A. and I thought it had been too long since the children had been forced to sit in the car for over an hour to get to a semi-urban center. So we loaded them all in the van yesterday morning at 10 a.m. and struck out for a large town an hour and a half away. The primary purpose of this trip was for A. to get a permit to cut firewood in the canyon.
The secondary purpose was to decide if we want to make this town our center of commerce. We have to choose, you see, which town we visit once a month for a grocery run and a library visit. The small city we had been going to is kind of seedy, so we thought we'd try another place.
And so, we drove. An hour and a half and many, "Are we almost there?"s from the children later, we arrived at the Department of Agriculture office where A. was to get his permit. I allowed the children to get out and run around in front of the office building while we waited for A., which resulted in a man stepping out of his office to see what the commotion was.
I apologized for disturbing him, but he didn't seem bothered. He also didn't seem disposed to go back to work, and stood there talking to me about firewood varieties and prices for some time. When it was time for us to go, he gave the kids some canvas bags.
Next we went searching for a place to have our picnic lunch. There's a lake about ten miles from that town, but we couldn't find the right road and the troops were getting restless. I spied a playground on a side street, which turned out to be on the grounds of an abandoned elementary school.
The boys were thrilled with this. They started out playing on the playground.
Going old-school (ha) with a metal climbing structure. No plastic here.
Lots of good rocks, too. Poppy approved.
Pretty soon, they were just running wild around the grounds.
About this time, Cubby said, "Well, I'll tell you, THIS was definitely worth the drive." Okay then.
They balanced on the perimeter wall.
The picnic went mobile.
Well, Charlie did, because he is a monkey in boy's clothing.
And Poppy explored what looked to be a very decorative volleyball court.
She found a stick. It was apparently very tasty.
The school and its grounds, while now neglected, were actually very aesthetically pleasing in a way that modern schools definitely are not. A. thought the whole thing was probably built by the WPA. It's a shame it isn't used anymore. It didn't look as though it had been abandoned for very long, maybe just a few years.
After that, we went to check out (ha again) the library. Libraries are very important in our decision-making regarding where we choose to drive. This library, while small, was very nice, and the librarian was extremely friendly and helpful.
Next we went to the grocery store. I had been to this store only once, but remembered it as superior to any others I've been to around here. This was confirmed. It has a particularly good produce section, which is important to me.
So we decided this is our town of commerce from now on.
That decided, and the boys fortified with Mexican paletas (coconut for all three), we began the long drive home. Poppy and Jack fell asleep. Cubby and Charlie played a game with me in which I said a word and they had to think of a word that rhymed.
This is really fun to play with two little boys, because of course the greatest hilarity ensues when they can think of a rhyming word that relates to bodily functions. Cubby was particularly skilled at this. So it would go like this:
Me: Okay, how about . . . bird.
Cubby: Turd! HAHAHAHAHAHA!
Me: Okay, how about . . . bush.
Charlie: Ummmm . . .
Cubby: Tush! HAHAHAHAHAHA!
And so on.
And that was it for Fun Friday. Next Friday will be the funnest of all, as we will be driving over 600 miles to my brother's house in Phoenix to kick off our Thanksgiving week in Arizona. That's a lot of time for rhyming games. Whee.