Apr 29, 2015

Moments....Missionaries, Accompanying, and Checking Out The Columbia River Gorge.

So the bakers wife in the movie Into The Woods has a "moment" in the woods. After she has this moment she sings this great song about her moment. In the song she is trying to make sense of why the moment happened and what it means. She questions if the moment was a trick of her mind? Did it really happen? Then she decides, yes it was a moment not a trick of her mind...

"one peculiar passing moment" if you need to know exactly how she described it.

A moment is passing....fleeting...an indefinitely short passage of time...basically a specific instant or point in time. If you really do not want to use the word moment you could use jiffy, flash, second, or my personal favorite twinkling.

Right now I am sitting in my favorite chair staring out the four tall living room windows. The house is on a hill so all around me I can see mountains covered with endless green Douglas fir trees, a lake, the sky, and my parents impeccable yard. I have been waiting for this exact moment all week. It was one of those weeks. Every moment was filled with something. As I looked into the future I knew that this would be the moment that I would be able to sit and not have something pressing on my mind.

I have been thinking about moments this week. In this song about moments the bakers wife wonders out loud;
"Oh if life were made of moments
Even now and then a bad one
But if life were only moments
Then you'd never know you had one."

I may spend more time than I should wondering about those words and what they could mean :) Regardless, moments come and go. Some you want to forget. Some you want to savor. My mind has been very full lately of realizations of moments and how they are intertwined in my life. I am noticing which ones I have chosen to remember and which ones I am trying to forget. Which ones have taught me things. Which ones have not. Here are some moments that have been on my mind just today.

Daughter number 3, Amanda, came home from her Spanish speaking mission in San Jose, California last week. She has been gone eighteen months. We talked on the phone on Mother's Day and Christmas and otherwise I only heard from her when we got an email once a week on Monday's. She is my fourth missionary to come home. So, if I have done my figuring right, since April 2009 I have always had a missionary on a mission....Estonia, El Salvador, Philippines, and California. Her sisters who are down at BYU drove 14 hours to be in Oregon for barely eight hours and then they drove back to Utah. Because they made that herculean effort we had a moment where all five of my girls were together. After Amanda came through her arrival gate at the airport they all instinctively gathered in a circle and wrapped their arms around each other and exclaimed the word, "sisters"to each other. It is true, there really is nothing like sisters. And that moment I witnessed will forever be in my mind. Yes, tears were in my eyes at that moment. I love that they all love each other and recognize the value of being sisters.

This Sunday I accompanied a family, who was singing a song in church, on the piano. It was a most challenging accompaniment. I loved that it was challenging and really was grateful for the challenge. But it took a lot of moments of practicing to get to where I could confidently play this song. It was constant running 16th notes. I am not sure when I will stop having the words one-e-and-da....two-e-and-da....three-e-and-da.....in my mind. I had to grab my mind and force it to really focus when I played this song. The singers were not singing what I was playing at all. This was a difficult and a little bit of a scary moment for me. I wanted to play this song perfectly so that the family I was playing for would be able to sing without worrying and it was very slow in coming. But it is over and I am sitting in my chair at home not worrying about it anymore. I did not do it perfectly but I did it well. I had this moment where preparing this song taught me that hard work pays off. I was so grateful for that moment.

Can a whole entire day be a moment? I hope so. Because my entire Saturday was one. We wanted to do something fun with Amanda since Saturday was our only chance before she leaves. So we deliberated and decided that our fun would be exploring the Columbia River Gorge. Every single time I have been in the Columbia River Gorge we are on our way somewhere with no time to stop and explore. I was very excited that finally it was our destination not just a place we were passing through.

My parents are always pointing out the Vista House to me as we drive by on I-84 but never stopping. Finally, a chance to see it. So my plan with my girls was to go to the Vista House and then do some hiking that would definitely involve waterfalls. There are 90 waterfalls on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge.

You probably think I am the, "girl who cried beautiful day" because I am constantly telling you about my beautiful Oregon days and I am going to say it again....here it goes....it was a beautiful day...honestly, it was....no lie. The sky, the clouds, the sun, the brilliant colors. I can not say it enough. I kept saying to my girls all sorts of variations of "oh. my. gosh. what a perfect day." I really needed all of you to see it. You know, so you can understand what I am talking about. So we can bond.

The drive was about two hours. We took exit 22 off of I-84 and headed up the Historic Columbia River Highway. This highway was designed to show off the natural beauty along the route and eventually was replaced by the main road I-84. But parts of it are still there and truly are beautiful with stone "guard rails" with arches in them and perfect views. This road took us straight to the Vista House. Vista House was built as a resting point observatory for travelers on this old highway. It is built on Crown Point which is high above the Columbia River. It has the most amazing views of the Columbia River Gorge and surrounding mountains. We had a sunny day but just enough big fluffy clouds that they effectively blocked our view of Mt St Helens and Mt Hood...but just knowing they were there was enough.

The Vista House is a beautiful circular building with steps all around it. There are stained glass windows all around and a beautiful domed ceiling. There are stairs going up and outside onto a ledge so you can walk outside and get even better views. There are stairs going down to a gift shop, restrooms and some galleries with information about the Columbia River Gorge and bridges and quotes. The restroom had vases on the counters with real wildflowers in them...I was impressed. I never fall for gift shops but I can not say that anymore because I fell for this
one. What caught my eye? Coonskin hats..just like Lewis and Clark must have worn....my dad needed one....for reals.

After thoroughly enjoying the Vista House and all the views we jumped in our car and headed out on the meandering historic highway. We stopped at waterfalls (greatest concentration of waterfalls in the US of A right here in the Gorge) and explored whenever we wanted too. Our main goal was Elowah Falls. Great name huh? A middle earth name...right? On our way there we stopped at Multnomah Falls....Oregon's highest waterfall, and the second highest year round waterfall in America. This waterfall is VERY touristy. It drives my kids crazy. All the people, all the things to buy. But I think Multnomah is beautiful no matter how many people may be in the parking lots, in my pictures, and on the trails and insist on my kids checking it out with me...every.single.time. Maybe a moment they will remember someday? :)

Elowah is the last waterfall you come to before the historic highway ends. It is NOT touristy. Nary a bathroom in sight. It is the second tallest waterfall in Oregon but gets absolutely no attention. Which is what my girls say we like. You had to work a little bit harder for the Elowah waterfall. Multnomah was considerate enough to be visible from the freeway. Elowah is just under a mile hike but it is uphill...not going to lie....not miserable but definitely no getting out of your car and taking pictures happening here.

So if you search google for "What is a moment?" you will get a definition and then a lot of websites about physics and math, statistics. Apparently there are lots of ways to look at a moment. Do we live our life and moments are sprinkled in? Or is life only a long chain of moments? Don't all of us think that this particular moment is our moment?

Apr 19, 2015

Aching.

Today is a beautiful April day. All the greens and blues that are outside are glaringly themselves...bright and true. I need a sweater because it is not too hot and not too cold. No clouds. Just endless blue sky. I have a long break from bus driving on Friday's...almost three hours. I never ever use this time wisely. Today I drove the thirty minutes to Eugene with intentions of buying some things my girls need and I came back to Cottage Grove with one thing, Ingrid Michaelsons newest cd. As I was driving the half hour back to Cottage Grove listening to Ingrid sing about life I realized it was trying to sneak in.... Mr.Aching. You never know when aching will strike. You have to be on your guard. I notice when I have lots of things going on in my life that is when aching tries to sneak in. You see when I have lots going on in my life I want someone to sit in the hammock with me and talk about it. Someone interested and sincere who I can say anything too. Did I say that out loud? Is it too much to expect? Then I am reminded there really isn't anyone...no offense family...I love ya but I know sometimes I can be a little much :)

Aching can mean having a dull continuous pain, or aching can be eager, yearning, or longing. I am lucky I get both kinds....sometimes together :) What brings it on? Thoughtful lyrics in music gets me every single time. And Ingrid had way too many thoughtful lyrics today. I really did not stand a chance of fighting Mr. Aching. (Yes, aching is a boy...duh :) Beautiful days and views can bring on the aching. Walking behind an old couple out of Kohls and listening to them discuss the merits of the Kohl's card they just got conned into may or may not have made me ache a little. Wanting to go see things with someone who wants to talk and see with me makes me ache. Seeing something funny and having no one to tell can be a little bit achy. The moon is the very worst offender when it comes to bringing on achy feelings. I wonder if other people ever feel achy?

I have to tell you I had a small shock when the thesaurus told me that words that are the opposite of aching happen to be experienced and healthy. What? So I would not ache anymore if I was experienced in what? Karate? Quoting Star Wars movies? Burying my feelings? Folding my socks? And healthy? As in eating quinoa? Yoga? Owning a Whole Foods grocery bag? Oh I know, it must mean reading nutrition labels :) Yeah, yeah, I know. But really, experienced? Does that mean the more I feel the aching feeling the more experienced I get in dealing with it and then suddenly one day  voila, aching is gone? Aching as an adjective means, "full of or precipitating nostalgia, grief, loneliness, etc." Why they put etc at the end I do not know. I honestly really want to know the rest of the list. I wonder if I took one of the dictionary.com people to lunch they would chat with me about etc? :) And while I have their attention I may ask them if we can make the word achy look a little bit more glamorous....aquee...akee....achey.....hmm something needs to be done :)

So the best thing to do when you are being bothered by Mr. Achy is to write your guts out. Which is obviously what I did and guess what? It worked :)

Apr 13, 2015

Deception And Deception Pass.

 I love Deception Pass. I am confident you all know that. Every time I go up to Washington State I simply must go to Deception Pass. My parents took me there as a baby and again as a child. There are pictures of me in my baby carriage on the beach there. I have been there with an old high school boyfriend. I took my two youngest kids there. The spot means a lot to me. The bridge, the views, the bridge, did I mention the views? It is amazing there in every way. But lets start at the beginning.

I woke up this morning in a hotel room in Everett, Washington. I immediately got up and opened those thick, very annoying, but necessary, hotel room curtains and felt immediate relief. Seattle had come through for me and it was sunny with puffy clouds. Not that I do not love rain. And not that it would have changed my plans in anyway. It just was nice. It was a little after seven o'clock. I hurried and grabbed some clothes and packed up my stuff. I quickly took advantage of the complimentary breakfast.... bowl of raisin bran and half an English muffin. Checked out of the hotel and headed North on I-5

Wait, I confess, I took a small detour into Snohomish, my hometown. I have had a long couple of weeks, a lot has been on my mind, and I got some notion that I needed to see this big old tree in front of my high school. So before I really knew what I was doing I was taking Route 2 across the Ebey Slough towards Snohomish. Every one who has gone to Snohomish High School knows about the tree in front of the school. I have no idea how long the tree has been there. But I imagine almost everyone who has attended Snohomish High School has a memory connected with this tree. The tree is surrounded by a wooden bench....all the way around in a complete circle. That bench encourages us to sit there and have life experiences there so most of us did. The tree grows next to the street that the school buses stop to pick up the high school kids. I have some memories of sitting on that bench and I was just feeling nostalgic for a minute so I stopped there to remember and take a picture.

THEN I headed North. I love this drive to Deception Pass. Once you get past the town of Marysville the traffic on I-5 seems to thin out and it is just wide open, 70 mph road up until you reach the town of Mt Vernon. It is a beautiful drive no matter what the season or the weather. When you get near the top of the Skagit Valley you take Route 20 west and head towards Anacortes. I know this drive very well. You could choose to take the Mukilteo Ferry, way back in Everett, to get to Deception Pass but I usually choose to take the drive up I-5...you know because of the memories :) Route 20 splits at some point and you head South towards Oak Harbor and it is on that road when you go over the Deception Pass Bridge and see the most amazing views ever.

I was relieved to see it was not to crowded as I came upon the bridge. Often all the turnouts for views and the parking lot are bursting with cars. I parked and quickly grabbed my scarf, and my hat and headed out to explore. I can never get out of the car fast enough when I get to Deception Pass, There are stairs on either side of the bridge so that you do not have to cross the road to get from side to side. I usually spend most of my time exploring and admiring the views to the west of the bridge but today I explored the east side. When you look to the east you can see the Cascade Mountains in the distance, more land, and little plops of islands in a narrow waterway. When you look to the East you see...well here let me tell you what is says on Wikipedia... "Deception Pass is a strait separating Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island. It connects part of the Puget Sound with the Strait of Juan de Fuca." Which is why when you look to the West you see wide open water with a few distant islands and when you look to the East you see more of a bay with narrower water...does that make sense? Narrower water? Did I just write that? It goes from wide open on the West side to narrow on the East. And the Deception Pass bridge is over the top of this water.


I climbed down the steps and down a hill to some rocks and found a perfect place to sit my bum and immediately felt the contentment wash over me. Do not tell me you have not felt contentment washing over you before? I was wearing my most favorite blue and green wool plaid skirt, my black leggings, white button up shirt, my black, tie on the side sweater that I could not live without, my black Keds, my blue pea coat, and my white scarf my sister Sarah bought me in NYC. Yes, part of contentment is always what you are wearing :) The sun was shining on my left leg and left side and it felt nice and warm. There were wild flowers growing out of the rocks all around me. To my immediate right was the enormous historical Deception Pass bridge looming up and stretching across the strait :) In front of me and down was the most amazing green colored water. I could see the other side of the strait and all the evergreens and rocks on that side. The water in this strait is fascinating to watch because there are so many currents and tides all meeting in this strait. I did not realize until I was reading about it today how dangerous and challenging the water in this strait is. All I know is it is a most beautiful color. And that it is so cool to stand up on the bridge and watch all the movement.

While I was sitting there thinking about my pathetic life and all the twists and turns it keeps taking I found myself wondering about the word deception. All these years in love with this spot and I never had even given time to the name?? I decided that something about this area must have tricked someone which is why they named it Deception Pass. When I got home from Seattle I read about it and I was right...I am rarely right so I had to mention that :) When explorers originally came to this area they initially thought Whidbey Island was Whidbey Peninsula until after more extensive explorations when they found this sneaky little strait and realized that this strait would make it so Whidbey and Fidalgo were islands not peninsulas.

Deception...what does it mean? It is the, "art of deceiving or the state of being deceived." A trick, a ruse, a hoax. Sitting there in the best thinking spot ever I thought about being deceived. I may or may not have thought of sentences like...

She was deceived by him.
He deceived her.
Was the deception innocent?
She kept deceiving herself.

Self deceiving...ugh, there is a good one. I am adept at this one. You know, "deceiving yourself by justifying a false belief." I tend to adore deceiving or fooling myself. Denying, rationalizing? Oh I do it all :) Before you judge me apparently all humans are masters of self deception. Who wants to think of themselves as a liar?Yeah, no one I know. So we deceive ourselves instead.

"Self deception is not deliberate, bold faced lying it is the kind of lying that comes from not being psychologically strong enough to be honest with ourselves." Dang, that hurts. While reading I found this article entitled, "The Truth About Self Deception" written by a clinical psychologist named Cortney S.Warren. The article was interesting and I wondered if you could all come over and if someone could please bring a hammock and we could all lay in the hammock and talk about it?

 She listed some things we lie to ourselves about and I found the list alarming and found myself thinking, is it possible to tell the whole truth all the time not just to others but to ourselves?? Check out this list....

We lie to reflect our aspirational goals

We lie about our most important life choices..why we married who we did or why we chose the career path we did.

We lie to reflect our desire to maintain social appropriateness. An example she gave of this is that we tell ourselves it's okay to tell an acquaintance we run into in the grocery store that they look great even though they don't because we do not want to hurt their feelings.

We lie to reflect our social ideals. For example, we would say to ourselves I am always physically attracted to my spouse and I would never flirt with anyone else because that would not be acceptable to admit to myself or anyone else.


The list really interested me and when it was over the author kicks you in the gut with this sentence..."although normal and commonplace self deception comes with profound costs because we live our truth whether we are honest about it or not." Yeah, good times. Did you know we hurt ourselves and people we love when we do not take full responsibility for who we are?

As I have made discoveries over the last few years about myself I have tried so hard to be honest with myself. It is not easy in anyway and so not pleasant. And here I was at Deception Pass thinking about how important it was to admit some things to myself and move on....give up hope.

I definitely have lived a lot of my life not being psychologically strong enough to be honest with myself. I have regret because of the times I deceived myself into thinking something was going to be okay and made a bad choice. I have definitely made choices with incredibly yucky consequences to avoid being honest because I did not want to hurt someone. As I have become aware of these things I do in the last few years I have been trying with all my might to be true to myself and it is hard work. It is why sometimes a girl just goes away for the weekend and finds herself visiting a silly tree at her old high school and sitting at Deception Pass thinking about the word deception.

Apr 12, 2015

The Y On The Mountain.

I have always been enamored with the Y on the mountain in Provo. I remember as a kid watching out the car window for the first view of it as we drove into the Utah Valley on family trips. Okay, I may still do this at 46 years old :)When I finally was at BYU for college I loved that anytime I was outside I could just look up at the mountain and the Y was always there. For those of you that have never seen the Y mountain in Provo the mountain that the Y is on is so close to the college campus that it is hard to ignore it.

I decided to read about the Y on the mountain and it turns out that it has been there over 100 years. I was also interested to find out that the Y is larger than the Hollywood sign in Hollywood. It is lit up with lights about five times a year. Which, of course, looks SO cool. The original plan was to have the letters BYU on the mountain but it took 6 hours for this brigade of boys in 1907 to just put one thin layer of lime down for the Y and they were so exhausted that they never finished. The Y idea was born from a very clever idea of a member of the administration of the then Brigham Young High School to stop a competition between the senior class and the junior class that could have become ugly. It was a way to bring the students together, it worked, and they probably had no idea what they were starting.

I have always wanted to hike the Y but for some reason I never have. You have to have the right friend to hike the Y with. When we decided to head to Provo for spring break a few weeks ago one of the things that was on my list of things to do was to hike to the Y. My daughter Madeline has hiked it a few times in darkness and in daylight and she assured me it was going to be easy for us to accomplish this goal. So on Tuesday of our vacation at about 3:30 in the afternoon four of my girls and I headed out to hike the Y.

The first thing you do is you drive up to the trail head which is about five minutes from Madeline's Provo apartment. If you can't remember which road gets you to the trail head just drive around for a few minutes and then it will become clear...not that we did that :)

It was not a perfectly clear day but that did not matter to me I was just thrilled we were all doing this together. Natalie and Tatiana were not using the word thrilled in any way. But Miriam and Madeline were appearing to be thrilled so two out of four was good enough for me.

The hike starts on a hill and never ever gives you anything but a hill. Straight up for a mile. See that picture over there? See all the zig zagging that is happening? Yeah, 11 switchbacks. I am not sure if I ever realized what uphill meant until this hike and I met.

I am sure that years from now my girls will be remembering this hike and one of them will say something like, "Remember when we hiked the Y that one time and mom kept talking about how hiking is like life." Yeah, I admit it, it is true, every time I hike I do think about that and I often mention the similarities outloud....things like...

How we are all on the trail hiking through life and how sometimes we have to support each other and remind each other it will be worth it in the end.
Sometimes we have to stop together and just take a breath.
Sometimes we have to open our backpacks and share our Skittles and our water bottles with each other.
Sometimes we have to help each other focus on something other than the pain.
Sometimes we have to say funny things to distract each other from what is really happening. Sometimes we have to stop and admire the views together.
Sometimes we have to ask people coming down how much farther and is it worth it?
See, it is just like life...right? Same questions, right? :)

It took a lot of all of this sort of talking to get my 12 and 15 year old up that trail. For about half of the hike they were not impressed with my need to hike the Y. But the funny thing is about halfway up next thing I knew they were ahead of all of us. Wonder of wonders, my biggest complainer was the first one to the top. Competitiveness trumps whining apparently :)

I was surprised how many people were hiking the trail. Young couples that had date night written all over their hike. Lots of runners passed us as my children were complaining about walking. Some were even young kids just acting like running up and down the Y was an everyday thing. For 4 in the afternoon on a Tuesday I was surprised how busy the hike was.

When I got to the Y the first thing I noticed was cement. I did not expect the Y to be made out of cement. I think I expected smooth soft grass painted white....yeah, rainbows and unicorns much? :) It also was very steep. My girls are daredevils and immediately started sliding from the top of the Y down very carefully on their bums towards the middle of the Y. Then they wanted me to hike back down to the bottom of the Y and take pictures of them looking up....that always happens to me...."Mom take a picture of us doing_____!" I have accepted it :)

You can see the whole Utah Valley stretched out in front of you. Utah Lake. Mount Timpanogas. BYU campus. The view was remarkable.

Of course you all know that no one complains about coming down a hill so that part was delightful. I want to hike the Y again but I am going to have to be very clever mom to figure out how to convince some of my children that that will be a fun thing to do again :)


Apr 5, 2015

Tulips At Wooden Shoe Farm.

Tulip fields. I really needed to show some Baird children tulip fields. There are just some things in life that you need to be able to say you have seen. The only tulip fields I have ever seen are the ones in Washington State up by Mt Vernon. I saw those fields on a cold, cloudy, uncrowded day but I was still impressed and have wanted to go back to see them ever since that day. Now that we are on the west coast I realized I really did not have any excuse to not take my girls to see tulip fields. I kept trying to figure out when we could make it back up to Seattle. You only have a short window of time once the tulips start blooming and this year they bloomed earlier than usual so with Utah spring break plans, Easter, school, work, life and various other things I have not been able to find the two days I needed to take this trip. And then one day while lamenting to someone the lack of time to see tulip fields in my life they mentioned that there were tulip fields in Oregon. WHAT? I guess that makes sense. I really wanted to go to the Washington ones but Oregon could do in a pinch, right?

So last week I looked it up and it was true. Off of Exit 271...yes, the same exit as the Woodburn Outlet Mall, about ten miles to the east there is a tulip farm....Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm to be exact. I was a little surprised to see that you had to pay to see tulip fields. I looked up the Skagit Valley Tulip fields just to be sure I was not remembering wrong and I am right, you do not have to pay to look at the tulip fields in Washington State. In Oregon kids 12 and under are free and everyone else is $5.00 with a $20.00 maximum per car. When I looked at the fields of parked cars and contemplated the math it made me feel like planting a tulip field right away. And then there were gift shops, craft booths, food choices, pony rides and much more. We American's do like our views, food, and souvenirs all in one convenient location. I rebel against that sort of tourism with all my might so we did not buy anything. If I were to ever cave and spend money it would have been on tulip bulbs.

I read some reviews about these tulip fields online so I was prepared, and I prepared my children for;

big crowds,
wearing our rubber boots
and lots of patient waiting.

We left Cottage Grove at about 11:15. It was a beautiful day. Blue sky. Puffy clouds everywhere. About 55 degrees. It only took about an hour and twenty minutes to get there. There was no traffic on the way in to the farm. I kept anticipating it but there ended up being only about twenty cars in front of us waiting to pay. I did not follow the long line of cars to the back parking lot I took my chances on people leaving the front parking lot and found a spot there. I was still marveling at all the cars. Full parking lots kept appearing around ever corner. You could not see the tulips from the road which is probably why they are able to charge you money to see them. Note to self, when you plant your acres of tulips think about that :)

Once the tulips came into view we were still a little disheartened by all the people but we quickly figured out that if we headed to the far edge of the field we were pretty much the only ones over there. Everyone else was competing for their few " I went to the tulip field today" social media pictures on the closer, easier to get to side of the field. Because of the slight hills in the fields we could not even see the globs of people on the other side ( yes, glob is a word). There were a few people that set out the way we did, but not many. It was like another world on the far side of the fields. SO  much easier to enjoy the fields and get pictures without the rest of the world in them.

Natalie was not impressed with the tulips and felt compelled to whine in large amounts. The flowers petals were to hard. She was too sore from track practice last week. I always do what Tatiana wants and not what she wants. You name it she mentioned it in that certain tone all parents know and deeply love :) I can not seem to sugar coat her behavior to you in anyway. It was challenging. But I am the mother of seven so I just laughed at her, scolded her sternly at one point, and then just finally did the good mom thing and ignored her. When I was trying to get one picture of her since she always complains about me not having pictures of her from our outings I had this brilliant, light bulb moment....you know the one....when the word teenager pops into your head. Oh dear, I totally forgot that I have one more child to go through being a teenager. Whew, she is normal. Annoying, evil, and capable of ruining my day in about 10 seconds.... but normal. So nice to have an explanation for this.

Tatiana was on a quest for the perfect picture and I was her photographer since I was the only one available. She instructed me on where to stand, where to crouch, and what to have in the background and I did alright. She took some very beautiful pictures on her own. At this moment in our lives she is less challenging to hang out with than her sister.

The special treat for us was that at the edge of the tulip field was a humongous grove of hazelnut trees that was so fabulous. There is just something about acres of trees perfectly planted in rows that makes us Baird girls very happy. They made a beautiful canopy and a whole different photo opportunity. So we played in the grove for awhile.

Once we came around to the busy, crowded side of the field we all wanted to hurry. Crowds of people were all searching for the perfect picture. Parents begging children to behave for the picture. People taking selfies. It can be a little comical if you take a minute to observe it all. There were lines of people buying things.Someone playing a violin under a canopy. SO many people watching opportunities. Lots of dogs. Everyone except us seemed to have received the memo to bring a dog. As we hurried past the crowds towards our car I stopped to snap the sign and a picture of my personal favorite tulip....just in case I ever decided to buy the bulbs.

The crowds of people coming into the tulip farm had greatly increased since we had arrived at about one and the traffic we had been promised was now in full view. On the way back to the freeway there was one two way stop at a four way corner that gave us a bit of a wait but other than that it was a quick and easy ride home. Most of the traffic was heading towards the tulips.

I am so glad we got the memo about the rubber boots, the fields and pathways really were muddy and I love the freedom rubber boots give you to just tromp on through the mud without a care in the world. I noticed lots of people wearing their nice shoes. I am so glad we arrived at the time of day that we did. Because we decided to watch the first session of  our church's general conference from Salt Lake City we could not leave before eleven, otherwise I would have been at the fields at the break of day giving Natalie something to really whine about :)

Now I find that I am looking forward to showing the girls the tulip fields in Washington so that we can compare...you know just for fun.

It is interesting to think about all the people that went to the tulip field today and how each one of them are most likely sitting at home right now telling someone about their experience at the tulip field today. What they saw. How they felt. If it was worth it. Some may be grumpy about the crowds and commercialism. Some may have loved all the spending money opportunities. Everyone has their own view. You really have to know how you view things to know if you are going to like an experience or not. Some people know without a doubt that they do not like crowds and won't go near them with a ten foot pole. Others know that crowds will not bother them in the least.

As we were leaving Tatiana was talking about how cool it would be to be the very first person who discovered a tulip field and how at this point in the world most of the amazing places to see have already been discovered. It was an interesting discussion and gave us a lot to think about.