Day 3: Saturday 6/18/16
Madison Farmer’s Market
This is one of the highest rated farmer’s markets in the US. So we’ve heard anyway. It was just incredible. A mass of humanity surrounding the Wisconsin State Capitol building. Traffic only went one way: to the right. Fresh produce galore, incredible breads (Spicy Cheesy bread), political protesters, proselytizers, a naked bike ride (for real), and lots of green lawn just away from the action.
I decided to take this opportunity to interview more people for a side project I’m working on. It is really nerve wracking just walking up to strangers and asking them a fairly benign question. “Who are we the people? And what does that mean to you?” I try and find someone not on their phone, not in the middle of a bite, not talking to someone else. I want a diverse group demographically. And then, there’s the nerves. I interviewed about 8 people over the course of 30 minutes and called it quits.
Madison has a lot of cool shops and the capitol building is just beautiful and open to the public. We strolled down toward the University of Wisconsin and enjoyed the many establishments for brats and beer. We too decided to partake.
Back in Mount Horeb, I went with Charity and the kids to get a Father’s Day present for Michael (who was out of town in Buffalo). The 2 adult to 4 kid ratio is actually quite difficult. One kid always seems to wander away (Max) and is doing something nice like holding the door open for all of the strangers. There was some discussion as to who had to hold whose hand, but in the end we got what we were looking for and picked up Indian food for dinner.
[ed: Nathan writing here…] Once the kids were in bed, Charity headed out by herself to get some much needed grocery shopping (and kid-free time) done, leaving Amy and I to babysit. Which should have been really easy because the kids were in bed. Amy went upstairs to take a shower, and I sat down to read. Maybe 5 or 10 minutes later, Claire started crying. Immediately the rest of the kids are up and out of bed, checking on her. I go in to pick her up and try and comfort her, and tell the other kids to go back to bed, I’ll take care of her. But I really don’t know what I’m doing. And on top of that, Claire is apparently afraid of dudes. Well at least this dude. She settles down in my arms after a few minutes but then rears back and looks up and realizes that I’m holding her, and starts wailing again. This cycle continues for a bit, with me trying various things to get her to calm down, and the kids getting up again and trying to help out, especially Emily, who has a very nurturing spirit. I was just about to try and put her back down when Amy got downstairs and (thankfully) took over. I was worried about the older kids being up; Amy was relaxed about the rules and let them try and help calm Claire down. That tells you something about our personalities. Eventually the older kids went to sleep and Claire calmed down a bit, though she didn’t really settle down and go back to sleep until Charity got back. Trying to get 4 kids to go to sleep = impossible?
[ed: back to Amy] Charity and I stayed up for another late night. It was fantastic.
Day 4: Sunday 6/19/16
We left Mount Horeb after breakfast, stopping at a few places along the cute main street on our way out from Charity’s to Kyle and Margo’s in Rockford, IL. A beautiful drive through rolling hills with fields of corn, farmhouses, barns, and occasional cute towns.
At the Stedman’s house we chilled out. We didn’t have any set plans: we played games, read books, napped, laughed a lot, tried fun sodas, and Nathan and Kyle waited on Margo and I hand and foot. More about our time with the Stedmans in the next post!