May 25, 2009

Adventures on the Farm

My Dad recently built a barn where his old basketball court used to reside. It's quite an impressive space - a natural cedar plank barn with 3 large sliding doors, lots of natural light provided by reclaimed windows he and Lydia picked up years ago and a small cupola lit with an old chandelier. The barn is currently occupied by 2 hens (Red and Buttercup), 6 chicks (all about 2 months old) and an impressive assortment of John Deere farm equipment (a tractor, a winch, and another piece of heavy machinery I couldn't identify, but it had several menacing digging and prodding parts). We went out to see this new barn and introduce Alden to chickens and chicks, creatures which, until this weekend, have existed solely in the cardboard pages Alden's books and in plastic caricatures. Alden enjoyed watching the birds scratch in the dirt and chase each other around the yard, but the biggest hit was the tractor! Alden's favorite toy is a self-propelled, musical version of this very tractor that's hooked up to a cart carrying 5 plastic animals - a gift from my wonderful Aunt Kay. Alden recognized the real thing in the barn instantly and begged for a closer inspection. We were having fun just bouncing up and down in the seat and spinning the wheel in the barn when my Dad offered to start it up and take him for a spin. Alden ate it up in a way I've never seen. His little eyes darted from nobs to nob, from wheels to shifters, studying their every movement and assigned action in the tractor as feverishly as a student during finals. By the end of his first ride, Alden had figured out how the wheel worked (and insisted on steering with my Dad) and how the shifter to the right made the bucket loader rise and fall. He loved manipulating that stick and then watching for the bucket loader to appear over the grill. I think ride itself was a somewhat inconsequential when compared to all the fun trying to figure out just how the thing worked!! Alden was saying "trah-ter" by the end of the day and took several rides with my Dad and Kerstin.
I think my Dad might have enjoyed the rides only slightly more than Alden, but maybe only half as much as the spectators!A beautiful new barn in the background.

1 comment:

joshua said...

Ronin is totally jealous.