Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes

Farm Show Fracas Edition

While we live close to the state capital, where the Pennsylvania Farm Show is held each January, we’ve only been there several times, all more than a decade ago. It’s something like a local family tradition/institution, and I’ve been wanting to take the kids for years, but weather, basketball, or something else has interfered. Since my oldest daughter joined 4H, I decided this year we’d go. On Sunday, later in the morning than I’d anticipated, I took the three youngest children to the show. Here’s how it went down.


The Peacock Feathers

Based on the number of children seen wielding them, peacock feathers were a hot item at the farm show. At a buck a piece or three for a dollar for the duller variety, these were a bargain. Or so it would seem. We left the booth with a total of six peacock feathers in the hands of a three-year-old, (a very possessive) four-year-old, and an eight-year-old. Thanks be to God, the children didn’t poke the eyes out of any passersby although there were some close calls.


The feather sources.


Packed Like Bees in a Hive

The beekeeping display with its hives was fascinating. The kids enjoyed watching the busy bees and identifying the queen bee as the bugs climbed all atop one another. Crammed together, kind of like the people weaving in and out of the rows, through the halls, and around the arenas. I feared I’d leave with a crick in my neck for having to constantly turn and count my little chicks, one of whom is a known lollygagger.

bee hive

One of the hives.


Lost in a Labyrinth without a Guide

Did I mention the rows, halls, and multiple arenas? There are many. And somehow we managed to slip in without picking up a guide with a handy-dandy map. Luckily, I was able to access the map on my phone, at least as long as my battery held out. It – along with directions from several staffers – was enough to get us to the butter sculpture. Proud that my navigating skills finally had us headed toward the exit, I was disappointed to find our path blocked by teams of big, beautiful horses headed to the arena. Sigh. A couple of escalator rides later, we reached the exit.

butter sculpture

The butter sculpture.


Escalator Pile-Up

Did I mention the escalator? Oh, yes. The escalator. My kids love them. I get it; they’re fun. Somehow, when we reached the bottom, with scores of people, some carrying strollers, lined up behind us, my daughter toppled over. Her brother collapsed on top of her. In a frenzy, I grabbed them by the scruff and hauled them off the bottom before they were stampeded by tired parents bearing bags, babies, and more.


One of the many snoozing swine.



It’s a farm show, folks. With live animals. Lots of them. Big ones. Indoors. And, yes, there is poop. My husband (who was noticeably not included in this adventure) has made my kids a little, uh, paranoid about dirtying their shoes with any kind of animal feces. My poor city slicker children tiptoed through the aisles at a snail’s pace, the youngest nearly in tears at the possibility of stepping in poop.


Everybody has to poop.


Parking Lot Meltdown

Because of the droves of people who flock to the farm show, parking is offsite with shuttles transporting patrons to and from the farm show. Once we’d made it outside to wait in line for our shuttle in the bitter cold, the littlest ones melted down, despite the frigid temperatures. Wailing ensued. Dehydration threatened as the littlest one cried, overcome by sudden thirst. Apparently such behavior is highly contagious as proven by my little girl sobbing for some arcane reason I can’t even recall.

kids and a cow

Kids & a cow.


Rock Chucking

Once the limousine service (yes, a large limousine/truck!) returned us to our parking lot in the biting wind and cold, my son discovered the giant rocks piled at the end of the parking rows. With horror, I watched as he picked them up within throwing distance of said limo. To my relief, he tossed them in another direction. Bullet dodged.


Some little ones are more docile than others.

Do you take your kids to local farm shows?


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

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2 thoughts on “Seven Quick Takes

  1. I had a very prized peacock feather in my room as a child and I loved it! At one point I even stuck the cartridge from a pen at the end to use it for a quill, but as you can imagine it was pretty cumbersome.

  2. I’m a few months late in replying! For some reason, this comment went into a spam folder. Anyway, I remember trying to rig feather pens too. Never quite worked.

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