Spring Break Day 3

Day three I took turns spending time with the boys. I took Harrison and Sawyer and we went into town. Harrison, whose 5, has decided he wants to either be a zoo keeper or vet. When I picked him up he was carrying a jar with a "hurt" moth he found several weeks back. "Shhh! Dad. He needs to sleep allot to get better." Of course it was dead, but Harrison still loved it as much as the puppies he wanted to go see. The thing about Meadville, Pennsylvania is it leaves alot to be desired in the ability to offer selection. The phone book listed two pet stores, one of which only sold fish, an old parrot and an array of spiders and lizards that only, "the weird kids" like, while the second store was recently shut down in a drug sting operation. Thankfully the local animal shelter had two small lab puppies that were just what we were looking for - key word being looking. Upon seeing them Harrison was convinced they were to be together forever, a fact only reinforced by the discovery of an old leash laying discarded in the parking lot. The thing about Harrison is there is no negotiating or bargaining when he wants something. He gives you the big eyes, sad face and then melts in your lap with quiet crying. It's effective, and I would've gotten him a puppy had his brothers not both been allergic to dogs. We eventually worked things out with a Happy Meal.

On the drive out of town we stopped to watch all manner of heavy construction equipment in operation as they worked on making over a lot in town that previously held a supermarket where my grandma would take me (sometimes I’d get a toy), while grandpa would buy beer across the street. Now I could see the delight on Sawyer's face. "I like big twucks, Dad!" When I asked him which ones were his favorite he said, "the wellow ones." Driving out of town I figured I probably wasn't much older than him, standing in the back seat of a blue Chrysler that swerved down the road at 80 miles per hour with grandpa chugging a quart of Pabst Blue Ribbon and grandma yelling hysterically over my tooting on the toy trumpet I just recieved. Ah, the good ol' days.

Later I took Noah to go look for interesting old places around the countryside. Ever since the discovery of the remnants of a nearly century old maple sugar shack in our back woods, Noah's quest for "the Holy Grail" has not been quenched. On day one of our visit, he managed to find yet another interesting artifact in about 5 minutes of digging, which surprised me because I thought I had already picked that place clean when I was his age. I eventually took “Dr. Jones” to my favorite spot in the county - the site of a former lake where a few cabins once were located. My grandfather (Noah's great grandfather) helped build the dam that formed the lake and planted rows of hemlock trees in the 20's as part of the Conservation Corps. He used to tell me the story of an old French mansion that sat across the dirt road from the lake and the gold trim in the furniture he help carry in for the owners. When my dad took me as a boy, the chimney from the one of the cabins still stood in the middle of a small grove of trees and the dam had a small hole punch in allowing the lake to drain. Nothing of the mansion remained as legend has it that it burnt down. Nearly 20 years later, the chimney laid in moss-covered blocks on the ground, the dam has a larger hole in it and there are more Posted signs put up by owner - Allegheny College who's biology department is still conducting "secret" research on the grounds. Despite the time passed, it still held the same thrill for Noah that it did for me. We explored all over and Noah grabbed a rock from grandpa’s damn.

After our little adventure, we headed to the Market House in Meadville to check out some of the stuff grandma was selling there. Noah got some elk-jerky and then we grabbed an orange cream soda and checked out some paintings by the local artists. Noah patted my back on the way out the door, “This has been a pretty good day, huh?” I smiled, lucky that I could have this sliver of time with my boys. We headed home and Noah being the big brother he is, saved some of his soda for his brothers.

The rest of the evening went by quietly with a movie night featuring The Justice League New Frontier. Ya, it was a pretty good day.

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