Among the items listed on my resume should be event planner extroidinaire! In the job description of "Mom" there is a whole section on planning, the usuals being birthday parties and sleepovers, vacations and family holidays. Each deserving the remembrance as either incredible or awful, and usually it was unforseen circumstances that brought on the awful.
I've taken those skills and developed them to new heights lately. It began with being a 4-H leader for so many years. Once you have planned an event where every child brings a cow or horse well the rest of the events look pretty tame. It was all good training my 33 years in the ranks as leader of the Cock-A-Doodle-Moo 4-H club. We had all kinds of livestock projects so juggling a day with children and multiple species became routine. They were some great events and the best days nothing got away and no one got hurt! Do over? of course I dont think any of us would trade a moment of those wonderful days.
The most challenging event was probably the Oxen drive across Eastern Connecticut. That was a planning and logistics exercise on the level of the Boston Marathon. Five days on the trail with two boys and two teams of oxen , what would we eat, how much could we carry, what if the oxen decided not to take aother step 50 miles from home? In the end we made it home with no major glitches. A tree across the trail provided a few moments of panic its massive trunk and branches to much work for my portable folding saw I was carrying. In the end we made them jump through the branches and they did it. A lot of prayer went into that moment but I was not turning around and the steep embankements on either side of the old railbed there were nightmares themselves. Some places I carried a bucket to lower off bridges to water the oxen but on one leg of the trip we stopped at a resevoir for them to drink. The oxen had never seen a lake before or even a pond. One thing I didnt count on, they dove in. Still yoked together the pair Scooby and Shaggy dove straight into the water and began swimming. So did I, one water rescue with oxen accomplished and onto the resume. The stop by the old graveyard to lay flowers on the grave of the ancester who made the walk in 1772 was a lifelong memory and incredible time warp moment. Then the last day we made the last couple miles all up hill to the home farm and they knew, they wanted to run in celebration. Those oxen were amazing stepping off from the front of the church we went on our way picking up speed the whole distance. Yes, after that event, they are all easy. I still remember the feeling of incredible accomplishment when we sat at the picnic table eating pizza and cake ( ordered by the boys age 8 & 13) All that was an event for the towns 300 th birthday, we started it off on the right foot literally!
Now I'm in the midst of planning many small events and one big Heritage Sunday for our church which is now celebrating its 300th anniversary. I have been planning some of the events and some are done by other committees. My latest was the building of a mini church. A small replica of our beautiful New England white church. It's purpose is to help inform the town and neighboring areas of our church birthday and be a symbol of our community outreach and desire to let people know we are 300 years of Faith in Action...and counting! First Church of Christ Congregational ( http://pages.cthome.net/FCCMansfield/ ) There are 3 parades in the area annually, Memorial Day, July 4th the infamous Boom Box Parade, and a newer one the Festival on the Green Parade in the Fall. What better way to inform people of our anniversary than a float in the parades I thought. I was able to get a carpenter in the congregation ( http://www.funkandlittle.com/ ) to scale down the church dimensions and draw us some plans to go by. From there we began gathering supplies and the construction over several days and evenings until the very final hours and minutes before Memorial Day when in the line up for the start of the parade I drew the front window in with a marker! The little church did its job and was a great hit. We all had lots of fun at the parade and now everyone sees what my vision was for this event. The 4 th of July parade will be easier as everyone is excited about making it happen again , bigger and better. So here we go more event planning.
I'm also planning the A-MAZE-ING Story Slam for Sept 4, 2010 at Fort Hill Farms ( http://www.forthillfarms.com/ )in Thompson, Ct. ( http://www.a-maze-ingstoryslam.ning.com/ ) this will be patterend after story slams ( competitions) in cities like New York and Boston. We have a great location, a big tent, a backup location, we are working on judges and prizes and signs and websites and camping and food for people who choose to spend the weekend in the area. A lot of little pieces, but I dont have to pack any food for cows, there are no lakes that need lifegaurding, there is no trail to watch over and nothing to build, so a Story Slam while it is a event for the public it's really .... a piece of cake!