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August 28, 2012 / coalstovesinkguest

A Wonderful Change of Plan

Our parents changed our travel plans late in the game to visit “the farm”. They added a whole extra loop to our tour. We were on the road for two days, but they had promised us that at the farm we would be able to pet dogs, cats, goats and a horse, run around, play with the children there… So, when we arrived in the evening at daddy’s farmer friend, we didn’t mind any of that traveling any more. Mom and dad, too, were looking forward to spending some relaxation time after two weeks of touring the USA…

However, as soon as the car stopped, we were surrounded by guard dogs. Don’t get us wrong, we’ve learned how to handle dogs on this trip. First, there was a small playful white dog that we stopped fearing after we learned how to give her treats. Then there was an impetuous young dog that we met for a day – he was too much to handle and we didn’t manage to overcome our fear. Then came one older dog that was heavier than the two of us together. She was terrifying in the beginning, but she was slow and we learned how to command her, so there was nothing left to fear. Can you see the build-up? But three dogs at the same time was like being caught in the crossfire! And a stinky black fourth dog showed up later, too! Even though a nice barefoot man in shorts came out of the house and reassured us, we shrieked. We stayed glued to mom and dad while they carried the bags to the guesthouse. They protected us from the beasts.

One, two, three wardens guarding our door.

The guard of this castle

We visited the main house, too, which was full of old things. We should tell them about the huge shops we saw while driving here… Or do they like some of their things to be old? Why else would daddy take a picture of the set of black cast iron pans hanging on the bare brick wall? On the other hand, their TV is new and big, so they must know that new stuff exists. We saw computers, too.

Cast iron pans on bare brick wall above stove cooking dinner

Something’s cooking

There were two boys in the house, but they were much older than us and we didn’t see them much. Daddy talked with them a bit about video games. One of them had the longest hair we’ve ever seen on a boy. Only one of the dogs was allowed in the house; it was smaller and less scary and the lady let us give it dog treats. The lady had nice hair and a healthy tan. She told us to remember that we are humans and the dogs only want to smell us and they will listen to us if we raise a finger and tell them to sit. They were still scary when they came running towards us and, just to be sure, we still shouted “Sit” at the top of our voices, but at least we learned to stand our ground.

Daddy said the other guests were bitter liberals and he was going to drink with them and listen to them play music. Mommy, too, sat and listened to the music, so we tried to listen, too. Some of the songs sounded longing, but it was not all sad. It sounded nice, so the man must actually be a musician. They also started joking with their instruments. Yes, it’s possible, they were making them squeal and sound weird.

We got sleepy and went with mommy to the guesthouse. On the way, the only light came from our flashlights and if you looked up you could see many stars. Daddy says at home we don’t see so many stars because it’s often cloudy and the city’s glow drowns out the fainter ones. The dogs were walking with us, but didn’t attack us. There was a nice shower in the guest house. We think it had a glass door! We had a bed and were also given sleeping bags, so we could sleep wherever we wanted.

Boy playing with train tracks on the floor. Coal stove sink in thebackground.

The guesthouse welcomes children

In the morning daddy said that despite having had several delicious cocktails, he didn’t have something called a hangover. He was happy because he had been looking forward to them and they had stimulated the conversation. We like to play, the parents like conversation; maybe one day we’ll understand. Perhaps the man is a bartender after all…

We were up at our usual hour and woke up our parents, too, but mommy said it was too early for the man and the lady. We had to be quiet in the kitchen where we had breakfast. They had orange juice and corn flakes, so we knew we wouldn’t starve. Mommy was raving about the homegrown tomatoes and peppers, but she didn’t trick us this time either into eating them! We also tried the omelet made with chicken eggs from this farm. Yummy! Later we went and collected chicken eggs ourselves. Did you know they can also be found slightly warm in nests, not only cold in cartons on shop shelves? Cool!

In the afternoon, the man and the lady took us on a walk through the jungle. We walked through tall grass and bushes and nettles that make your skin itch if you walk into them. The man had a machete in his hand and was widening the path here and there. Clearly, he is a lumberjack. The dogs were walking with us, too, and we weren’t afraid, it was… normal. We saw some fishers and they helped us cast a line, too. We continued the walk between corn fields and stopped to watch some big cows from real close. One of us got tired and got carried by the man on his back. He had a curly beard. On we went through some meadows and then we were back at the house. We don’t think it’s really possible, but daddy told mommy that we had walked through a John Denver song.

Country road between corn fields, tree in the distance, hills in the background. Hikers spread along the road.

Country roads

The next day one of us went to the county fair with the lady and loved it! The other went to the river with the other grownups. Or, rather, ran down to the river alongside the dogs. The man was teasing daddy about his European style swimming briefs, but in our country the man would not be allowed into the swimming pool with his swimming trunks, so we don’t quite understand. Another difference was that we had to keep our shoes on as we went into the water. We threw pebbles for the youngest dog to catch in midair. Daddy and the man and a new guest sat in the river and had more conversation. So much talking, the man must be a philosopher then…

So many more things would be worth mentioning! The giant trampoline. The tree house. The horse and the pony and the peacock and the goats we helped feed… We will see New York another time; we’re glad our parents made this change of plan. We made some lovely new friends!

We were ready to leave at the crack of dawn, as we still had to drive to the airport. We had left our excess toys in the guesthouse for the next children who will visit this place, just like we found toys here. We hugged the dogs and shushed them not to bark, so they wouldn’t wake up the man, the lady and the two boys. We found a box of tasty cookies baked by the lady with a sweet note wishing us a safe trip. Mommy was driving, as daddy had stayed up late again enjoying wine and conversation with the man. We drove over the bridge, then on the tree-lined road, then the farm disappeared behind the bend.

Corina, Mihai (and parents Christina and Thomas)

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