Sunday, September 6, 2009

A grand day out

We took a day off this holiday weekend and had some fun! We got up early for our big adventure.
It involved some traveling- but not too far.
We drove about an hour South of us and spent the day at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in Mt Pleasant. It is an annual event that last for 5 days, ending on Labor Day every year. This is an event that I attended regularly as a child, partly because it was only about 30 miles from my home and also because my father was an exhibitor (antique tractor) for many years. It is a wonderful way to step back in time. They focus on old time equipment and have multiple museums to explore. We have been several times with the children and we always discover something new.
They have one of the last steam powered carousels.
Complete with steam calliope music!

They have multiple working printing presses- many steam powered.

Horses on a treadmill!
We got to watch the live horsepowered threshing. They had the treadmill driven thresher and also one with multiple teams of horses on a capstan. It was pretty impressive. I LOVE big horses. If we were to ever get a horse (which I doubt would ever happen) it would probably be a Belgian. There were some Percherons who's rumps were taller than even V's head!

The kids investigate the blacksmith exhibit in the museum
I'm often pleased and amazed at my children. I know and have seen many children who balk at spending time in museums. Mine love it. They had lots of fun looking at old farm machinery, washing machines, wood stoves, and even the display of meat processing equipment.
The museum has several working steam locomotives and offers rides.
This year we didn't ride the train, instead taking the trolley system to a part of the grounds that is fairly new (since the late 90's). We spent time exploring in the log village where they attempt to replicate life in an Iowa small town in 1850. We got to meet some lovely Dexter cattle (V still says no), watch a demonstration of rope making, the blacksmith shop, a basket weaver and cooking apple butter over an open fire in a cast iron kettle. Then it was back to the main reunion grounds where we explored among the old engines and tractors. There is a working sorghum mill and they boil down syrup, a steam tractor powered saw mill and lots of other things going on.
Steam tractors big and little
After we were tired of wandering around we hopped back in the car and headed another 30 miles South to my parent's house. We have been so busy since we have bought our new house that we haven't been there since then. It's been way too long.
K got to drive Grandpa's little tractor (older than I am!)
Please notice the 'skunk' hat that he got at OT!!
I got to pick pears.
We were only there for a few hours but I ended up with about half a bushel of pears, two big bags of tomatoes, 3 eggplant a buttercup squash and half a hubbard squash (it was HUGE!!!)
I also got 2 dozen canning jars. A dozen pint jars and a dozen pint and a half jars that Mom says are from WWII when instant coffee first came out in glass jars. My grandmother saved the jars and she and/or my Mom have been canning in them ever since. What a great sense of history. I was actually quite honored that Mom would give them to me. She said that at least I would use them. That made me feel quite good about the choices we have been making in our lives and that Mom approves.
V and my Dad
It was a beautiful day, we had fun, saw lots of great things, V and K bought some trains, we ate lots of good food, drank home made cream soda from a glass gallon jug and got to see my parents who gave us approval for our undertaking on the acreage. That was worth more than anything else. It was wonderful to have a day away with my family, laughing and having fun.
I hope you all get to have as much fun this weekend.


  1. Judy, so glad you and the family escaped to do something fun. I love to just go somewhere too. How wonderful that your mom gave you all those nice antique jars! And I love pears!! Luck you!! One more day to relax! Bob is going to an antique car show tomorrow in Charleston with his car buddy. Not sure what I'll get into. OH! I really liked the steam powered engine! So pretty!! I love carousels!...debbie

  2. Ohhhh, I would have loved to see that museum, looking at how things were done in the past on a daily basis is so interesting. And glad that you got a break *and* could see your parents. The canning jars, it really is satisfying, isn't it? Enjoy today too!

  3. Judy, It's good to see that you and your family had such a fun and relaxing day. I think we need that around here to. It's great that you got to see your parents. I know what you mean when you say that they approve of your life choice. It's good to know that someone so close to you and so respected by you thinks that you are makeing great life choices. I have some of those jars that have been used to feed your family for generations. I'll never forget the day my father told me that he wanted me to have grandpa's old farm. He said that is all I wanted since I was a kid was to farm. He said now you have a place to do it. I'm getting kinda teary eyed thinking about my father and grandfather clearing this land by hand for many years before you could even farm it. This farm means a lot to me. Anyway, I'd love to go see all the antique machinery and animals and everything else. I love stuff like that and learning more about it.

  4. So many good memories. I have fond memories of going to the OT, taking canning jars from my mom older than me and taking produce, the latter which I still do to this day. On my last trip, I scored a bag of tomatoes too. Since I live only 30 miles west of OT, I need to go again but this year didn't work out. Perhaps when the Mrs. is finished with residency.

  5. Judy, it sounds like you had a really nice day. And keep working on V about the Dexters. From all I've read about them, they sound like the perfect small acreage animal. This could be a very cool project for the kids (?)

  6. you forgot about the swords. those were cool.


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