Monday, July 21, 2014

One on One Time With Farmer Boy

The past couple weeks have found our family busier than usual.  In addition to working, Songbird attended the Montana State 4-H Congress at MSU.  She had a terrific time, and now wants to obtain her college education at MSU ... college - I am no where near ready to even begin to think about entertaining all that.   While Songbird was at 4-H Congress, Mr.B was working out of town.  That left Farmer Boy and me on our own as we traveled to Havre, MT for his baseball team's state divisional tournament and then farther west into the mountains to visit Grandpa.  Farmer Boy has a strong tendency to be quite obnoxious.  While many, like Mr.B & his brothers,  may find his behavior humorous or "boys just being boys", I, being the way too serious one in the family, find it unacceptable.  So needless to say, I was not enthusiastic about spending an entire week completely alone with Farmer Boy.  After a stern warning about how much I dislike obnoxious behavior and a brief outline of acceptable behavior, we packed the vehicle and set off for a 1,400 mile road trip.  I am so proud of Farmer Boy.  He controlled himself and I didn't have to discipline him regarding unbecoming behavior ... Now, that I know he has the diligence to control himself, maybe he will begin to mature into my idea of a  respectful, polite young man.
While at the tournament, we found ourselves with quite a bit of free time between baseball games.  Being a homeschool mom I seized the opportunity to take Farmer Boy on an educational field trip to an excavated Native American Buffalo Jump.  We were blessed with a great guide who was able to keep Farmer Boy's attention and made the tour interesting for him.
Farmer Boy gives a big silly smile as he poses in front of various buffalo artifacts.
 Our tour included a brief lesson on how to use an atladle - a Native American tool used to propel spears into wild game when hunting.  Of course, this was Farmer Boys favorite part of the field trip.  What boy doesn't love throwing spears?

Ready, Aim ...

... THROW!  Farmer Boy was a natural.  He hit the buffalo target 4 out of 5 times!
The following day, we also spent a couple hours hiking around Beaver Creek Dam.  Farmer Boy had a fun time skipping rocks and trying to teach me how to skip rocks.  He also collected rock material that he thought might be good for making his own arrow heads. 

If I recall, this is the rock that skipped 8 times!
Our final day in Havre found us enjoying a historical underground tour.  In 1904 a fire destroyed the entire downtown area of Havre, MT.  Several years passed before brick and other building materials were delivered via rail to the remote Montana wilderness for rebuilding.  During the long wait, the businesses moved underground into the basements and were accessible via underground steam tunnels.  In addition to visiting an underground early American barbar shop / dentist office, bakery, bank, butcher shop, Chinese laundry, funeral home, doctor's office and general store, I took my 12 year old son to a saloon, a bordello and an opium den ... What sort of mother am I! 

When the tournament was over ... by the way, his team took second place in the state divisional championship tournament ... we packed up and continued our travels west into the Bitterroot Mountains for a short visit with Grandpa at his off-grid log cabin where he lives full-time.

The meadow near Grandpa's.  The mountain he lives on  is in the background.
 Below is a photo of Grandpa's fully functional wood cook stove.  It is wonderful to cook on it during the late autumn, winter and early spring ... But things really heat up when cooking on it during the summer.  I'd love to add a wood cook stove to my own home someday.
Yes, although I live in a fully functioning modern home, I do know how to use a wood cook stove.

Farmer Boy and I had a very pleasant trip.  With Songbird working long hours this summer and Mr.B's demanding work schedule, Farmer Boy and I will have many more opportunities to spend one on one time together.  I think a day hike through the Badlands should be our next outing.

P.S. When we lived in all the hustle and bustle too close to a metropolitan city down home, I always dreamed of moving to the mountains.  I love the scent of mountain pines, the sound of Grandpa's babbling brook and the unique echo of sounds as they travel through the mountains.   I've always thought the mountains were where I dreamed of spending all my days.  However, when I returned to the prairie I stepped out of our vehicle and inhaled the sweet scent of Russian Olive trees and fields of alfalfa and canola blooms;  I heard the gentle rustle of wind dancing through the prairie grasses;  I looked up into an unobstructed view of a field of black velvet dusted with millions upon millions of diamonds; I felt a soft gentle breeze caress the exposed skin on my face and hands.  It has taken me three years and a short visit to Grandpa's to realize that my dream home is not located in the mountains - it is right here with the sweet scents of the prairie, the whisper of the wind and a sky bigger than one's imagination.

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