Monday is the first day of the rest of my life – school is back in session, woo-hoo! This afternoon (Sunday) we had the twins’ eighth birthday party. It was 12 – 14 kids from the neighborhood, forced to stay outdoors in their bathing suits and armed with large squirtguns on a hot, sunny day. I think it was a resounding success, from the perspective that there were no broken bones or internal injuries that I know of, and nobody was sobbing hysterically when his/her parent arrived. I admit things were a little more Lord of the Flies than was strictly necessary, but it was still fun. We did it old school – there were two homemade cakes, one decorated with gummi worms (Hecate) and one with gummi sharks (Buckethead) sinking themselves into the icing, and plenty of lemonade and ice cream. Oh, and nobody threw up. That’s good, right?
In the last week we’ve been to the Agricultural Fair, where all the 4-H kids who are left in this area come to show their livestock, and to HersheyPark. The ag fair is so amazing, some of you can laugh away but it’s a world I know nothing about. They have all their prize-winning pies and hens and etc. It’s the only way my kids get to see anything like farm animals. The smells are interesting and diverse. The goat shed is really … goat-y, way more ripe than sheep or pigs. The chicken shack – sorry, poultry barn – doesn’t smell so great either. I petted an angora rabbit, and a Brahmin cow-thing the size of a minivan, and there were pig races and barbeque and fried chicken and kegs of Bud and homemade slaw, courtesy of the Baptist church ladies.
HersheyPark was Diva and Enigma, just for the day. I’ve been going to HersheyPark since I was a little kid, and taking my own kids there is special to me, riding those rides and eating nasty things like giant slushees and fries and cotton candy and funnel cakes and – this year – a deep-fried Reese’s peanut butter cup, because it was on the menu at the funnel cake place (they dip it in funnel cake batter) and I sort of had to order it, didn’t I? Taking the cheesy fake “factory” tour at the beginning, just outside the entrance, which we love. And we rode and swung and screamed like crazy and laughed and mocked each other and somewhere in there for a few hours I got to feel that free feeling – the way I remember. What it felt like to be a kid, that kind of joyful place where it’s all about the next five minutes. Somebody did barf on one of the rides, but it wasn’t us. HersheyPark smells like hot pavement and chlorine and fried food and pond water and sunscreen and cocoa hulls.
Unsurprisingly, there has been very little perfume this week, although I did enjoy reading everyone’s arguments and counter-arguments on my “perfume as art” post last Wednesday, particularly the back-and-forth about whether perfume has a “function” and whether/how that’s different than food. I do agree that perfume types tend to be sensualists in other areas of their lives, maybe food or music. And I appreciated the thoughtful comments about the kinds of information you’re interested in regarding perfume, and what’s less interesting or useful. In the words of Quinncreative, “And if I find a good story behind the perfume, I’ll certainly try it, but not just because the advertisement assures me it’s made from gnome tears stirred by a broomstraw once owned by Serge Lutens.” LOL, Quinn. I dunno, I might order up a sample pronto if Serge promised gnome tears (a scenario that is no more improbable or obscure than a few actual SL press releases.)
And now … well, I’m kind of beat. I’m washing clothes from a camping trip, this room smells powerfully of bonfire in the best way. I don’t know if it’s that smell, or the fact that the heat broke a little, or maybe that the kids are heading to school, but I’ve had this cheerful feeling in my heart that fall is just around the corner.
image: that’s our fried Reese’s peanut-butter cup. It looked sort of a like a soft-shell crab on the plate, which made it extra scary to bite into.