Monday, March 30, 2009
Fairly Busy Weekend
Resting at the fair after a busy morning.
Parents and kids swarm in to set up watering pipes and feed their pigs.
Junior filling a watering pipe. It's a section of pvc pipe with a 90 degree angle at the bottom and a watering nipple installed. These are strapped to the pens and kept full of clean water for the piggles.
It was a bit hectic around here this weekend ...
Saturday morning, Junior and I were out before dawn, loading up the show pig for the Suwannee River Livestock Show and Fair. The loading went extremely smoothly since I had attached the pig transport contraption to the pig pen chute a week ahead of time and allowed her to wander to it for treats.
At loading time, a few well placed bananas was all it required to coax her into the trailer. Once she was loaded, she received a quick bath and then off we went to the always stressful weigh-in.
At the fair grounds, a long line of trucks and trailers bearing pigs stretched out of the grounds and onto the highway.
Apparently everybody else planned to get there early too.
It wasn't that bad however and before we knew it, the pigboys were offloading our pig into the chute that would channel her to the scales.
At that point, Junior got out of the JEEP, but I had to go find a parking place, so I did not get to see the weigh-in.
A few minutes later, as I parked the JEEP along the highway, a text message arrived, "250 pounds". That meant we had qualified to be in the fair, and one big chunk of stress slid off my plate with a loud "kerplunk".
We spent another hour at the fair waiting to be allowed in the row of pens where our pig was sharing a pen with good buddy Tyler's pig. Once all the pens were filled, the fair folks allowed us in so we could rig waterers and feed our charges.
At the same time all of this was going on, the rest of the PF family were driving down to New Port Richey for the Chasco Boat Parade, Festival, and Concert ... AND my wife's annual family reunion. We do this every year, only this year the festival and the fair coincided, plus Junior's first soccer game in over a year was scheduled for later that day.
Hence the familial division ... Junior and I stayed for pigs and soccer while the rest went to the reunion.
After an early lunch at BubbaQue's in Chiefland, Junior and I dashed home to play with Bear and clean up from pig handling.
Then it was off to Alachua for the soccer game. On the 40 minute drive to Alachua, the weather which had been pretty benign, began to ramp up. By the time we arrived at the soccer fields, the wind was blowing steady and extremely powerful gusts were turning the dirt parking area into a whirling sandstorm of dust, twigs, and oak leaves. No rain or ominous clouds, just roaring winds.
While waiting for the game to start, I received a phone call from Mrs. FC down at the reunion. Emma had gone out onto her uncle's dock to watch the boat parade and driven a huge splinter into her foot.
They were on the way to the emergency room. This apparently was no ordinary splinter. She was busy, so I didn't get many details at that moment.
Later I would learn that the splinter was a shard of wood several inches long that went in, out, and back in to her foot.
(She's supposed to take a picture of the wound and the 2 inch long HALF of the splinter that the doc let her keep.)
I'll blog that as soon as she gets it to me ... in the grand tradition of my cut off finger stitch pics from way back in this blog ... search if you dare newbies ... it's under "stupid things I have done".
So ... with my hurting Emma on my mind, I sat down on a bench to watch Junior play soccer in a gathering storm.
Our team was just barely big enough to play and the opposing team had about 20 players ... good players, so it did not look good.
For a while, it was 3-0 their favor, and then Junior scored and we rallied.
Then they scored.
Then Junior scored again ... 2- 4 now.
Then they scored.
Then Junior scored again ... 3- 5.
Then Junior executed a beautiful cross field pass and a teammate kicked it in ... 4-5 now.
Then they scored ... 4-6.
Then Junior scored again (got it on video ... later this week) and the score was 5-6.
Then the game ended.
We lost, but he was magnificent.
Later in the day, I called Emma to see how she was doing. She told me she was in the emergency room, with her foot numbed and the doctor was just about to cut out the shard.
She sounded pretty chipper for one who had just impaled her foot ... but I got off the phone quick as I did not want to hear my baby girl in pain ... just in case the numbnicity was not fully in place.
Much later in the day, she was sore, but managed to go (on crutches) to the festival concert with her girlfriends.
Then she and the girls went back to college ... so I haven't seen her or her injury. No hand holding or Dad hugs ... I've never had one get hurt at a distance before and frankly I do not like it one bit!
At least her Mom, sis, buddy Corinne, and kin were there ... added together, they almost equal a Dad hug.
Even later Saturday, after dark, the powerful thunderstorms that the high winds had hinted at arrived with heavy rains, limb snapping winds, and much lightning.
A fitting end to a full day.