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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Living Through Chaos

We’ve all been in situations when the unexpected forces us to change plans we’ve had in place for weeks or months. And when that happens, we’ve no choice but to make the best of it. Sometimes that’s hard to do; sometimes the repercussions are not what we had anticipated; sometimes, but not often, it all turns out much better than we expected; but always, we’re grateful when it is all over.

That is the sort of frustrating situation in which we found ourselves a couple weeks back for the Pecan Festival hosted by the city of Groves. Instead of the weekend being fun and relaxing, it became a hectic frenzy—not the festival itself, but the days leading up to it thanks to the unanticipated--and Mother Nature’s blessings.

We always try to attend the Pecan Festival with the grandkids, Mikey and Keegan. Now, we never attend opening day because it is too crowded. We usually opt for Saturday. This year, the festival’s dates fell on my grandson’s, Mikey, birthday.
Mikey's birthday party was Saturday at two.

Well, we talked about going Friday, but since Keegan was spending the night with us. We had planned to take him fishing at the rocks at Sabine Lake. Keegan is crazy about the place, and he’s turning into a good little fisherman.

Then things started going down hill.

Keegan was sent home from school ill. There went the fishing for when I picked him up, that little feller was as droopy as a wet noodle. Usually when he’s over, we jump in the pool, but all he felt like doing was lying around watching Spongebob Squarepants on TV.

I know, I know, erudite psychologists have claimed watching just nine minutes of Spongebob will turn a child into an idiot. In my years on this earth, I’ve not grown very smart, but I’m smart enough to know such conclusions are drawn only by idiots.

The same thing was said about the Three Stooges fifty years back, and while that might be the explanation for the idiocy of most of our current politicians, for the most part, American kids who enjoyed the Stooge’s silly antics turned out to be fine citizens.

But, back to the festival or actually the days leading up to it. We realized Sunday would have be our day at the fair. Open from 1-6, there was plenty of time for the boys to enjoy the rides and games.

I mentioned ‘frenzy’ earlier. Well, Keegan’s mom and dad worked Saturday, which meant we would also have his little sister, Kenli, who was almost one.

If you haven’t been around a one-year-old in a spell, I’ll tell you they are never still. She’s a climber and a crawler (though she is close to walking). As of this writing, I guess I could say she is walking for yesterday, she took about eight or ten wobbly little steps before plopping down on her plump little derriere.

Keegan still felt puny, so his folks decided he didn’t need to play in his peewee football game that Saturday morning, which was fine with me being the bus driver so to speak. But he also been invited to a couple birthday parties, Mikey’s being one of them.

Strange how a birthday invitation can perk a sick kid up. You ever noticed that?

Anyway, the first party was at Doornbos Park at eleven, and then his cousin’s, Mikey, at two.

Leaving Kenli with Gayle, Keegan and I headed for the first party.
Birthday parties aren’t like I remember with a handful of kids. Not only did youngsters show up, their parents were with them. I’d guess seventy or eighty folks altogether.

The hosts had a pony ride and petting zoo for the kids.

Great fun, great company, great people.

I lost track of the number of pony rides Keegan took, and his favorite animal in the zoo was an ancient turtle almost three feet long.

We didn’t want to leave, but we had to pick up Gayle and Kenli and head for Mikey’s shindig.

By then, Keegan was over whatever he’d had the day before. He hit the swimming pool with the others, and for three hours, the kids tried to drown each other.

Gayle and I were exhausted, but we still had the fair the next day.
That night, the drought around broke—big time.

We knew we were taking a chance of being soaked if we went to the fair. We were right. For the first hour, we huddled with thirty or forty others under a 20x20 pavilion out of the pouring rain witnessing a dog show.

Now I like dogs, but a dog show is not my idea of a fun time at the fair.

When the deluge finally slacked, we were all soaked, but we headed for the midway through ankle deep water with grim resolve to have fun despite the drizzle. Have fun or die-that was the motto we adopted.

The boys rode what rides were open, and we all took shelter under the canopies of game venues with each passing shower. The prizes they won probably cost all of five bucks althought we spent fifty to seventy on them, but it was worth it.

I kid you not, those three days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday wore me to the proverbial nub. I even dozed through the Texans' football game.

That night, Gayle and I were asleep before our heads hit the pillows. I didn’t move a muscle.

How soccer moms do it, I’ll never know. My hat’s off to them.

Now, I’ve got to rest up for next year

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