Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Sunday, April 02, 2006

"Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see."-Old Man, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Sled dogs at rest. These were very nice dogs, and there was even a puppy being surrounded by kids. These just wanted a nice nap and a Margarita on a hot day. There were no carnivorous bunnies, nor Holy Hand Grenades.

Went out to “Mush for Kids” this weekend. Mush for Kids is the major fundraising event for the Alaska Children’s Trust for Child Abuse Prevention. As such, half of Fairbanks was there, and parking was a mess. We finally ducked into a space as someone else who was waiting for a space allowed us to have it since we were there first. That really happens all the time up here, which is another reason to love it here.

We went to Alaskaland Pioneer Park (Pioneer Park is the “new” name, whereas it was known as Alaskaland for years). Pioneer Park is an astonishing attraction for a town the size of Fairbanks – it has slides, an aviation museum, a native arts museum, rides, a train that circles the park, and original cabins from when Fairbanks was a gold rush town in 1900. Some of which the cabins were, um, thriving businesses run by single female entrepreneurs, if you catch my drift. Most of it is at no admission charge (not the businesses in 1900, they charged plenty, but Pioneer Park today).

At Mush for Kids, the idea is that local groups with a vested interest in keeping kids safe: fire departments, the Red Cross, and the Car Seat Nazi Association (who tried to convince our friend that the 100 pound nine year old she was with needed a booster seat) have booths and give out things for kids. The ultimate highlight is for the kids to get a chance to ride in a dog sled and interact with the sled dogs.

Because we’ve saved up all of our warming for the year for the last three days, it was 40ºF out. That’s a bit above the suggested operating temperature for sled dogs (it says so on the sticker on the side, along with the warning to keep your fingers away from the pointy part of the dog if it’s not properly fueled, and to keep entirely away from the other end it’s over-fueled), so they shut down the sled dog rides unless you were in line at 1 PM. We weren’t, but that was okay because the line was really long, much longer than you want to hang out in with a five year old. Instead, we went off to the fire truck.

The Boy investigating an ambulence. They had a very quick tour, which only cost $572. My insurance company has a co-pay thing, so I think it will be less. They gave him a nice coloring book.

There’s something about a boy and a fire truck. They’re big. They’re red. They’re shiny. They’re machines, and in this case there was a nice fireman that actually listened to and answered the five hundred and twenty three questions that The Boy had about all things related to the fire truck:

The Boy: “What does this do?”
Fireman: “It’s an air pack. It lets us breath when it’s smoky.”
The Boy: “What does this do?”
Fireman: “It’s a seat belt.”
The Boy: “What does this do?”
Fireman: “It’s a door. Time for you to leave.”

Actually the fireman had more patience than that. But it was funnier to write it that way.

We went inside and saw the exhibits from the various groups. Some group that advocated either for or against something gave The Boy a balloon.

Navigating any crowded place with a stroller is a combination of patience, brute force, and running over people’s feet. I think I said, “I’m sorry” about a thirty times in fifty feet. Our destination was the elevator. Since the food and snacks were on the third floor, and carrying a stroller up three flights of stairs was, well, ridiculous. I was told that I would find the elevator behind a green door.

Not that Green Door, get your mind out of the gutter.

I went that way and after finding it locked, talked to a nice volunteer (said so on his tag). He was desperately attempting to do fifty or sixty things, but listened with grace to my request to get through the locked green door. By that time The Mrs. and our companions had gone up the stairs, so I was wondering exactly why that door was locked.

Maybe it was that Green Door.

I’ll never know. It was a double dead bolt, and nobody had a key. One other parent with a kid got a bit upset at the volunteer, “Do you mean I have to leave this stroller here??”

I make it a point not to get upset with volunteers, since, well, they’re just there because they’re trying to be nice, and decided it was better that than sitting home with a six pack and a back of Cheetos® watching the Final Four.

I had an epiphany at that point. I nodded in a “that’s okay” way to the volunteer and began to lug The New Boy, stroller and all up three stories of stairs, ridiculous or not. Fifty pounds, three stories of stairs, with food on the other end? Not a problem. We got up there and found The Mrs. and The Boy. He was eating a cookie shaped like a bone, complete with a cup of frosting that he could spread on the cookie himself (he liked this concept so much he tried to convince The Mrs. that the same should apply with chocolate frosting and Ritz Crackers™ today, which was denied with extreme prejudice and a “Are you kidding?).

The UAF Steel Drum Band. Nothing says winter in Alaska like a steel drum band playing Belafonte songs (Shake, Shake, Senora).

We finally ended up back outside, where the local college hockey players hung around a net with some sticks while the kids took the sticks and attempted to put tennis balls in on net. It was fun, but I looked at those kids, aged four to eight, and knew, deep down inside that I could beat them all so easily in hockey. Especially if I could check them. Which, I guess, was a thought entirely against the spirit of the day.

But I could you know. I could RULE in eight year old hockey.


Blogger Woofwoof said...

Waaaaahhhh I like female entrepreneurs, and the Green Door, and the cookie shaped like a bone. How come Fairbanks is so much fun?

11:51 PM  
Blogger GoGo said...

Sheet music for kettle drums??

1:18 AM  
Blogger Wild*Hen said...

Don't know about Steel Drums...but I love me a good marching band!

I'm BAACK in buisness, come check out my new digs! I deleted the old blog, you won't find it.

3:38 AM  
Blogger brotherbill said...

Cool. Ambulances, fire trucks, endless wilderness, and duct tape. Add some jails and trains and we have a great country song. When my girls were young, I used take them down from where I hung them in the closet and give 'em a tour of trucks. Lots of questions. I simply answered, "I don't know, YOU tell me!" That shut 'em up. For maybe three seconds, however I liked watching their little eyes cross in that sweet, confusing way.

Later, when they were teenagers (read: monsters from hell), I realized while I had them in the truck, I could have palletized 'em, shrunk wrapped 'em, and sent 'em off to destinations unknown, for educational purposes of course. The rate for FAK (freight of all kinds or friggin' a**!$%^& kids) is CHEAP next to what it cost to bring 'em through to the otherside (adulthood). All in all it was worth it, but the choice is there.

10:09 AM  
Blogger brotherbill said...

Uh, there was duct tape in your story somewhere, wasn't there? Must'a been. All your stories have duct tape in them. I think it's an Alaskan law, the Duct Tape Statute, aka the DTs. Or maybe it's just Red Green thing.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Al said...

Ritz crackers will taste good with frosting. Remember, "Everything goes with a Ritz!"

Ritz are like white tee shirts, they go with everything. Somethings better that other.

4:47 PM  
Blogger John said...

Well, because it's Fairbanks. It's not nearly as much fun when, well, I guess it's always this fun.

Nah, steel drums.

I recognize those x-rays . . . welcome back lu . . , er, dogma!

I'll reconnect.

oooooh . . . shrinkwrap (takes notes)

and, there's always duct tape. Not that it's explicit. More an implicit duct tape.

That's what Andy G. said. But he hired a loser for deputy.

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would never believe your boy asking lots of questions, just wait a year and the new one will do the same! Enjoy reading the posts and keeping up with the boys. However I do feel sorry for the Mrs (not that sorry though!)
I am sure the boy wants a new real ambulance for Easter now!

6:44 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I wanted to go to Mush for Kids, but for some reason (hatred of crowds, fear of ambulances, who knows?) my husband didn't want to go. Looks like a good time was had by all, though. Funny post.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:32 PM  
Blogger John said...

Oh, The New Boy will. Don't feel sorry for The Mrs., she's having a ball. Or at least not as many headaches as she used to . . .

It's the ambulances. They're up to no good. We did have a ball.


8:28 PM  

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