Sunday, October 25, 2009

Road Trip Through Fall

The girls and I said goodbye to Papa early Thursday morning and drove through stunning fall colors north, to visit good friends in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Friday forecast was for 100 % rain, but it did not dampen spirits one bit.
Who can complain about sweet dogs and dear friends who will satisfy your every dress-up desire?
Greta-girl, truly the sweetest dog ever

The Princesses

And as if that weren't enough, we were able to attend the Re-skilling Festival* held at the local Steiner highschool. A friend of our friend's was giving a goat-milking demonstration and needed "kid wranglers" to keep the babes away from their mothers' udders, and Eliza and Rosalie volunteered! As you can see, it was a tough job...
...but a beautiful place to wrangle goats.

Gabriel and Laurel, much amused by the goat shenanigans

Ani, making friends with Bob

Dandelion, doing an amazing impression of a goat calling for her mother

We also managed to squeeze in a trip downtown to see some of the fairy doors that have popped up around Ann Arbor (unfortunately, I don't have any photos, but you can see what I'm talking about here - it is quite magical!), which triggered a fairy house making frenzy.

We had a marvelous time - these are old friends, like family, or as Eliza put it "fairy god sisters and brothers". Laurel and I even got a few hours to ourselves one afternoon (thanks, Pax!), to take a long walk and ogle all the hip craftiness that downtown Ann Arbor is full of. The trip was nourishing and inspiring, and we came home to a papa who had already scooped the guts out of two pumpkins, preparing for two excited girls to wow him with their jack o' lantern designs...(they're cool - I'll have to post photos later). He had also made dinner for us - does this man speak my language or what?
The last time I drove this distance (about 5 1/2 hours) by myself (with the girls, of course) was when we moved here to Ohio. It felt good to accomplish this - I am not much of a driver, but aside from a couple of detours and an absurd number of large farm equipment traveling on the smaller roads, it was smooth sailing and a beautiful drive through Amish farm country. The girls were excellent travelers, thanks in large part to the audio version of Charlotte's Web, which was perfect for this time of year, for the drive we had - and a "secret weapon" I kept for the grueling last hour and a half from Columbus...two Pez dispensers. They had never seen them before and thought they were the coolest thing ever - the two critters on top (I have no idea who they are, nor do the girls - they look like the saber tooth version of a squirrel and maybe a dog? a lion?) talked a blue streak the whole way home, and I believe they were even married by the time we pulled into our driveway. Quite the successful road trip, I'd say.

*This is one of the ways Ann Arbor seems to be addressing the Transition Town movement, which is concerned with the issues of climate change and peak oil. I love knowing that there is a term - "re-skilling" - for something I am so interested in. The workshops, which we were not able to attend due to time and not having the schedule ahead of time, included topics such as small-scale beekeeping, making your own herbal soaps, goat milking, paper making, cold-frame building - just to mention a very few! I know very little about Transition Towns, but have heard enough to know that there is action here in town along these lines, which I am interested in knowing more about. I did pick up a fun-looking book while there: Food Security for the Faint of Heart by Robin Wheeler. Hopefully more on all this later...


Kerry said...

Oh this sounds like a good trip. I remember Laurel from Madison! Didn't know she and her family were still in Ann Arbor. And Pez machines are the coolest; I wish I had started collecting them 20 years ago.

Merry said...

Do you remember the birthday party in Moscow when I wrote home for a dozen or so Pez machines for you to give out to your guests?!!! Fun stocking stuffers too! Love to hear of your successful trip:the safe drive, the reconnection with dear friends, the interesting activities you were able to be a part of. What a renewing experience for all of you!

Stacy (Mama-Om) said...

Debbie, I think you are magic.