Wednesday, September 26, 2012

250 Years!

Western Massachusetts is one of the earlier settled areas of the USA. I can't imagine how hard it was for the early colonists to live in our old house which is said to have been built in 1751. Bernardston was incorporated 250 years ago and although our farmhouse isn't in that town now, it was back then. That is until the big controversial split about 202 years ago when Leyden became its own town. The Farmer's French Canadian family settled in Bernardston, buying Sunbrite Farm in the early part of the 20th century.

Leyden has no services - no post office, no store, no gas, no zip code - so we do lots of our business in Bernardston - just over and down the hill from our farmhouse. When Julia heard there was going to be a parade to celebrate Bernardston's 250th birthday, she was all over it. She had grand plans for the Leyden Glen Farm Float - a tractor, a truck, sheep. Lots of people walking with us celebrating our farm and the town of Bernardston. She was so excited and I put her in charge of it. She signed us up, did all the correspondence and phone calls with the Parade Committee, and then waited for me to put the "float" together. 

Our float went through several phases - grand with a flat bed and a tractor. Then it scaled back to a tractor and a wagon load of sheep. That seemed doable until I couldn't find anyone to drive the tractor and there was no way I was going to do it - I can't back up my SUV much less a tractor with a trailer load of sheep. 

Last week I got creative. I had to. I couldn't disappoint her. The Farmer couldn't help because he had to sell lamb at the Amherst Saturday Market - can't miss the source of revenue. And truthfully, he is not a parade kind of guy. Julia gathered our friends to walk with us. Alice and Bridget who are always up for helping out came over one evening last week. We glue-gunned washed wool onto baseball caps. Talk about silly. (Photo by Matthew)

Our float consisted of Olympia, the paper mache sheep, riding in a little teeny wagon decorated with sunflowers from the garden. I didn't get a good photo of her - darn. And because the committee wanted live animals and I couldn't pull off a sheep walking down the street (none of ours are tame nor trained), we brought Nessie. A sheep dog is the next best thing.

We wrote current agricultural buzz words on foam-core - LOCAL, SUSTAINABLE, GRASS FED, and YUMMY.  Here we are waiting for the big show.

Alice bought some white tee-shirts and wrote BAA on the back of them.

 Here we are walking down the street (photo by Gloria). Thanks to Mike and Ben (who pulled Olympia in her chariot), Kristin and Sean (who was in charge of Nessie who led the pack), and Alice and Bridget for helping create the fun and being really good sports about wearing the funny hats. Couldn't have done it without any of them.

When Julia was going to bed that night she said to me "Mommy, that was the very best day in my life." Sweeeet - glad I didn't get my busy-ness get in the way of that. 

Happy 250th Birthday Bernardston!


MarmePurl said...

The Best moments come from the heart.

Sally said...

BRAVA!!!!! Well done. And thank you for sharing the story. Made my day!

Anonymous said...

Love this. These moments in time are priceless.



Ruby said...

I really enjoy reading your blog. It is one of the first that I always look for in my RSS feed. Today, the recap of the parade was absolutely the best story. I love that you share your farm life, your 'color' world - whatever craft you were working with, your inspiration....All these things are inspiring to your readers and audience.

gale (she shoots sheep shots) said...

Love this! Looks like more fun than any sheep on a flatbed could have been..

Adaliza said...

I love your 'float'! What a fantastic way to celebrate and you've picked words, collie, a sheep + sunflowers that encapsulate your farm - plus the hats & T-shirts of course! Wonderful - so glad that Julia had fun - and the rest of you all.
Happy 250th Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Wisconsin has cheeseheads and Western Massachusetts has SHEEPHEADS!

mn_bird said...

What a sweet story. It put a big smile on my face!

Auntie Shan said...

JULIA is getting to be quite the little "Events-Planner" isn't She? -- GOOD for Her!!

She'll be MAYOR of LEYDEN, yet!

Elaine said...

Kristin, thanks so much for sharing the goings-on in your Township. It reminds me of lots of things long ago in my own life. I'm so happy that Julia is excited about being in charge of all the activities. Is she interested in 4-H? How is the real Olympia and Archie and Winston? Eagerly awaiting fall pictures of the mountain behing the shed with the orange door!!

Pearson airport limo said...

have a great blogs.

Anonymous said...

Looks like everyone had a great time. Very creative. And Kristin, I couldn't help but notice that you seem to be the black sheep of the family!


Helzhart said...

As said before Kristin, thanks so much for your blog, and the parade entry turned out great. You let Julia do it and also you helped. Thanks so much for letting me (us) be part of your life.
Helen in Wyoming.

mascanlon said...

Such a wonderful story.... family, friends, fun and a sense of belonging!

Jennifer and Steve said...

Way to go Mom Kristin!:):) Hope you are enjoying a great fall season. We already have 2 frosts under our belt here in central Ohio. Wowsers. Take care!