Tell Me More About . . . D’Vine Vineyard

When Dave Page found himself interested in growing a vineyard on his property in Columbia Crossroads, Pa., he had no idea the plot of land that he’d set aside for growing grapes would become a sought-after wedding destination for brides and grooms.

When you step outside the front door of Dave and Denise Page’s home there is a four-acre field lined with 1,800 grapevines of eight different varietals of grapes. Off to one side of what Dave calls “D’Vine Vineyard” (incorporating he and Denise’s names) is a handmade wooden pergola with a swing where brides and grooms pause to have their photos taken on their wedding day. Across the road from the vineyard is a rustic barn, sprawling cornfields, and a mini orchard of apple, peach and plum trees. Behind the barn is a pond that looks like a painting and an empty field perfect for setting up tents and tables for wedding receptions or other celebrations.

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DSC_2557Dave owns a total of 120 acres, part of which he rents out to a neighboring farmer to grow corn.

Denise says it was their niece who unwittingly started the now thriving wedding venue business in 2014 by telling the Pages she thought their rustic barn and the former working farm would be the perfect location for her wedding.

Though puzzled by the interest in the barn, built in 1907 by Dave’s great-grandfather, Fred, the Pages agreed to the request and began to prepare the space for wedding guests. The barn hadn’t been a working barn since Dave sold the cows off in the 1980s and was only being used to store equipment and hay. The Pages would soon learn that vintage, rustic, old-fashioned, or whichever term you might want to use, were becoming popular themes among young, and even older, couples as they looked for wedding venues.

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Their nieces’ wedding was photographed by Danielle Barden, a well-known wedding photographer from Tioga County, Pa., who shared the photos on social media, Denise says. The photos went semi-viral and more requests for the location began to flow in. The vineyard, located about 40 miles South of the New York Finger Lakes region, has booked close to 50 weddings and events since that first wedding in 2014.

DSC_2562The Pages were pleasantly surprised by the attention but didn’t make plans to quit their day jobs to start a full-time venue or event location.

Instead, Dave still works as a classifier for the American Holstein Association and Denise is a full-time nurse. A full-time event venue and winery may come someday, but not until they both retire, says Denise. For now, the pair books weddings or other events for the weekends, in a space where the renters do most of the work, including setting up and tearing down. Their children Brandon and Denee and daughter-in-law Cheryl help the Page’s run the business.

Denise and Dave never expected their site to become such an attraction, they say. The land began as a dairy farm more than 100 years ago and is one of only a few century farms in Bradford County. Five generations of Dave’s family farmed the land.

The farm was passed to Dave in the 1970s by his grandparents, Max and Louise VanVeghten. The barn is all the original wood, having only a new roof put on a couple of times over the years and some of the floorboards have been replaced. An addition was added around the time Dave took over. Dave has now turned the bottom of the barn, and part of the addition, into an area to press and ferment the wine, as well as a small bar area to be used to serve guests refreshments. The wine press is locked off from guests during events, per state law.

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Last year Dave also turned one of the old stalls into a changing room for the bride and her bridal party, complete with full-length mirrors, outlets for hairdryers and curling irons and even an old barber chair where hair stylists can prepare the bridal party members’ hair.

Dave added the deck to the back of the barn around the time of the first wedding.

Until he retires, Dave spends any free time he has testing wines, experimenting and sharing the results with a select few. He’s happy to show friends and family the wine bladder presses, the bulk milk tanks that he’s transformed to hold the wine, and the barrels where the wine ages, he says.

But for now he’s only making what he calls practice wine.

“We have a license in holding but we don’t bottle,” according to Denise. “We make wine for our own use. In the future probably we will do festivals.”

To learn more about booking D’Vine Vineyard visit their website at https://dvinevineyardandwinery.com/ or follow them on Facebook.

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That weird crush I had on Peter Davison and other strange facts (or just a post about what I’m watching right now)

I haven’t been blogging much lately, mainly because sometimes life sucks and you don’t feel like writing about it.

But while I haven’t been blogging I have been watching somewhat odd British murder mystery shows from the 1980s and early 1990s thanks to Britbox on Amazon.

250px-CampiondvdMy husband suggested I watch Campion, a show headed by the fifth Doctor himself, Peter Davison, who I first developed somewhat of a crush on in the old BBC show “All Creatures Big and Small” that they showed reruns of on PBS when I was a kid.

To be honest, half the time I have no idea what is happening in the episodes, which are two parts and an hour long each. I’ve found myself rewinding them to try to figure out what just happened or what someone said, partially because of the British accents, and partially because I think in an attempt to be clever, the writers simply make the dialogue vague and confusing.

Despite those shortcomings, I can’t stop watching the show and wondering what is going to happen next. Campion’s sly, mischevious, and brilliant character is fun to watch and it’s also nice to see that Davidson was able to break out of the typecast hole some of the other Doctor

Who’s fell into over the years.

Miss Marple is another of the British mystery shows I’ve found myself caught up in, even though I’ve only watched two episodes so far. From what I can tell, each series takes us through one mystery, with each episode offering another piece to the puzzle each time.

 

There is so much meaty dialogue in each installment I found myself needing to take a break before diving into the next episode. These older mysteries weave such interesting stories it’s hard to binge watch them without becoming overstimulated, which is both a pro and a con of them.

 

On the lighter side, my son and I have been trying out Netflix’ latest cop show offering, The Good Cop starring Tony Danza and – uh – could it be? Is that him? Why, yes it is. It’s multi-million selling recording artist Josh Groban in the lead roll as Tony Caruso, Jr. The premise behind the show is that Tony Sr. is a crooked cop who just finished serving time in prison for various nefarious actions while on the force and his son, Groban, has swung the pendulum completely the other way by being the “good cop” or the stickler for the rules.

Woven in the storyline is the backstory that Tony Jr.’s mom and Tony Sr.’s wife was killed years ago in a hit and run accident and Tony Sr. is working behind the scenes to try to find her killer.

Groban really surprised me with his acting skills. The acting in the show is solid overall, but the plots and the writing could definitely use some work and I feel that is a disservice to the high quality talent they have on board. I’ve never been a huge Tony Danza fan but he really pulls off the slack off, flippant and defiant, bad cop Tony Caruso role.

If you’re looking for a hard hitting, gritty cop show don’t look here. The rating on this one is PG and the storyline is simple and cases easy to solve, except, even if you know who did it, you don’t always know how. My son compares this show to Pysch, which used to be on USA Network and you can catch in reruns on Amazon (no, I’m not being paid by Amazon… yet. ha!), mainly because of the intricate and humorous way they reach a mystery you may have been able to partially solve in the first ten minutes.

Since the show is PG, it is fairly safe for your older children to watch with you, but there are still some adult themes of sex, murder, cheating, and a few swear words. We haven’t finished the season yet to determine if this is one we will put on our list to look forward to a second season.

So, what are all of you watching, listening to or reading this week? Let me know in the comments or link to a blog post where you share what’s on your watch, listening or reading list this week (or month).

On the eve of her fourth birthday

And there she was, drifting off to sleep on the eve of her fourth birthday. There was pink in her hair and I wondered what it was since we’d just washed our hair together tonight in the tub, then I remembered she’d got paint in it a week before and apparently I hadn’t got all of it out in the bath that night.

The day before she’d been sitting on the hill, in the grass and fallen leaves, outside her grandparents’ house, wearing a shirt on backward, since she still hasn’t mastered how to put them on the right way, with rainbow pants and chocolate smudged on the corner right above her upper lip, left over from the brownie cake her grandma and grandpa had made. After her bath, the day before her birthday, she put on an adorable, felt looking pink dress, as is she was preparing to wake up the next morning ready to celebrate her official birthday, one I couldn’t believe was already here.

She was the baby we never expected and the one we never knew we needed.

She delights us, surprises us, aggravates us and most of all she completes us.

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A downhome, country wedding . . .

Laid back weddings in the country are my absolute favorite type of weddings to photograph so when Travis’ mom called and asked me to photograph a simple country wedding at Mt. Pisgah, I was absolutely delighted. When I met the adorable, light-hearted and friendly couple I was even more delighted. I wasn’t able to meet Crystal and Travis ahead of the wedding since Travis was traveling for work and they were temporarily living in another state. The day of the wedding Crystal was helping to set up her own reception and smiling all the way through it and Travis and his groomsmen were unsuccessfully trying to figure out how to fold the handkerchief for their tuxedo jacket pockets.

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Back at the couple’s house, recently purchased but not yet furnished because of the move for work, Crystal and her bridesmaids were full of laughter as they dressed and worked on the complex but beautiful back of the wedding dress, looping strands of fabric together to create it’s criss-cross pattern. The bridesmaids had been given only one instruction for their dresses – make them a bright, cheerful blue and they each complied while choosing styles that fit their unique body types.

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The house was an old farmhouse that I guessed could have been built anytime from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The light fixtures and much of the wallpaper seemed original and was distracting to this documentary-style photographer who is also a history buff.  I wanted to hold an entire shoot on the wooden, vintage staircase where sunlight was pouring in from an upper window and casting a square pattern on the rustic floral print wallpaper. Before the wedding, the light was hitting perfectly but in my rush to photograph the groom and groomsmen before the wedding I forgot to pose the bride in the stream of light until during the reception when I followed her into the house and asked her to stand in the light, now fading and less eye-catching than before.

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Up at the site for the wedding, next to the lake at Mt. Pisgah State Park in Bradford County, Pa., the grass had not been mown where the nuptials were supposed to be held, due to a month long of wet weather, pushing the ceremony to the pavilion. The inconvenience didn’t phase the couple who continued to smile and take it all in stride. The officiant focused his remarks on the power of love while the bride and groom smiled at each other, Crystal’s mischevious temperant in full view as it remained for most of the day, when she stuck her tongue out briefly at Travis who smiled and shook his head. Much of the time it was as if the were the only ones there, both of them forgetting their family and friends were looking on.

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Once their union was announced, and the kiss gave, they gathered for photos of the bridal party and family. Crystal, a collector of visual memories, was sure to ask for photographs of her and Travis with their closest friends and family, careful not to leave anyone out and cognizance of each person’s feelings.

 

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DSC_3551The day finished with a downhome, fun reception in the couple’s backyard, catered by Rooster Ridge BBQ and Catering in Barton, N.Y. and featuring a photobooth by The Photo Shack of Athens, Pa.

Thank you, Travis and Crystal, for letting me be part of your beautiful day.

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British comedians and British bears are on my reading list this month. It’s a whole lot of British folk.

Despite having two children, homeschooling my oldest, and having all hell break loose on a number of fronts this month, or maybe because of, I’ve found myself reading more and social mediaing (it is too a word. I totally made it up.) less this month.

I’ll admit I feel odd talking about the books I’ve been reading, knowing real life, honest to goodness book bloggers might read this, because I rarely read in-depth books worthy of bragging about, and this month has been no exception. In fact, I don’t read one book at a time very often, instead finding myself flitting from book to book until I find one I simply can’t put down, which hasn’t happened since I read the first Fletch book by Gregory McDonald earlier in the year.
41z7ScomosL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_First up for this month was to finish a book I started a few years ago by British comedian Miranda Hart, “Is It Just Me?” I thought I had finished it, but alas, I never had, according to my Kindle bookmarks. Deep writing this isn’t and instead the reader is taken into a silly world of Miranda, now in her late 30s, talking to her 18-year-old self about all she has learned so far. Miranda wrote and starred in a successful sitcom in Great Britain, aptly titled “Miranda.”

And what she has learned so far would be considered silly and trivial by most standards, but for me, after the month of August when our family lost two family members and a bizarre series of mishaps involving broken cars and household appliances happened, I needed trivial and silly. The need for trivial is probably why I also started Miranda’s second book “Peggy and Me” about her acquiring and then falling in love with her dog Peggy. Yes, this is as trite as it sounds and is definitely light reading. I’m only part way through the book and I’m not sure I’ll make it all the way through, even though it is cute, silly and light-hearted.

I’m not convinced by it, so far, that I will delve into the sequel, “Miranda and Me,” written from the perspective of Peggy since Peggy already shares her thoughts in the first book in some awkward, yet funny, interruptions similar to how young Miranda interrupts present Miranda in “Is It Just Me?” I’m just not sure I care to read an entire book from the perspective of a dog, even though I’m sure it will feature some entertaining moments.

milneIn August the kids and I went to see the latest installment of the “true-story of Winnie the Pooh movies,” “Christopher Robin” which led me to wonder about the real Christopher Robin and brought me to one of his memoirs, “The Enchanted Places”, which was much less trite that Miranda’s foray into writing. Christopher Robin Milne, the son, and only child, of author A. A. Milne didn’t remember a childhood as idyllic as his father wrote about in the Winnie the Pooh books, but he did have some fond memories, even with his father being emotionally unavailable for practically his entire childhood.

The younger Milne doesn’t hide his complex feelings about his parents, writing that in addition to his father’s lack of nurturing, his mother was more of an occasional playmate than a real mother. Instead, Milne was mainly raised by his nanny, Olive, until the age of 9 when he was shipped off to boarding school. What he does remember fondly is his trips to the farm his family owned and to the Hundred Acre Wood, the forest near the farm, made famous in his father’s books.

About his father, Christopher Milne reflects at one point: “There are two sorts of writers. There is the writer who is basically a reporter and there is the creative writer. The one draws on his experiences, the other on his dreams. My father was a creative writer and so it was precisely because he was not able to play with his small son that his longings sought and found satisfaction in another direction. He wrote about him.”

Still, there were pleasant moments between the two as the younger Milne grew, especially at the farm where they played cricket together, before war called the children’s book hero off to the army. It seems Milne’s fondest memories are at the farm and cottage and he spends a couple of chapters describing it and his adventures there. Christopher’s closeness with his father developed more after his nanny left for good.

Christopher remembers being painfully shy and having to cling to, first his nanny, and later his father, who he says may have enjoyed their closeness for awhile but later showed anxiety from it.

I was pleasantly surprised how well Christopher Milne wrote and a little heartbroken the true story wasn’t as heartwarming as the books, but as I read through the book I believe his life did have good moments, peppered in among the disappointments placed on him by his parents. He even relayed some fond memories of his mother who he saw only once in the 15 years before she died.

Christopher Milne authored two more autobiographical books, but I haven’t yet decided if I’ll try to read those.

cat whoUp next in my queue is The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, the first of The Cat Who… series by Lillian Jackson Braun, a series I remember reading in high school and college and liking for its’ quirky main characters of two Siamese cats and a retired journalist affectionally called Jim Qwilleran or Qwill throughout the series. The cats always seem to find a way to help Qwill solve a case of murder or robbery or something similarly sinister and I can’t remember ever reading how it all started so I’m enjoying the first in the series so far.

Now to steal a blog post ending from my brother Unfinished Person: So, how about you? What are you reading? Listening to? Even watching? And how about the weather where you are?

When families laugh together

When I was a kid she danced around her room and recited Anne of Green Gables and sang songs from musicals as if she was on Broadway. The funniest moments were when she did it while sleepwalking.

In junior high, we both wrote dramatic, slightly melancholy romantic short stories and shared them with each other and cringed at the idea anyone else would see them.

She was elegant and charming and pretty. And for that reason, we honestly, didn’t roam around with the same crowd once we hit high school. I was never elegant, charming, or pretty, which isn’t meant to put myself down, it’s simply how it was.

I didn’t enjoy the small town limelight she stood in as she found her footing amongst the popular drama clique that ruled our tiny high school, and I never would have wanted to.

I was introverted, hid behind books, baggy clothes, a journal or a sketchbook, later a camera, and didn’t mind the lack of attention. In fact, I preferred no attention at all.

She had (and still has) a beautiful voice that needed to be showcased and I’m so glad it was. Even though we didn’t “hang out” in high school, in the strict sense of the word, I still made sure I attended her productions so I could watch her talent grow.

We managed to maintain a friendship over the years, despite her moving away, so when her youngest sister contacted me and asked if I would photograph their family I agreed immediately.  That youngest sister was the first baby I’d ever held so to see her, and all three of the girls, grown, with beautiful smiles still, and being wonderful mothers was worth the detour around flooded roads to get to their parent’s house.

It was so special to see their families full of joy, happiness, and laughter, to know they’d grown up and that life, though I’m sure not always perfect, had brought them so many blessings.

It is these sessions, when families laugh, that make the frustrations of running my own business worth it.

Frank. And only Frank. Thanks, Kid. I’m now sick of Frank.

Every night and every nap for the last two years my daughter has had to listen to Frank Sinatra’s “In The Wee Small Hours” album while she’s falling asleep.

I’ve tried to change the music without her knowing but as young as two she would look at me and say “no. I want frank.” In the beginning she called him “Frank Satra,” but as she grew she knew how to pronounce his name clearly and she let me know no one else would do – no Nat King Cole or Diana Krall or even a different album by Frank.

I finally slipped in some Dean Martin from his “Sleep Warm” album, skipping over the slightly faster songs thrown in the middle of the more gentle and melodic tunes, and she accepted it.

Last night I decided to try some Sarah Vaughn, who I’ve never actually listened to that much, but we only got two songs in before I heard an exasperated sigh in the dark.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, hoping to God she did not ask me for the snack she’d tried to tell me she needed a few moments earlier, even though it was way past her bedtime.

“It’s the music,” she said with exasperation dripping off each word. “It’s just not working.”

Now it was my turn for a sigh. I switched the Apple Music on my phone to the playlist of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.

She relaxed in the darkness, obviously content, and in less than five minutes she was fast asleep to the smooth, soothing baritone of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.

Someday we’ll find another artist who lulls her into a state of pure relaxation but for now Dean and Frank remain our close and repetitive friends.

The love that didn’t last

Looking at her young face staring back at me from the vintage, monochrome photograph it suddenly struck me how young she had been when her world fell apart. Her story was family folklore, passed down as one of those subjects discussed in hushed tones and only around certain family members.

Here she was, though, appearing to me younger than I had ever imagined her when I had heard the stories as a child, a teen and even as an adult. I saw in her eyes a bit of fear, maybe trepidation, but also a lot of grit mixed with the slightest hint of humor.

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When she’d met the man she would one day married she was head over heels in love. He was handsome and charming, and loud and boisterous. Some, though, especially her family, called him trouble.

She wrote love letters to him and told him she couldn’t wait until they could be alone again, married and on their own.

The details are hazy, the story one fractured by memories not as strong as they once were, possible family biases, maybe a bit of resentment and a whole lot of “he said, she said.” What is known is they married, he did something that hurt her deeply, her family chased him off with a shotgun and she came home with a 2-month old baby and soon to be divorced, something not often heard of at that time.

The baby was born with the last name of Hakes, but a line was struck through that name and it was eliminated, one might say. When the divorce was final the baby’s last name became Robinson, his mother’s maiden name, and stayed that way, even when she became an Allen through a new marriage, years later. Family lore, accurate or not, says her family wouldn’t allow the little boy to have his father’s last name. So, the baby, my grandfather, was Hakes by blood but not by name.

Raising a son alone, so young, with a broken heart and maybe added shame, must have been close to impossible, even with the help of her family. I often wonder how those events shaped her inner being, how it maybe led her to throw up walls that it took years to let down, if she ever did.

It seems when we get older we are told new stories about family members, or more of the story or maybe we just listen better and find out what we had always thought was the full story really wasn’t.

More pieces to the puzzle of the story of my great aunt, taken away from her family to live in a mental hospital and then a nursing home were recently given to me, correcting my belief that she was placed in the home at a young age. Instead, she was apparently closer to 30 when her parents had her committed and one reason was the fear she would harm my dad, who was about three or four at the time.

And she wasn’t really abandoned there, as I had previously thought. Instead, she withdrew into herself after years of odd behavior and her parents felt she was safer in the hospital. They also had limited income and only one vehicle to visit her with or bring her home.

So while I heard new information about my great aunt’s story recently, the story that remains a mystery for most of our family is what really led to my great-grandmother Blanche leaving Howard Hakes. It’s not really a topic you bring up when meeting distant relations only at family funerals every few years.

“Hey, so whatever happened with that whole divorce thing with Blanch and Howard anyhow?” you can’t simply ask. Or, “Was that Howard a real jerk or what’s the real story?”

It wouldn’t exactly be polite dinner (or funeral) conversation.

There are the family “rumors”, of course. He liked his parties, women, and alcohol, was the one rumor. Blanche, had finally had enough, some say, and she left Waverly, NY, considered the “big city” back then in the early 1900s and returned to her family’s farm with her young son, Walter, who happens to be my grandfather.

It’s always a bit awkward to write about family drama when some of those family members who might know more are still alive so I will admit that I know very little about what led to the end of the marriage. Not too mention, because it was so long ago and I never met Blanche and was only about 2 when my grandfather died, I don’t have a “dog in this fight” so to speak. I don’t see either party as an enemy or at fault, simply because I wasn’t there, therefore I truly have no idea.

What I do have is a wonder about how Blanche felt about it all, and even how Howard felt. And when you get right down to it, what did Walter feel about it?I wish he was around for me to ask.

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Whatever led to the failed marriage, it came and my grandfather was raised without knowing his father. It wasn’t until Blanche died, well after my grandfather was an adult with two adult daughters and one young son, that Howard showed back up. My dad remembers he was about 13, returning from a Boy Scout camp out,  when a man approached him in town and told him, “I’m your grandfather.”

Later that day, sitting with my grandfather on the porch of my dad’s house, now remarried and a father of other children, Howard tried to make peace with his firstborn, asking him, “Well, your first born is always your favorite, aren’t they?”

“I don’t play favorites,” my dad remembers my grandfather saying in a deep, stern voice.

My dad was the baby of the family, his sister Eleanor was the oldest and sister Doris the middle. And no, Walter wasn’t going to play favorites.

Maybe Grandpa was telling Howard he wasn’t about to accept an attempt to suggest one child should be loved over another as any type of apology for being an absent father.

Even if my grandfather couldn’t accept the failed attempt of an apology that day, some sort of peace was made. Visits were had, half-sisters were met and Howard’s funeral was even attended many years later.

Two, faded and short, letters are tucked away in a jewelry box in my parent’s room and my parents aren’t even sure where they came from. It’s clear they were written by Blanche to Howard and start with “My Love.”

“They are heartbreaking,” my mom told me one day. “She really loved him.”

And she did. Telling Howard she hoped his new job was going well and that she couldn’t wait “until you are here in my bedroom with me again.”

Gasp! In her bedroom?

Scandalous stuff for 1900.

Maybe so scandalous some in my family might not think I should air the family’s “dirty laundry.”

But, if we are honest, every family has their own dirty laundry and some of that dirty laundry isn’t really dirty, but just heartbreak caused by broken people.

I was ‘that mom.’ September 10 on 10

This is part of a monthly 10 on 10 series where a group of photographers shares ten photos from either the previous month or one day on the tenth day of the month. Please see the bottom of the post for the link to the next blogger in the circle.

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I was “that mom” at our local library one day at the beginning of August. I was at the library for a bench dedication that my newspaper editor husband had asked me to take photos of because he couldn’t attend.

The sky had opened up and was releasing a deluge of water, pooling it in the front yard of the library, next to the sidewalk when we got there.

My daughter had put on her rain boots before we left and I knew she’d absolutely love jumping in that puddle on our way back out. She is a puddle jumping junkie. When we came out of the library I told her she could jump in the puddle, envisioning quick leaps in place and stomping feet. But this is my child we are talking about and her older brother was there so I should have known better.

Before I knew it I had two kids soaked almost head to toe, partially from the rain and partially from puddle jumping.

A few people walked by as the pair of them jumped and there were brief grins, one stoic glance and at least two expressions from mothers that I can only describe as a mix of pity and disbelief.

I saw the strained smile on the face of one mother as she walked by and she could have been thinking a hundred different things but I chuckled thinking she might be the mom I sometimes feel guilty I’m not – the one who winces at the sight of disorder and mess, the organized mother, the one who likes her children like her vehicle -clean and efficient.

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“Good luck with that mess. I’d never let my kids do that,” I imagined her thinking to herself.

Of course, she might have been thinking “I should have let my kids do that when they asked.” Or “I wish I had been able to have children so I could watch them jump like that.” Or something not even related to my puddle splashing children.

I’ll never know what that mom was thinking but this mom was thinking how happy she was that her kids were being kids and didn’t need electricity to do it.

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The children who walked by were putting their heads down and dutifully followed their parents or grandparents, walking briskly past all the fun to get to their cars. I bet they were secretly wishing their parents would let them jump in mud puddles.

Hey, at least those children who were walking were walking out of a library, carrying a book, experiencing life beyond a computer screen.

DSC_8992DSC_8999Maybe that’s what’s missing these days – the chance to jump in some mud puddles. I mean – come on – it’s fun, Mom and Dad! Let them jump! They can wash their clothes later. And the inside of the car? Eh, find a coat to sit them on for the drive home after they have fallen in the puddle, twice, like my kid did.

Perhaps I should have been more concerned about the interior of my van, but, well, my kids were having fun. Their faces had lit up. They were giggling and smiling and quite frankly we needed it that day, after a long, sometimes emotional weekend full of family losses and challenges.

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And, as usual, I took photos to remind me that, yes, kids can and should have fun by fully immersing themselves in the simple moments of life but also to remember that sometimes we have to push through the mess to find the joy.

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To continue the blog circle for this months 10 on 10 and to see some wonderful images, click over to Jennifer’s blog