March 18, 2012

Cornutopia

I just realized that I never finished this post from last summer! Crazy....



I had a fantastic adventure in July. It started out with that stressful racing about the house to pack my things together, and ended with a delicious pork chop stinging my just slightly cut upper lip. But it was one of the best days ever!

    My grandparents (on my dad's side) were taking me to the Cokato Corn Carnival with my great aunt and second cousins. I'd never been to any kind of carnival in all my days, so I was certain this would be great fun. And the best part? My best friend, Elaine --- whom I see only rarely because she's states away --- would also be there! I saw her once already this summer after what had been a two-and-a-half year expanse of not seeing her at all. (You may remember that post. It took me almost a month to finish writing it! But it's hard to relate the adventures of an entire weekend in any shorter amount of time.)

    It wasn't until I was at the door of my great aunt and uncle's farm when I was told that Elaine didn't actually know I was coming. Sweet, I thought, Now I can surprise her! It wasn't hard either because she was with one of her cousins on a couch, head bent over a cell phone --- I assumed they were playing some game intently. No heads moved when I stepped through the doorway, so I looked around nonchalantly as I sauntered casually to the couch. "What 'cha doing?" I asked. Elaine looked up, saw me, and jumped up immediately to give me a hug! Apparently, my great aunt had let on about a different cousin coming for the carnival instead of me, so as to preserve the surprise. I suppose that might be considered a fairly harmless lie.


    Elaine showed me all around the house and grounds because I hadn't visited the farm in many years. Her cousins (and my second-cousins), John-Eric and Adam, also joined us outside to walk through the cornfield.

    This was probably the greatest adventure of all.

    The rows of corn were tight, and the leaves on the stalks were near impossible to walk through without getting a good slap in the face. We walked a great deal with our arms forward as protection. Adam ran about mostly by himself. He had a miniature potato gun in hand and was taking great pleasure in sneaking up on the rest of us three and shooting at us. It wasn't painful, so it didn't really bother me, but I got the feeling that Adam's rambunctiousness wasn't as tolerable to the rest of my corn-exploring crew.

    John-Eric drew in a clearing of mud everyone's initials: J - for John-Eric, A - for Adam, L - for 'Lainey', that is, Elaine, and K - for Katie. Altogether, it spelled 'JALK'. It is now a word that defines an adventure in a corn field, as might be seen a few years in the English Dictionary.

    I started talking about writing a story concerning cornstalks that come alive in the night (we noticed that each stalk had strands of root poking out that could be mistaken for plant feet, with great imagination.) So I dreamed up that the stalks with green feet were good, and the red-footed ones very evil. The leaves were like sharp swords. And who knows what they did when they walked around at night. I thought I'd write a book about it and call it 'Cornucopia'.

    I was leading the way back to the path home when Adam suddenly came running directly at me. With all of our own rustling, and the thickness of the leaves, I didn't see or hear him coming until it was too late. His forehead banged on my upper lip. I could feel my lip begin to swell up instantly, but through my dizziness I somehow managed to ask if Adam was okay. I didn't get a reply, not exactly. I just heard Adam laughingly say that he was really dizzy. I guessed that would probably be a yes, especially since even I was already recovering. A few minutes later, I rubbed my hand against my lip and it came back with a small orange streak. Well, if I was bleeding, there wasn't much I could do about it except get back home and have a first aid professional tell me what to do about it. So we pressed on. Elaine confirmed that I was bleeding and swelling a little and said that Great Aunt Anita would be able to take care of it. We came out of the cornfield with no further incident.

    When we made it back to the wide path back to the house, we found Stephanie (Elaine's older sister) and the some of the others come out to look for us; we would be leaving soon for the carnival. Our shoes were a mess of black mud so we had to leave them outside on the step. I was given some ice to put on my lip, and Elaine made us both a mixture of blackberry flavored lemonade and 7up. (Boy, that was good! It stung my lip a little, but made up for it in flavor. I'm a lemonade-fiend!)

    At the carnival, Grandma Mary and Grandpa Duane bought me a hotdog and nachos, and Elaine's dad bought everyone a slice of pie of their choice. (Elaine and I both had peach, which was, of course, amazing!) There were rides there, and as my grandparents had bought me tickets for them, we children immediately went on one. And everyone played several games of Bingo, but only three-or-so of us won something by the end of the day.

    Grandpa, Elaine and I shared a ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl, and managed to make it spin violently several times, to our immense gratification. We young ones went on the 'Gravitron', which my sisters and I refer to as 'the space ship ride'. What a struggle to lift one's arms, but even greater the head or legs! It was great! I could even feel my cheeks being pulled back a little. It took us a while to get our full feeling back from that one.

    We visited a book sale they were having at the library across the street from the carnival, and then went on a few more rides. Elaine and I went on a kiddy ride called Rock-Town with slow little carts shaped like the car from the Flintstones. Her dad took some pictures of us freaking out about how fast it was. The person directing the ride seemed to get a kick out of our enthusiasm.

    We had a couple of races down some slides, and as our last ride, Elaine and I went on the ferris-wheel. We were lucky enough to get the exact seat we wanted; the special one with a fake crow strapped to the backrest, his beak tipped upward regally. The height made me a little light-headed at first, but I came to enjoy the view.

    Elaine spotted a man wearing a guerrilla suit and some kind of Chinese robe and hat. He wasn't wearing a mask, but to be sure, he was the only one out there with such original attire.

    We played Bingo again, and then Elaine paid for the two of us to pitch a softball as hard as we could to see if we could reach the highest speed (and thereby win a prize). I got about half the speed Elaine did, but I managed to guess exactly the speed my ball was moving at on the third try, so the people at the booth gave me a can of pop. I needed that victory; I threw that ball like a true, dainty, skinny-armed girl. ;)

    After this, we stood in line for corn (the main reason we came, of course). The workers had a huge cage full of corn that they set in the most enormous "pot" of boiling water I've ever seen. Ah, that salt stung my lip a little, too, but --- naturally --- it was still delicious.

    I was really sad when we had to leave, but delighted to be able to bring home so many great pictures and delightful new memories. Sadly, I haven't seen Elaine again since that day, but I don't plan on leaving it that way, and certainly not for another two years!

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