As I posted on Facebook yesterday, I could hardly believe I was saying it, but I was going to the Rock River Thresheree again. I hadn't been there since I was a newlywed (guess they figured once the ring was on it was safe to start breaking me in). Now we have kids clocking in at 8 and 10 these days.... so it was time! Look at those happy three generations there... is that a great picture or what?
My husband comes from a machinery-lovin' family and there is no better place to explore your roots, apparently, than this annual antique tractor and farm machinery show. It is LOUD, and smoky, and LOUD, and earth-rattling, and did I mention LOUD? And smoky? And literally earth-rattling?
"Let's sit in the open car," I said. "It'll be cooler." Oh my. I had no idea we'd look like chimney sweeps by the time we were done with the train ride. The plume in this picture was more often coming straight down on us. No wonder the windows were nailed shut on most of those old trains!
Natalie was happy... we were talking about the different colors tractors come in on the way there, and she was disappointed they don't come in pink. Turns out, a few actually DO. It made her day!
Actually, all kidding aside, we had a great time. Natalie did make use of the emergency ear plugs that have saved our bacon a time or two since I stuck them in my wallet a while back. And I liberally treated to the corn boil, root beer floats, pickles on a stick, and kettle korn as a maybe-not-so-subtle bribe... Not gonna lie, my favorite part of the Thresheree is the funnel cakes. But the fact that there is an enormous flea market that I can browse during the "parade" (read: endless succession of tractors that look all alike but don't make the mistake of thinking they ARE all alike) redeems the event for me. And there were lots of truly interesting historical things like WWII reenactors, a pile-driver, a sawmill, a blacksmith, a working thresher, tobacco harvesting and even mule teams.The event is in it's 56th year, and it's really grown since I last attended.
We came home with cornmeal they ground right there in a stone mill powered by an engine that was 110 years old (see, I was paying attention), cedar roofing shakes that smell marvelously, a couple of flea market finds, and no desire for dinner anytime soon. The kids did brilliantly with it all--I was braced for a plethora of sensory processing issues--and here we lasted over four hours, leaving Grandpa and Daddy behind for a couple more hours over in the car show area. I love my man, but a girl has to draw the line somewhere.
I appreciated getting to show the kids a little bit of their heritage. We ALL come from agricultural backgrounds, if you go back far enough. And for city-raised kids (and their parents) it's always a good reminder that the food in the supermarkets doesn't get there by itself, and it wouldn't get there at all or in such abundance if not for the innovations and hard work of the people that came before us. It made me proud to be from America, where people are allowed to thrive on their own determination and ingenuity and make a better country for us all. Like Dan on the little train cart ride--the harder you pull, the faster you go...
So it was a good day... one I enjoyed rather than endured, turns out. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the kids decide they want to go again next year. Me, I'm kinda glad it's an annual thing. I have train grit in my ears, which are still ringing ...
Sounds like you had a great day!! What is a pile-driver?
Posted by: Pam | 09/02/2012 at 08:40 PM
Beautiful pictures! I attended this same Thresheree over 30 years ago, once. It does look like there is lots more to see and do besides the endless tractors. I especially love the three generation picture of the men. It will be cherished by your son many years from now (if it isn't already).
Posted by: Lori B | 09/02/2012 at 08:42 PM
The picture of your daughter and the pink tractor made me think of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XZn0Jz_D2k :)
Posted by: April | 09/12/2012 at 02:41 PM