We had a small/big party here on our farm this past Friday – an ice-cream social, as it were – to bid farewell to my husband’s coworker Shawn, who is going back to his native Boston to pursue Master’s in Education (I think) at Harvard.
I first met Shawn the day after my wedding eight years ago – a friend of Jacob’s University-of-Chicago roommate and a fellow U of C student, Shawn was seriously into circus at the time and kindly agreed to perform at our wedding along with a few friends. While all of the other circus people made it, Shawn and his brother got lost in our winding Driftless roads. I don’t blame them – when I first arrived here, every country road looked exactly the same to me.
Later that year, Shawn and said friends came to teach a circus class at Jacob’s high school, thus forever instilling the love of stilt-walking, unicycling, and joggling in the Youth-Initiative students for generations to come.
Somewhere along the line, Shawn fell in love with a local girl and got hired by the high-school as a development professional, teacher, and camping trip organizer, thus settling permanently in the area. Shawn’s graduate program is only a year long, and he and his wife Anna Jo are fully planing to return back here once he’s done, meanwhile allowing their baby boy to spend some time with Shawn’s family out East.
These are Shawn on the right and the guy replacing him at the Youth Initiative on the left.
I haven’t taken a whole lot of photos that day, but here are a few highlights:
Much bratwurst was cooked and consumed that day. This is Wisconsin, man.
Little kids enjoyed tractor rides. I especially love looks of skepticism on the parents’ faces.
My son was really into Thomas the Tank Engine for a while, so he calls this little tractor trailer “the coal cart.” We now call it “the coal cart” too.
This is the older boy of my husband’s other colleague from school.
This is the boy’s little sister, Millicent. I love, love, love that name.
This is Leo, the son Jacob’s other co-worker and a good friend of Jacob’s younger brother Henry. When I first came to America, this handsome man was a really nice little boy, believe it or not.
I can’t believe it, anyway.
Leo is another Youth-Initiative graduate, hence the joggling.
The next generation? What do you think?
Assorted kids had much fun in our hay barn – it is such a good place to play, especially in the dead of winter when the ground is covered with deep snow. Used to be covered, anyway.
Here is what else my camera saw that day:
And sunflowers. The camera must have been high at the time!