Sunday, May 27, 2012

From Fiddleheads To Drive In Theatres...

Once again it has been a few weeks since I have posted a blog. Life has been busy and I managed to get some extra work in which is great. New Brunswick held the municipal elections this month and in order to encourage youth to be involved in the voting process they contacted schools to ask any kids who wanted to work the polls to apply for positions. Rachel applied and was offered three days work. While speaking with them they offered me three days as well and Len one day work. So, although we didn't even have anyone to vote for, it was lucrative for our little family. (Boring but lucrative!)

Rachel and I were at the same polling station so we were able to drive together. It was kind of fun, not hard work at all once we figured out what we were doing and it gave us time to get to know some of the people in the community as well as have time to chat and hang out together. The biggest thing was making sure we had something to do and enough food. We were at the polls for 12 hours a day for 3 days as well as the 1/2 hour ride each way. So we shopped and got meals, snacks, fruit, veggies, chocolate, coffee - all the staples to survive. I brought my laptop so that I could write and a book to read and Rachel brought homework to plug away at.

We quickly found out there was no way I could write or read due to all the chatter in the room. (I brought a different book the next time, lighter read and that was ok, but anything deep or involved was too tough.) Rachel couldn't do any homework the first day, but the second day she brought her Ipod and was able to drown out the background noise. On the two advance poll days we had a total of 46 people come in over a 20 hour time period, so it left plenty of time for idleness. 

I would do it again, it was easy, good money, nice people to spend the day with and I just need to find something that I can do easily while dealing with background activity and the occasional interruption. I definitely learned a lot about the community, heard interesting gossip, heard stuff I could have lived without and had a few laughs with my girl. We are now just waiting for the money to come pouring in!

The next few weeks were occupied with attending a trade show, pickling fiddleheads, picking rhubarb and setting up and opening the coffee shop on weekends.

I realized recently that I have become rather anti social. I used to be social animal, no free time, always on the phone, visiting, doing something or going somewhere. No longer. I now talk to maybe a few people a week and don't mind. For someone who can talk incessantly about nothing (yes, Jessica comes by it honestly) I can now go long periods of time without speaking. My mind has gone blank, no poetry, idle chit chat or much of interest to say. I don't mind but Rachel thinks I have become too quiet and a bit boring. I don't think she means it in a critical way but more in a concerned way. She knows how I used to thrive on social events and now, nah, can't be bothered half the time.

So yesterday, when Anita called to invite Jess and me to the "drive in movie", instead of thinking about why I should decline or what else I should be doing, or how I should not spend any money, I said "YES!" No, drive in movie theatres are not still running around here, but a group raising money for the Relay For Life event sponsored a one off and we were there!

First, how to explain to our kids about the whole concept. Sitting outside, in the truck bed, under the stars watching a movie up on a screen while in a parking lot. The movie can't even begin until 10pm when it is dark enough. Second, telling Jess about the movie we would see "Back to the Future" - yes he travels back in time and his actions affect the future. So, I thought, I will pull up a movie trailer on the internet to show her. Well this works great with current movies, but remember this, in 1985 we didn't have computers let alone the internet. Movie trailers were 30 seconds long and watched on TV. We did pull up the commercial although it was of little help to understand the plot. Oh well, go "old school" and figure it out as you go along.

Anita's men came and took the cap off the truck box and my girls swept it out (it was a bit "farmy"). We picked up the Leeman's and squished in the truck for the drive. As we approached Woodstock we could hear the kids excitement building and we got a pretty psyched ourselves. The fundraiser sold 50 tickets for vehicles with a maximum of 6 people per vehicle. We pulled in, backed up and got our "living room" set up for the tail gate party. (Yes a few brews would have been nice but Anita's boss was a prime sponsor and we were in public, so Pepsi and coffee were our beverage of choice.)

The kids were highly anticipating the event. There was not a single argument or fight all night and for our kids, this was monumental! The bugs and black flies were held at bay by the breeze. The night was clear and stars illuminated the sky and with the exception of not quite enough blankets (the temperature dropped from 24 to about 5 Celsius) we had a BLAST! It was truly fun in a way that I don't think we get much any more. It was simple, not overblown prices, for a good cause and the universe was on our side.

It did take me back to simpler times. No, I don't remember going to drive in's much, although I did go with my parents, in my jammies, cuddled up in the back seat and falling asleep. I do remember the last time I went, circa 1974, we saw a re-run of True Grit with John Wayne followed by Blazing Saddles. I remember staying for True Grit but leaving when Blazing Saddles came on since it was too risque for us kids and the language and content were not family appropriate. What a far cry from TV or movies we see today! Not long after that, a couple of years maybe, the drive in theatre closed down in our town.

It was a great night and the kids were amazing. They were so animated yet easily pleased with the simplicity. Our evening started with leaving the house just past 7pm and arriving home by 1am. It was a long night and a few kids were asleep in the back seat but Jess and Brittney stayed awake, they were not about to miss a thing!

Always thinking, Anita came up with  the idea that we host something like this during the summer of 2012 in our neighbourhood. I am in! Of course we thought a double feature maybe? A movie for the kids and then send them home and watch a chick flick or more "adult movie".... mmmm we may have to reconsider the details!