(Okay, we are jumping around a bit. We’ll catch up eventually and get everything in chronological order again.)
After spending a week with Grandma Patty in Glendale, we took a one hour flight north to visit Deppa and Poppy (Grandma Susan and Grandpa Ron) in Dixon for a week.
One of the best parts about going to the farm is that our time is largely unstructured. When we arrive, we feel ourselves let out a collective breath we didn’t know we were holding. Sure, there are certain things to accomplish or do, but everything seems slower and quieter. We spent much of the time eating delicious oranges off of their trees, walking in the early morning fog through the almond orchards looking for the resident owl, playing with the dog, harvesting food from the garden, or sitting on the couch looking through magazines – then suddenly it is eight hours later and we don’t know where the time went. I love that.
So, instead of a day by day playback, here are a few highlights.
We arrived just in time to celebrate Susan’s birthday. We drove over to Aunt Kimberly and Uncle Trevor’s home in Sacramento for the party. Ellie got to play with her cousins Zach and Logan, and then we had a lovely al fresco dinner. When it got too dark to see, we headed inside for ice cream cake and presents. Ellie made Susan a foam dog (totally her idea; I cut out the pieces and she glued them together) that she was very proud of. In fact, she liked it so much she was tempted to keep it for herself.
Jeff was invited to speak at the Mac Computer Expo in Petaluma, so Jeff and I headed there for two days while Ellie stayed with Susan and Ron. While we were gone, Ellie, Zach, and Logan helped to harvest the pumpkins for the pumpkin party.
Jeff and I returned Sunday morning, just in time to help set up for the pumpkin party later that afternoon. The pumpkin party is an annual affair with about 60 kids under the age of six plus all their parents and grandparents. It’s a hoot watching all those sugar-amped kids running around. Ron did a hay ride, there were potato-sack races, face painting, crafts, and lots to eat. A favorite activity is bobbing for donuts. The kids have to try to eat the donuts off a string without using their hands. Most kids end up with powdered sugar or chocolate all over their faces, which adds to the fun.
The next day, Ellie, Deppa, and I had a girls day out and got pedicures. Ellie also got her fingers done. This was another first for Ellie, and she reported later that she liked it. She also asked when we could do it again. What have I done?
Tuesday came all too quickly and it was time to head home. After two weeks on the road, Jeff and I were ready, but Ellie wanted to stay at the farm “forever and ever.”