Saturday, August 11, 2012

The final hours

I know I have a million other posts to write but right now I am choosing to write about what is most relevant in my life, and that is that this morning I loaded up my baby girls into the van and sent them off on a cross-country journey with my husband and in-laws. I've mentioned that it's difficult for me to be away from my children before but it's certainly gotten easier this summer with our NICU experience. I've been away from Rachel for a grand total of four nights. I've been away from Miriam for three nights. And Benjamin? Well, five entire weeks but that's beside the point since he's here with me now and my sweet girls are not.

Fortunately, I've had to leave them in the care of others a lot this summer so I don't think our separation would have been as difficult as it would have been otherwise.

Yesterday we did family pictures with Andrew's family in the morning and then we spent the afternoon with my mom and my sister. I don't have copies of Andrew's family pictures so this will be a little heavy on my side of the family as I document our final hours in Utah. Rather, as I document their final hours in Utah since I'm still here.

My mom had taken the girls to Pioneer Park in Provo a while ago (one of those days I was in the hospital with Benjamin and pawned my children off on someone else) and they've wanted to go back ever since. They love pioneers. They love reading the Little House series. They have been talking about Pioneer Pastimes since our trip to Nauvoo last summer (and in fact are making a pit stop in Nauvoo on their way out to North Carolina so that they can play at Pioneer Pastimes again...among other reasons). Anyway, is it any wonder that they love Pioneer Park? They've wanted to go back since my mom took them and since my Uncle Wally volunteers there on Friday afternoon we figured it was a good time to go.

Uncle Wally pointing something out to my mom

The second home on the tour of the village is the Haws Home. Our ancestors' photographs can be found within this home as we are related to the Haws, though not directly to the ones who owned this home. Lucinda Haws is our ancestor (my third great-grandmother) but this home was built by Oliver Haws, who could was Lucinda's youngest brother (Gilbert(h) Oliver Haws 1849-1917). Little Oliver was one of the first babies to be born in Provo and he built this house for his family on the corner of what is now University Avenue in 1870. It was moved to Pioneer Park in 1957.

Interestingly enough, Lucinda Haws, who was born in 1828, died on 7 April, 1917 at the age of 89 and just two weeks later, her brother Oliver passed away on 25 April 1917 at the age of 68. I suppose they were both fairly old by then but I just found it funny that they died so close together. In August that year their sister Emma Smith Haws also passed away (she was 74). That must have been a hard year for their family. Attending funeral after funeral after funeral gets to be a little depressing, wouldn't you agree?

Anyway, here's a little snippet about the house from the pamphlet we got: "This cabin shows the typical changes made as their families grew. As you examine the exterior of the home you can see where doors were cut through to accommodate additional rooms. These rooms were removed when the cabin was relocated to this site. Notice the subtle differences between the Turner and haws homes. The Haws home was built 17 years later than the Turner cabin. It has a stove instead of a fireplace, a feather bed [instead of a rope bed], plaster on the walls and a sewing machine. These differences represent the improvements made over time."

Provo was apparently rather primitive. 

We got to wander through a miniature garden and orchard similar to what the pioneers would have had back in the 1800s. Most families had a 1/4 block lot, we learned from a sign outside the Haws Home, whose farm was built west of the Provo River but then was moved closer to town "during the Walker War of 1853" (the sign spouted off this fact as if we should all be familiar with the Walker War of 1853--I'd never heard of it The Walker War of 1853 was a little misunderstanding between the Natives and the pioneers that resulted in several ambushes and retaliations from both parties. It ended officially in 1953 after Brigham Young and Chief Walkara talked things over, though things never did quite settle down. The historical accounts of this little war seem a little sketchy, almost as if no one really knows what was going on. But there you have it--several Mormons and Natives were killed back and forth until they stopped.

The girls loved walking through the rest of the village. Miriam loved the corn crib, which is actually relatively cool inside, thanks to the wonderful ventilation between the slats of wood. Rachel loved finding all the tools and things we've been reading about in the Little House series, such as ice saws and yokes for oxen and scythes and so forth.

Benjamin mostly slept or whined about his tummy being empty before filling it and sleeping again.

The most popular attraction, though, was the schoolhouse. The schoolhouse was originally a storage shed (built around 1870) that was converted into a school for the local children in the Edgemont section of Provo in 1884. It was also used for church and other public meetings. It was certainly a cozy little school but there didn't seem to be too many children on the original roll so I suppose it was big enough. The reason it was so popular to visitors when we went is because that's where all the games are kept--we played with stilts, hoops and graces, whirligigs, and climbing bears (which apparently helped children learn how to milk cows), not to mention free use of the handcarts.

Andrew gave the girls some crazy rides around the lawn while I fed Benjamin.

Then Josie gave the girls a ride around the yard while I kept feeding Benjamin.

Then Andrew gave Josie a ride while the girls chased behind the cart and I...fed Benjamin.

Then Andrew gave all three girls a ride in the handcart while I burped Benjamin (and then fed him again).

Once Benjamin was good and fed we went to the front desk to turn in the scavenger hunt we completed in exchange for the opportunity to pick ripe tomatoes from the pioneer garden. And, boy, were those tomatoes yummy!

After we'd finished in the garden we went to the modern park in pioneer park and played around for a while. Rachel was a regular little monkey. Since she started watching the Olympics she's decided that she'd like to be a gymnast. She was "practicing" at the park.

Miriam was a little too tired and grumpy to do much playing. She was so tired she was a little unsteady on her feet--she fell head over heels as she was running through the grass on the way to the pioneer village and then again while we were picking tomatoes in the garden. She got all dirty from her fall in the garden and was terribly upset about it so she had to spend some time washing off her shoes before she could go play. Not that she's particular or anything.

Truth be told, we were all pretty exhausted by this point. Except for Rachel. It didn't take long for the grown ups or Miriam to get exhausted and insist that we leave the park in favour of someplace cool. Rachel took a little convincing but when Auntie Josie mentioned that she had cookies back at her apartment Rachel was sold. So we took Josie to her apartment, raided it for cookies and water, and said our goodbyes.

Then we took Naanii back to our house and said goodbye to her there. She said she would tell David and Patrick and Bumpa that they needed to come say goodbye before bedtime but it ended up that we headed over there to say goodbye to them before heading out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant for one last time (apparently North Carolina lacks good, authentic Mexican food (though my friends from Arizona have claimed the same thing about Utah)).

Goodbye Naanii
Goodbye scruffy Uncle David

Goodbye Uncle Patrick
Goodbye Bumpa Bruce
Goodbye whole family
Goodbye weepy Auntie Sarah
Goodbye Jacob's "friend" Shayla
For some reason the girls decided to yell "PEANUT BUTTER!" while saying goodbye to Uncle Jacob. It shows.

The girls had the brilliant idea of sleeping in their empty closet last night. They've been begging to sleep in odd places and I've been telling them to go ahead and try it--just don't tell their Daddy. So far they've always ended up in their beds which is why I always say yes. See, I don't really care where my children sleep because to me the detail much more important than that is that they sleep. My theory is that if they try sleeping in their closet, for example, and find they like it enough to fall asleep, then at least they're asleep. But if they find they can't fall asleep there and climb back into their bed to fall asleep, then at least they're asleep. Daddy has a tendency just to say no and then there are tears and fits and frustration. 

Not that I'm right...but I am kind of right. Sometimes saying yes works better than saying no.

Anyway, so far this week the girls have always ended up in their beds. Last night, however, Miriam successfully made a comfortable enough bed in the closet (or was exhausted enough from this week of extreme packing/moving) that she actually fell asleep there.

Rachel, who had been too afraid to sleep in the closet, was now upset because she wasn't asleep in the closet but wanted to be but was too afraid to be. So I told her to try out the camping cot that Miriam's been sleeping on the past couple of nights. She decided that was a good idea so I tucked her in there (which made Miriam rather upset when I woke her up this morning. "Rachie's in my bed!" was the first thing she said to me).

A few minutes later I heard her music blaring (she can't fall asleep without music and when she gets scared she turns it up full blast...I suppose to enable her to focus completely on her music and deaden any other thoughts running rampant through her overactive imagination) so I went in to turn it down and found that the closet doors were closed--with Miriam inside them! So in addition to turning down Rachel's music I told her that she wasn't to close the closet doors with her sister inside ever again.

"But it's scary with the closet doors open!" Rachel whined.

"But only your sister is in the closet, nothing else. And if you close the doors there won't be enough air for her so just leave them open or you'll be in heaps of trouble."

I can never think of good threats but apparently 'heaps of trouble' worked this time and the closet doors stayed open all night long (I checked multiple times).

After a couple hours of sleep it was time to get up and moving again. Luckily Reid, Karen, and Andrew had packed the van the night before and we only had a few things left to grab. Andrew's friend Steven showed up to bid him farewell (Steven's been doing rotations for his medical degree and flew in from Arizona the night before just to say goodbye to Andrew...or to spend the weekend with his wife and children...). It was a nice surprise. We weren't sure what time he was getting in--his mom wasn't sure if he was getting to the house at 10:30 or if his plane came in at 10:30 (I think it ended up being the latter) so we weren't sure we'd see him. It sure was great of him to get up early enough to say goodbye to Andrew (though by the looks of things it might have been Joshua who got him up early enough).

Miriam went willingly into the van. Rachel had to be coaxed. Miriam took a lovely morning nap in the van. Rachel did not. But Andrew says they're being "perfect." And by now they're halfway through Nebraska!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you got them off. I wonder if we are related my mom is a Haws :)