My Daddy’s here! My Daddy’s here! Mommy and I were so glad to see Daddy this week. He arrived in NY safe and sound. Daddy came to NY to celebrate Mommy's family's annual get together - Wardapalooza. All my Mom’s crazy Ward family and cousins converge on this tiny town in upstate New York, called Candor, and spend a weekend of fun and frolics! In addition, Daddy came to celebrate my Mom's friend Polly at a big party for her called PollyFest. While we spent most of last week with my Mom’s “Strong” cousins, much of this week was spent with the “Ward” cousins.
So, you ask, what is Wardapalooza and how do so many people come together in a tiny town? Well, we have a place in NY – it’s 150 acres – called the Tree Farm and that's where everyone goes! Here’s what I found out about the Tree Farm:
- It’s the place to go to sit around a really big bonfire.
- Sometimes they have fireworks there; though the noises are scary, the colors are wonderous!
- There are a lot of frogs that talk at night.
- There is a lot of food consumed around the bonfire.
- Most of the adult boys don't even use their diapers, they pee in the woods!
- There is a cabin overlooking a big pond that is pretty spectacular.
- When the sun sets, it gets cold, but everyone wants to hold you, so the cold doesn’t really bother.
- The annual Ward gathering, “Wardapalooza” is a lot of fun!
- Everyone you meet there is family or friend and they are all truly wonderful!
Great-Aunt Val & Me on the Tree Farm
|Great-Uncle Doug & Me on the Tree Farm|
|Grandpa Ward & Me on the Tree Farm|
In addition to spending a lot of time on the Tree Farm, I also went to my first two Memorial services – on the same day! The first service was for my Mommy’s Uncle Hoot and Uncle Donnie. They both passed away last fall when I was in my Mommy’s belly, but the whole family couldn’t get together until the summer for a Memorial. After the Memorial, Mommy and Daddy walked me around the Candor cemetery so I could “meet” all my Ward and Strong relatives. It was a nice place; there is a lot of family history there. The second Memorial service that day was for my Mommy’s friend, Polly, who fought Cancer like a girl! It was a spectacular event with a lot of love in the room. I was very very good at both Memorials. Mommy said I should get an award for the best-behaved kid!
After Polly's Memorial service, Mommy and Daddy took me to PollyFest. PollyFest was an event planned to celebrate Polly and help raise money to cover her medical expenses. PollyFest was planned before Polly passed away, but everyone realized that Polly was so special, they should still hold the event; over 500 people from the community came out to show support! It was a really spectacular time with lots of raffles and special bands. My Mommy’s cousin Jodi’s acapella group, Seredipity, even sang! Mommy says Polly showed up at PollyFest too…there was a HUGE double rainbow over the field where it was being held. It was the brightest rainbow I’ve ever seen (not that I’ve seen too terribly many of them!), but Mommy says that was Polly letting everyone know she was with us. Here's Polly's Rainbow:
Unfortunately, our visit to the East Coast had to end and the day after the Wardapolympics (a series of challenges that occurred at the Tree Farm Wardapalooza celebration (have I mentioned these family members of mine are NUTS?!)), we had to hop on planes to come back to Seattle. I got to fly on TWO different planes for that part of the trip! I decided NOT to sleep hardly at all this time around, so I could really get a good look at all the people around me and experience the plane ride. Fortunately, though I was awake and wiggly, I was really quiet and very good. Mommy and Daddy think they’re very lucky!
We did have one incident on the plane that made for an exciting trip. I had a “blowout” and needed to be changed into a new outfit. While Mommy was changing me, somewhere over Montana, we hit such bad turbulence that even the Flight Attendants had to sit down and put on their seatbelts! Unfortunately, it all happened so fast that Mommy couldn’t make it back to her seat, so she strapped me into the ErgoBaby and sat on the toilet in the bathroom with me, holding onto the handrail in there for over 10 minutes. Her knuckles were white and she ended up having to have one of the flight attendants help her back to her seat when they could finally get up. After that, she told me I’d have to “sit in my own stew” if I had any more blowouts…she wasn’t going back in that bathroom! Fortunately, it didn’t come to that!
So, we made it home safely to Seattle. I was sure glad to see my puppies and especially my Sister when I got home. The time change doesn’t seem to be affecting me too terribly much…we’ll see as the week progresses how it goes!
New folks I met this week: Great-Uncle Bruce, Great-Aunt Cindy, Ward Cousins: Johnny, Heidi and little Siri; Tim and Jess; Dave, Summer and little Ashlyn and Lucas; Saralyn and Tom; Jodi and Andy; Beth; William; Rob and Katie; Faith, the Tompkins Clan, the Van Scoy ladies, Jenny, and I think about half the town of Candor, NY!