Sunday, June 04, 2006

Baa ram ewe.....and bagpipes!

It's been rainy most of the week, and it's raining now. But yesterday the sun popped out enough to make it hot and muggy for the annual Bellingham Highland Games. After seeing the small and disappointing event put on in Spokane (a city of over 200K should have enough celtic-types for a big turnout), we thought maybe Bellingham with it's sub-100K population might be similar. Imagine our delight and surprise to see acres and acres of kilts, bagpipes, tam o' shanters, and herding dogs spread out all over Hovander Homestead Park .

But as much fun as the Caledonian commotion was ( Wicked Tinkers & Scottish food ) we were most amused by the homestead/farmyard stuff on display at the park. The smell of lovely little piggies sure makes one stop and ponder if home-raised ham is really worth the aroma...The tour of the farmhouse (more like a mansion) was worth the $1 donation. As beautiful and fancy as it was, there was still a giant wood-burning furnace for heat, and a toilet wasn't installed til 1936! But it's fun to look at all the strange gadgets and tools and figure out what they were used for. You can see why people grab on to any labor-saving device when just putting food on the table was such an arduous process. That farm did everything onsite needed to keep a household fed & clothed. From growing hay to feed the critters, all the way to processing those critters into meat or wool or draft animals.

What a luxury for us nowadays to be able to order heritage breeds of chickens from a catalog and have them arrive the next day. Or to cut a little paddock with a scythe, and not worry if the rain ruins the "hay". It's nice to have some leeway to practice our old-timey skills without missing out on dinner or the mortgage payment when something doesn't go as planned....

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