Halloween Hayride

Wilson's Farms is a gigantic high-priced farm-stand-mega-store just down the road from the houses where Dan and I grew up. In our youth Wilson's offered an annual haunted house which one walked through by the power of one's own shaking feet. There were spooky scenes at every turn and sometimes one of the mummy or zombie statues would lurch from the wall and GRAB YOU!!! They actually paid one of their employees to stand there very still to scare the crap out of an unsuspecting child every minute and a half. For us as kids the haunted house was a big deal.

Now that I am a parent, I think of this haunted house as someplace I would NEVER LET MY CHILD!!! Perhaps times have changed, or perhaps toddlers never went inside anyway. In any case Wilson's has reformed its super scary ways and replaced the house of horrors with a more family-friendly "haunted hayride." The hayride is a fraction as scary, like if the original haunted house was 100 and the hayride was 1.

more exciting than scary

We had to go to Wilson's Farm anyway this week to pick up a CSA for Grandma who was out of town. At home I mentioned to the boys that there might be a hayride on offer. "Habide? Habide?" Zion shouted excitedly. I wasn't sure if he knew what it meant - the Drumlin hayride was weeks and weeks ago - but there seemed like a chance he might remember. Sure enough, when we parked the car in the lot above the Wilson's field Zion pointed to the tractor bumping around and excitedly yelled: "HABIDE!!! HABIDE!!!"

His excitement could not be contained. Even getting in line was an overwhelming experience and both Zion and Harvey raced right to the front.

come on Zion! We're almost there!

Harvey had a bit more of the nervous variety of anticipation. While waiting in line we had this conversation.
Harvey: "Can you hold me?"
Me: "On the hayride, or now?"
Harvey: "Now!"

There are several Halloween "scenes" displayed in the field, though seeing them from the vantage point of a tractor certainly takes the sting off any potential scariness. There were some aliens and some ghostly farmers, though the high-point of the ride is a VW Beetle turned into a giant spider. In the foreground you can see a kiddie car stuck in her web.

the real scary thing is actually owning a Volkswagen.

Both children felt oh so grown-up on this trip. They walked down the line by themselves, they mostly climbed onto the tractor by themselves, and Zion sat next to me on the hay rather than on my lap. I had this impression on the ride, as I do in stray moments when I'm not taking a direct care-taking role, that we were all enjoying this experience equally, no one violently or needily imposing on anyone else. We were like a real grown-up family, just peacefully sitting side by side.

riding as a family

It doesn't always last long, but it's a really nice feeling when I get it.

If you want to partake in your own halloween hayride, the ride is free and open today, Monday and Wednesday, or until the world ends in flood.


another storm of the century

We're getting ready for the largest storm ever to hit the United States, as Reuters puts it. So far we've made sure our phones are charged, found the headlamps, and made a wet bicycle trip to the library for a few more books. Is there anything else we need to do?

Really, I'm not entirely sure what to think about this storm. Last time it wasn't no thing, but this one is record-breaking for both its size and the depths of its pressure, so perhaps we should be more concerned; but I really can't think of any other preparations we need to make. We already have a couple weeks worth of food in the pantry, although Leah did venture out into the craziness yesterday just to experience it, and also to get some ice for the freezer. It wouldn't do to have some hundreds of dollars of locally-raised meat go bad in the even of a power outage! In what I can only view as a commentary on the shared insanity of pre-storm shopping, she let Harvey ride his scooter in the Whole Foods.

As the wind picks up tomorrow I'll make sure nothing's blowing away outside, and we'll do our best to deal with the cabin fever that will no doubt be affecting our three dependents. (To that end our library haul, besides books, also included a Thomas and Friends DVD, not to be watched until the storm is in full swing; just before bed, Harvey asked, "when it's light is it the day you're talkin about?" Yes my son, tomorrow is tomorrow.)

Big weather events like this are about the only time I wish we still had TV, because when you see the reporters squinting against heavy rain while waves crash on the pier behind them you feel like a storm is really something. Without that shared experience, it's just a little bit of wind and rain, over before you know it. I'll take pictures if anything big falls over.