kids

A Foolish Promise

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Back in February, when the kids and I visited Ireland, we couldn’t escape the topic of Donald Trump. In the car, we listened to radio news loops, detailing Trump’s quirky comments. In pubs, restaurants and shops, strangers queried us about The Celebrity Apprentice host’s political fame.

This was well before “Trump” and “presumptive nominee” shared a sentence. As of mid-February, six Republican candidates still jockeyed for the lead. And while Trump was holding the field at bay, most political pundits and media outlets treated his campaign as a farce. Trump wasn’t a real candidate; he was a titillating caricature, whose wacky remarks spiced-up a ho hum primary season. No one imagined he’d be ringleader in the presidential circus.

From my perspective, his campaign was fantastical. And on our drive to Dingle — prompted by another Donald soundbite — I declared the following:

“If Trump wins the presidency, we will move to Ireland.”

The kids lit up. You promise? they asked. I promise, I replied.

At the time, Trump had a better chance of walking on the moon than commanding the oval office.

But that was then… and this is now.

Trump’s presidential run is no longer groundless. And the kids haven’t forgotten my pledge. A couple days ago, they pondered a Republican win and lobbed out a bunch of questions:

Are we going to live with Auntie Sheep or will we have our own house? Will we move after the election or after inauguration? Can we bring Maisie? And what about the horses? Can we still go to sleep-away camp in West Virginia? Can my friends visit us in Ireland? 

I glibly answer their questions while pondering how to back-pedal out of a pinkie promise. We’ll have our own house; umm… I guess we’ll move after inauguration. Yes, we can bring Maisie, and maybe Rocky and Jazz, but not the other horses. We’ll see about sleep-away camp; and your friends can visit if they pay their own way… 

I never imagined I’d have to make good on a plan to relocate. Now I’m plotting a retraction.

Should Trump become the final one standing, I’ll renege on my decree and slather it with a heartfelt apology.

And if all else fails, I’ll pay them off.

Trump may become president, but cash is king.

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All Before 9 AM

A few mornings ago, I got out of bed and found this on the kitchen table:

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There was no reason to doubt its legitimacy. I recognized Martin’s handwriting and he was up before me.

Plus, no one has time to pull a prank at that hour.

I surveyed the box — he could’ve weighed down the lid with a bowl or a plate — but the top appeared to be undisturbed….

So I shoved it aside and started packing lunches.

A short while later, the kids emerged. They gobbled down their cereal and carried the box outdoors.

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I later learned that Martin discovered the corn snake while mucking stalls. The creature was coiled around the pitchfork handle, attempting an ascent to a bird’s nest.

As punishment, Martin decided that the snake should spend time with the kids. So he placed it where it wouldn’t be missed.

After being stuffed in a shoebox, the snake was less than thrilled to be poked and prodded on the deck.

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When Cayden tried to detain him, the snake bit his hand.

So we released the reptile on his own recognizance, and he vanished into the pumpkin patch.

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After that we piled into the car, but pulled over within a few miles to watch Pigpen’s odometer hit the 250,000 mark. We shouted out the open windows. I photographed the event.

Hadley thought we should celebrate with ice cream.

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From there, it was off to camp.

But not before The Boy shed his braces at the orthodontist’s office.

And all before 9 AM.

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What’s Up, In Pictures

 

We are about to emerge from the log jam of April and May, and I have a few minutes to post some pictures snapped in recent weeks. When last I left you, Cayden was duct-taped to a cart in the driveway. Since then:

We returned to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, which I described four years ago here. It is a massive sheep spectacle-meets-craft fair, with a healthy dollop of Americana.

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Hadley and I kicked off our respective softball seasons. On a Saturday in April, we celebrated at a sun-soaked lunch.

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Since then, virtually all of our games have been rained out.

 

Last weekend, we partied at the Potomac Hunt Races. On that day, it didn’t rain, but the wind blew like the dickens. Still, lots of fun for the adults:

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Kids, too:

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Between races, Hadley, Cayden and crew hawked decorative horseshoes and pulled in a nice profit.

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Back on the farm, we discovered one of Blackie’s relatives inside the bar. Our cat Olive has also been wriggling through a narrow gap beneath the door, so it appears that cat & snake are tag-teaming the rodent population inside. Cool.

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And finally, Felix, our semi-feral cat, continues to defy the textbook prototype of a barn cat, by getting fatter and fatter. His stomach nearly touches the ground and mouse-sized mats ride his back, because he’s too tubby to groom himself. More on that later.

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Postscript —  I can’t conclude with that blubbery feline. Frequent storms and volatile weather do yield some nice sunsets, like this one last night.

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