Friday, April 30, 2010

A trailer with a view.

April 30, Mt. Carmel, Illinois (48 miles, Southgate industrial park.)

This and that.

April 29, Palestine.

Down the street from the circus lot and past the cemetery an old guy was retiring and selling all his tools.
He had done yard work, mechanical work, this and that, "if there was a buck in it I'd do it." Fridman and Castro had eyes like saucers and went away with bargains. We also found a beautiful old bicycle and a tricycle with a horn for Dylan in what the man called "an ongoing garage sale" further on in town, and almost missed the cook house lunch for it.

A trailer with a later view.

April 29, Palestine, Illinois (91 miles, Pioneer City area.)

Amish country.

April 28, Arthur.

Amish country again (and always there is the tugging.)
Heavenly bread and cheese in a little store down the one main street.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thinking of you.

April 28, Arthur.

My thoughts are with Dee Dee and Teto.
Liam is scheduled to have heart surgery today.

A trailer with a view.

April 28, Arthur, Illinois (30 miles, old football field.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Horizon (view from our door.)

April 27, Windsor.

A trailer with a view.

April 27, Windsor, Illinois (65 miles, school grounds.)

Monday, April 26, 2010

View from the roof (II.)

April 26, Flora.

View from the roof.

April 26, Flora.


April 26, Flora.

Girls and horses.

April 26, Flora.

Zefta and Cathy are now best friends. They take care of Armando's horses together, and then sometimes they dance, on a horse or off.

A trailer with a view.

April 26, Flora, Illinois (60 miles, Charley Brown park.)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A trailer with a view.

April 25, Carmi, Illinois (49 miles, fairgrounds.)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The reading chairs.

April 24, Mount Vernon.

Dylan in the grass.

April 24, Mount Vernon.

And then Dylan in the grass, and Nicolas eating his first ice-cream cone.

Their old house.

April 24, Mount Vernon.

Back from almost a week visiting my friends Greg and Sally in Columbia, Missouri. They just moved into a new home, an old stone house on the north side of town, and the books are still in boxes.
Boxes and boxes of books and books and books.
I feel the house is waking up and finally finding its soul in the myriad written words, and Sally's spirit.

A trailer with a view.

April 24, Mount Vernon, Illinois (68 miles, a field.)

Sunday, April 18, 2010


April 18, DeSoto.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My own.

April 17, Ste. Genevieve.

Double celebration.

April 17, Ste. Genevieve.

The Cainans celebrated both Georgia's and Genevieve's birthdays with a Bar-B-que tonight after the shows.
It was nice to see everybody after a day by ourselves.


April 17, Ste. Genevieve.

As we spent the day playing outside, waiting, Dylan brought me flowers and lay them on the steps.
Later we ate oranges, and one of them had a peculiar pattern, but the same vibrance.

Road mishap (part two.)

April 17, Ste. Genevieve.

One of the axles on the trailer was broken, and I went on to park near an exit. I spent the day waiting for Fridman and Castro who, after driving on to the lot and coming back with the shop, took off the axle and went off to a horse trailer store to try and see whether they could buy another one. They did, it had to be welded to size but we were lucky to find that shop, and get to it before noon, when it closed. It took the best of the day to fit it back on. We made it to the lot as the first part of the second show was well under way.

A trailer with a late view.

April 17, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri (92 miles, fairgrounds.)

Road mishap (smells like candy.)

April 17, exit 135 on I-55 North.

One of the trailer's rear wheels took a little road trip of its own this morning.
On interstate 55 North, some forty miles short of our destination, I was glancing at my rear-view mirror when I saw it bound across the highway behind me. Off it flew, and then back across the road again, nearly hitting Buckner, although I did not see that part because I was intent on getting off the road safely. He stopped and hit the runaway wheel so that it would not continue on its parallel journey, as it threatened to.
Miraculously, it had not hit anyone. It was on fire when Buckner got to it and he could not find anything better to do than pour his soda on it to extinguish the flames, so that minutes later as he stopped behind us the wheel smelled like candy.

A trailer with a highway view.

April 17, exit 135 on I-55 North, somewhere near Brewer, Missouri 68 miles out of 90 or so.)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Walking the dogs.

April 16, Anna.

Every morning, shortly after we all arrive on the lot, Carolyn, walking stick in hand, goes out with her cohort of adorable mutts.
This morning she walked in our front yard. It was a lovely, quiet drive, and it is a lovely lot.

A trailer with a view.

April 16, Anna, Illinois (52 miles, city park.)

Handling the dogs.

April 15, East Prarie.

Mariana and Cathy have been helping Carolyn with her dog act for a while now, when Mike was before, and this week Mariana started performing a couple of tricks during the act too, looking proud as a puppy.

Parenting revisited.

April 15, East Prairie.

Nicolas' toilet training is an uphill struggle; I think he's not ready yet. A couple of weeks ago, when he turned three, I started letting him go around without diapers and all I got for my efforts was a succession of acrid puddles on the floor. Dylan was toilet trained effortlessly and in no time at two and a half, so this has been another lesson in parenting. All kids are different and each has his or her own rhythm; Nicolas started talking a lot earlier and is much more articulate than Dylan.
I keep forgetting to make a note of the latest development in my child rearing even though it was a major milestone in my family's domestic bliss status index: Nicolas left his pacifier behind without so much as a cry, the week before the season started. The tototte, as it is called in our household, was pushed back to only bed time, and then one night I couldn't find it and told him so and he went to sleep quietly anyway. The next night I pretended it was lost again, and the same scene enfolded, and in a few days there was no mention of the magic piece of plastic that I contemplated with increasing dread as the hour of its obligatory downfall approached (turning three was my deadline.)
Parenting uberlesson: never take anything for granted, one way or another.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A trailer with a view.

April 15, East Prairie, Missouri (45 miles, baseball field.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Shirtless card game.

April 14, Dexter.

A trailer with a view.

April 14, Dexter, Missouri (59 miles, fairgrounds.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A trailer with a view.

April 13, Corning, Arkansas (27 miles, Wynn park.)

Truck trouble.

April 12, Pocahontas.

On with the transmission troubles.
The problem is that the reverse is hard to get into and once you've got it on you have to take it out while in motion or it won't come out and the gear will get stuck somewhere in gear netherland. The golden rule is if it gets in smoothly it will come out just as easily but of course I never can get it in smoothly so I always gets stuck. Since I am driving in the morning that tends to happen often. Chris knows about this now so he tries to park me where I don't have to use the reverse, but this morning Tavo parked me and he didn't know and I was stupid enough not to tell him upfront so once again we had to ask Castro to come and take the transmission apart.
Dodge trucks are well-known for transmission problems. This is the third time we are dealing with this; Casey has had to make double trips for a week now with a bad transmission on his new truck.
Our problem has been going on since Hugo and it's getting old fast, but mostly I get mad because I'm not able to maneuver so I can get the gear in nice enough it won't get stuck, hence reinforcing the macho stereotype, much prized by Fridman I'm sure, of women being terrible drivers.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A trailer with a view.

April 12, Pocahontas, Arkansas (46 miles, fairgrounds.)

Scenes from backstage.

April 11, Ash Flat.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A surprise.

April 11, Ash Flat.

The Poemas had little Tommy run in to give birthday flowers to Cathy after the first show's Risley act. Her grandmother Hanneford, Nellie's mother, had sent them.


April 11, Ash Flat.

Dylan and Nicolas enjoyed the cake.

Cathy's birthday.

April 11, Ash Flat.

It was Cathy Poema's birthday today. She turned fourteen.

A trailer with a view.

April 11, Ash Flat, Arkansas (57 miles, next to Tri-County Ranch Supply.)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

At the Poemas'.

April 9, Mountain Home.

In Argentina they call it an "asado."

Friday, April 09, 2010

Department of road signs.

April 9, Mountain Home.

On the street leaving the circus in the morning: "God bless the cirus (sic)."

Morning drive ups and downs.

April 9, Mountain Home.

Down from the lovely village of Mountain View we crossed the Ozark National Forest; dressed in budding spring it would be beautiful, in the early morning sunlight it was better than all the Expressionists in the world. I would have had a big Kodachrome postcard smile on my face had it not been for the nagging preoccupation of going up and down a mountain with a bad transmission and fifteen tons (and two kids) in the back.

A trailer with a view.

April 9, Mountain Home, Arkansas (50 miles, rodeo grounds.)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

On with the zumba.

April 8, Mountain View.

The zumba lesson today had to move from the ring to the sidelines when the camels came in to practice.
They left and we moved back in.

The afternoon light.

April 8, Mountain View.

It's been a long time since I've taken a walk the way I used to, with the kids in the stroller, taking in the towns.
Down the road from the fairgrounds here there was a city park with a stone amphitheater going down to a small wooded creek; the dogwoods were in bloom, wild flowers piercing last year's mantle of dead leaves, sounds of the circus drifting with the wind. The kids threw rocks in the water, they wanted to go in the woods beyond (no can do, tick territory, the Poemas found three on Gordo just yesterday,) the afternoon sun made everything soft, even time escaping from under us.

A trailer with a view.

April 8, Mountain View, Arkansas (47 miles, fairgrounds.)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Back seat view.

April 7, Heber Springs.

What's beyond.

April 7, Heber Springs.