who realized how the world could change in an instant.  It was like someone lifted a colored shade I had been using to view the world, and now everything looked much different, much more scary. 

Something has happened since that day ten years ago:  I had a child.  Now, these moments replayed on the History channel frighten me even more.  The replaying of answering machine messages touch me in a different way, and every name read at ground zero is someone's child or parent.  It's impossible to comprehend, to wrap my head around how this happened and how I'd react if it happened today. 

I don't know what my answer is or how to get there.  All I'm certain of is that I am a different person now than I was 10 years and 1 day ago. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Half Italian

This weekend we traveled to West Virginia for the holiday and also to attend the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival, now in its 34th (or something like that) year.  The Italian festival is funny in a couple of ways.  There are some strange sights as you stroll down mainstreet in Clarksburg.  One on hand, you have the old Italian folks, most who have seen the festival from its infant days.  They wear red, white, and green from head to toe and sit on the bleachers to hear Amici sing.  After getting their fill of some folk music and dancing, they usually hobble over to get a fritti and head home.  Once nightfall hits, it's a totally different clientele.  You'll probably see tattoos on body parts that are typically covered, maybe a fight.  There's booze, food, cigarettes, and glow sticks.  It can get a little crazy.  So, I guess the Italian Festival is only half Italian, the rest being an excuse for crazies to head into the street and drink themselves sick.  Oh, and this year you could buy a bonzai tree.  How the heck is that italian?! 

Mason had a great time at the parade, and I had a great time taking photos.  I think the pictures show what a how excited he was! 

 Uncle Justy is so tall! 

Look Mama, a Trolley!

Perfect example of the 'real' Italians mentioned above.  This man walked around the festival playing his instrument following the parade, despite the 100 degree temps. 

Mama, did you see that!!! 

big truck. 

I love that you can see the candy flying through the air!