Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell came to our little corner of Arkansas last Saturday. Not the guy, of course, seeing as how he died in 1978, but the idea of small town American life. Our little neighborhood, at the foot of heavily wooded Horseshoe Mountain, surrounded by cows and horses grazing the open fields, held our first annual fall festival. It sounds way too sugary sweet for my taste, but I have to admit, I rather enjoyed it.

Every house except one (there's always one in every neighborhood) had some kind of activity for the kids. Since each home sits on at least 3 acres of land, the best way of getting from house to house was, of course, a hayride.

After meeting up at the designated house, the kids took their seats and were ferried (with several neighborhood dogs chasing after) from activity to activity. There was Haloween mucsical chairs, target shooting (against a metal wall with rubber suction cup "bullets"), football toss, relay games, a corn maze, bobbing for apples, face painting, crazy hair color spraying, cookie and cupcake decorating, and pumpkin toss just to name a few.

The parents mostly visited with each other, talking about work, the weather, the kids, new trucks, and football. But when we got to the "pumpkin toss," once each child had their turn and we still had a sack full of baby pumpkins, the adults took over that game. It wasn't just throwing a little pumpkin by hand to see who's went farther. This was a big-boy toy! A heavy-duty slingshot had been set up with metal poles anchored in the ground and several targets were set up about 75 yards away. Now what guy could resist this? The kids wanted to do it again, but we gave them candy and said, "Sorry, but the only pumpkins left are the adult's pumpkins. Why don't you kids go play out there in the field for a while? Yeah, out there by the targets would be good."  Unfortunately, it seems our kids are a little too smart to fall for that, but the grownups, including most of the moms, had a lot of fun anyway. Amazing how far and high you can shoot a little pumpkin with the right equipment!

By the time we arrived back at the starting point several hours later for the weinie roast and S'mores, the kids were definitely on a sugar high and the parents were ready to relax around the campfire for a while.

Mr. Rockwell would have been proud.