before i begin writing this entry, it’s essential that you know that holly’s hometown of butler, PA (“pee-ay”) is NOT a farm town. it’s actually a big place, a city, really, and much bigger (and a helluva lot less snotty) than my hometown of caldwell, nj, (OLD-SCHOOL Z100 SHOUT-OUT TO ALL MY JERSEY PPL IN THE HOUSE SAY HOOO-OOOOH! say ho! ho! now screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam!) but there are farms in the vicinity of butler, PA–and a lot more green than baltimore, dc or northern jersey–which means big animals, four-wheelers, huge lawnmowers, tractors and yes, farm shows.
the whole family went out to the butler farm show saturday night, a dusty, sun-filled extravaganza of fresh-off-the-‘tater fries, trucks, squeaky/wildly-blinking rides (that you could only get me on if you killed me first–fyi, totally not just saying that), smelly (but awesome) animals and also peach (and apple) cobblers drowning in fresh vanilla softserve (hold me down, omg. so good). as the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words, so, without further ado, here’s a brief tour:
first we saw some animals. they were adorable, if not a tad smelly. i found it really funny that they were there at all, i mean, just for us to look at and stuff.
by the time we were finished at the farm show, my black pumas were thoroughly dusty and i was uncomfortably full of assorted fried delicacies–something i do not partake of often but i do enjoy (that is, until about two minutes later when the requiste guilt and stomacheache kick in). the next morning (yesterday), we all went to celebrate the baptism of baby brennan, holly’s newest nephew. i volunteered to be the family photog. this is something that started, let’s see, two summers ago at the baptism of landon (one of holly’s other nephews, both belonging to her twin sister). it must’ve been august then–or september?–and holly’s mom asked if i could do it. i shrugged and said, sure, why not. i felt a sense of pride that she would bestow such an important task in my hands–hands that, at that point, were not all that accustomed to digital cameras. i felt weird enough, being in a church at all, had never been to a baptism and taking photos to boot? but i rose to the challenge, as they say, and before i knew it, was zooming in on the holy water like a pro. this time around, holly’s mom didn’t even ask me; i brought her camera along and got up with holly, her two sisters, niece and brother-in-law when the pastor called them up to the front.
i mean, here’s the thing: i’m just a jewish girl from new jersey. and, really, it was just a coincidence that i didn’t wear all black yesterday morning. usually i feel like i stick out like a sore thumb, not only in holly’s town, but in her family. it’s been tough-going w/both our families over the past seven years. but holly’s family, they’re tight. they fight hard, but they love even harder. getting used to “us” (and me, esp. me) has been a process. and i’m the first to admit that i’ve been a giant pain the ass (i’d blame it more on culture shock vs. actually being a pain in the ass, tho i can def. be one of those, too) but being up there, involved like i was, my fear of being at the front of the church, in view of absolutely everybody, to get a good shot, my hesitation of not actually being a “real” part of the family…it all sort of slipped away. in fact, i don’t think i’ve ever felt more like a part of the family. in the midst of it, i turned around to look at everyone in the pews, and holly’s mom and i locked eyes for a moment–and we both smiled at each other. it put a lump in my throat, it really did. b/c in that moment, for the very first time, i felt like i really belonged there. i wanted to be there and ppl wanted me there. seven years in the making and not a moment too soon. welcome to the world, baby brennan! i’m aunt jessica. nice to meet you.