Thursday, June 19, 2008

Taking a Chance

It was a chance turn on a side road that lead to many wonderful things. We were on the way to an apple farm with goats and a bakery. We'd been there before and loved the place. We saw a sign for "Garfield Farm Harvest Days" and decided to turn to go there instead. We traded in a known for an unknown and found much more than we ever dreamed. There was a group there playing folk music. It as the Friday of the event for school children so we tagged along and heard bits and peices of interesting things about the farm and the prairie. We went back several times to the music gathering where kids sat on the edge of the hay wagon and played along with the group. Here's what that lead to:
Both boys took folk music lessons when the group opened a folk music school near our home.
We took Sunday morning prairie tours there and I ended up leading the volunteer restoration effort for a couple years.
I give prairie tours at the Harvest Days event and sometimes other events.
At Harvest Days, one boy demonstrates wheat flailing and the other corn shelling in the period costumes their grandmother sewed for them.
They met re-enactors of the trapper-trader era who inspired them to build their own muzzle loader firearms from kits.
Both boys have engaged in actual barter with re-enactors
We volunteer at the holiday event where one boy plays music in the ballroom and the other plays checkers in the men's parlor.
They joined band and then orchestra in grade school then stuck with orchestra in high school.
One boy learned to blacksmith at a class there from another volunteer who helped him acquire his own blacksmithing set-up.
We are friends with the sheep girl who demonstrates spinning at events.
Last 4th of July, Wheat boy/blacksmith and sheep girl played for a 'barn dance' on the lawn of the historic tavern and corn boy participated in the dancing.
The youngest is planning his Boy Scout Eagle project to benefit the farm museum.
All because we were willing to abandon plans for a sure thing to take a chance on something new.

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