Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gramps' Pet Project


Gramps' passion is polo. It filled my childhood and defined our family time. (I should note here, since its a little less rare than, say, football, that playing polo in Kansas (or Vermont, Wyoming, Florida etc) is nothing like the Pretty Woman depiction. The jean clad horse lovers watch a sport they are passionate about from their trucks, talking intricate details of every hoof beat. Only on rare occasion are there fancy hats :) At any rate, I find it fascinating to watch my child's life be only briefy touched by situations that formed me. And while sitting through multiple chuckers of fast moving athletes isn't currently Phoenix's fave activity, he does like to check in on Gramps' bid'ness a bit :) So we've watched Gramps play (and score and win!) while visiting Florida, and we've petted the horses and hit balls around with P's child sized mallet. But we hadn't seen Gramps' pet project until this trip home...

He's been working on creating a school of polo in Wichita, in hopes of keeping the game alive (he reeeeally loves it :) And to that end he spends part of every day mowing fields and checking on the progress of said project. So, one day, P and I went to check on the progress too :)

The 100 year old barn has been beautifully resurrected, with the hitting cage in the old hay loft. I have a passion for anything old, wooden, or rusty, and this space was unspeakably beautiful to me.



Gramps showed P how to hit the ball, a surprisingly difficult task (they make it look so easy, running at crazy speeds down the field but let me tell you - its tough. Even standing still. Like, totally still on a wooden horse still :) Horsing around in the hay loft was another occasion that allowed me to prove to P that I am not perfection incarnate...



While Gramps settled up some work stuff, P and I explored the arena, newly built for student lessons.



And wandered around in the tall grass looking at machinery. It totally took me back to my childhood, the sounds, the warm wind, the smell of wildflowers and Kansas grass, the dirty climbing hands getting greasy from old machines. Just the aimless wanderings about a farm area. I love it - and so did P :)



Then Gramps was ready to check out the playing field and we went with him. P and I climbed the stairway to the viewing deck and watched the clouds roll over us.




As we came back down, Gramps was joined by one of his best buddies and they set to talking shop :)



I flashed back to childhood again, the many times my dad was busy and my little brother and I would finagle a game out of a stump and an old railroad spike that we'd find in the grass. Grown-ups busy, kids get busy with whatever. P, being an only, turned to BB :) His fleece formed, flouncy filled compatriot fills in for sibling. ( Which, basically translates as E and I operating as both parent and sibling (me as BB, E as Sock Monkey) since P isn't into solitary play.) It was an interesting realization prompted by an obvious comparison between our childhoods. And though P occasionally asks for a baby, and though some see having an only as a crime, BB (er, me;) and P whooped it up on the log we found, finding plenty of fun and games until Gramps was ready to go. The two sides of the damn baby question weighing in equally, time and again :) At any rate, we piled into his ride and waved goodbye to the pet project until next year....

1 comment:

Alicia said...

Such cool photos in the barn. The lighting looks amazing! Hmmm... I've never seen a game of polo...