A lot of things have happened since I last posted.
For one, Laura turned 17. My kids are getting so big. I remember shortly after Lu was born... I was sitting in bed nursing her, watching the 1992 presidential election on TV, watching Clinton win. We came out of those eight years, had eight years of slightly better but certainly not banner Republican influence, and now the pendulum has swung way back to the left, lefter than Clinton ever dreamed of being.
Here is Laura on the occasion of her 17th birthday, posing with her birthday parfait because, as we know, everybody loves parfait.
Also, here is another shot of that delicious parfait:
It was layers of chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, cherry pie filling and real whipped cream. Yum, yum, yum.
The very next day, Lu and I boarded a plane and flew to Minnesota so she could visit Bethel University in the land of her ancestors. The pros of Bethel: her grandpa and her great uncle both taught there in the past. Her aunt, uncle (in-law) and two of her cousins attended there. Her cousin Ben, who is in the same year of school as Lu, plans to attend there as well. She would be 20 minutes away from a bunch of relatives, although a good solid 18 hour drive from us.
The cons of Bethel:
Yes, it snowed cats and dogs the entire day we were there: Monday, October 12. A small part of a red brick Bethel building appears behind that snowy tree.
On the bright side, the school is entirely connected through corridors that run between the buildings, so once you are in a building, any building, you don't have to go outdoors again until you head back to your dorm.
After we finished our whirlwind trip, it was good to get back home to the land of pumpkins and apples. In fact, yesterday, Shannon and I had a beautiful explore together. We drove from Pompey to Marcellus along Route 20, and it was GORGEOUS. Of course, I forgot the camera, but picture being on a country road at the top of a high hill, and looking out over a view of fields outlined with groves of trees in the height of their autumn colors. Barns, silos, apple and grape orchards, bright blue sky with a few puffy white clouds scattered here and there...
We bought pumpkins at Tim's Pumpkin Patch, which was mobbed with people and smelled of cinnamon coated apple fritters and livestock. After trekking out for miles with a wheel barrow, looking for just the right pumpkins, we paid, loaded up Shannon's trunk, and decided that we would continue our day elsewhere. Guess what! We found an even better place... with u-pick pumpkins for $2 just like at Tim's. You could also pick your own apples for 70 cents a pound, and they sold apples fritters, three for $2, or a slice of homemade apple pie for $2. And they weren't crowded! We'll sure try to get back there next year! It was called Burrell's Navarino Apple Farm, not that I have any idea what a Navarino apple farm is. We picked Jonagolds. But I will try to find this place again next year.
Yes, fall is clearly more glorious in NY than it is in Minnesota. We're glad to be home!
Our new pumpkins. Aren't pumpkins nice? They are so round and orange and bountiful looking.