Monday, June 22, 2009

Hanging In, Hanging Out, Hanging On

Why, yes! I do listen to country music! What makes you ask?

We went to Ohio a couple weeks back to attend my little cousin Deanna's high school graduation. It was a bit of a trip. We left Friday afternoon, made the nearly seven hour drive in about nine hours, spent Saturday prepping for graduation, attending graduation, visiting with family after graduation, then on Sunday, had a big birthday breakfast for my Grandmother, and drove back to the blessed South.

With all four children in tow. Yes, it can be done, and yes, we had a great time.

We also enjoyed a couple of beautiful rest stops in Kentucky. One on the way there had us wandering a walking path that led us up and down and around and rolled and sprawled and was just gorgeous. I wanted to build a house right in the middle of that rest area. It was very restful.

The day of graduation, we made it to my Aunt's house by, oh, noon. Maybe. We had been just a bit lazy that morning. The first thing my poor Thomas did was to somehow manage to release about a dozen helium balloons. Trust me when I say it was traumatic. Dramatic. Because if you know Thomas, everything tends towards the dramatic.

Graduation was held just across the state line in Kentucky. I had packed, and I mean packed, a diaper bag with sippee cups, bottle, snacks, diapers, blankies, you name it, I had it. We approached the doors to the arena, where they were checking bags to ensure that nobody snuck food or drinks inside. It was a sporting arena, so I can understand how this is something that would generally be done. However, this was a graduation for 300 high school kids. Concessions were not being sold. They were not going to lose any revenue over a few sippee cups.

The lady at the door we attempted to enter was very dedicated, though. She wasn't about to let me through that door with sippee cups (filled with water, not anything sticky!) and crackers and baby bottles. We had been standing in line with our brood for nearly twenty minutes, and it was rather hot, people. Now, I never claimed to be nice, but I do try to respect people and their jobs. This lady, though, irritated me. I took my sun glasses off, glared at her as respectfully and disdainfully as I could, and said, 'You have got to be kidding me.'

She rose to the challenge, and reiterated her stance. I glared at her again, mentioned the four little kids, and she still sent me packing.

As cheerfully as I could (for the sake of my children, mind you) I stormed back out to the car. Where I unloaded the majority of the stuff. I then gave Joshua a bag of crackers to stash in his pocket, stored a pack of Starburst in a (clean) diaper, and rolled up a sippee cup in one of the blankets. No way I was going to sit through a graduation without something to placate my kids.

We opted for a different door, lest the lady remember me and opt to frisk us. The second door had a young man posted there. He barely glanced in my bag. Here I had been all prepared for battle over the bottle I left in plain sight, and I simply wound up sputtering my thanks.

Once inside, we found the rest of the family, got ourselves situated, and settled in. I took note of the number of sippee cups that I saw floating around. But don't worry. I have let all that anger go since then.

Well, mostly. Ya'll know I can get fired up pretty easily.

ANYWAY! I had banked on the girls all drifting off to dreamland after the novelty of the arena wore off. It worked.

After graduation, we went back to my Aunt's house and had a lovely time of catching up before we took the kids back to the hotel, tossed them in the pool for a few minutes, then all fell into bed exhausted.

The next morning, we all met at a Cr@cker Barrel to celebrate my Grandmother's 79th birthday. I can say that, because she doesn't read the blog. So unless you tell her I just publicly announced her age, she can continue living on in blissful denial.

All those people? She is responsible for that. And right proud of it, too!

The gentleman holding the camera whose reflection you see in the window? We don't know him. At all. But he kindly allowed me to interrupt his checkers game with his grandson and impose on him to take a picture of our gang. Thanks, Mister!!

And that is the only picture I have of my cousin. Because I never thought to actually utilize the camera I was so careful to remember packing. She's a sweetie! I had all kinds of high hopes that she would come to college here in the South, but she chose to stay in Ohio. A wise decision, given her chosen major and the school she was accepted to, but still....

Then we headed home. We stopped for a good while at a different rest stop. This one was smaller, but well kept and quite lovely as well. I spread out a blanket for Anna and I to enjoy while Joshua followed the kids to a tree that they were intent on climbing. With a four foot leg up from their Daddy, they conquered the climbing of that tree, too!

See the legs dangling from that tree? Those legs belong to one of my little people! Click on the image to enlarge it and see if you can spot those ever growing legs...

The trip went well, we had a good time, but folks, Lynyrd Skynyrd said it best..."Sweet Home Alabama"


Anonymous said...

Tru 2 ur word--lol

Missi said...

I'm so proud of you for sneaking in those snacks and sippy cup. Seriously. Fight the system, sister. ;)

The Farmer Files said...

Love those tree climbing pictures! Priceless!