Monday, September 5, 2011


Its Labor Day weekend in Cleveland and that means Oktoberfest. Pat and I went when it was sunny with temperatures in the 90’s. If we would have waited, we could have gone when it was rainy and in the 60s. I guess you get wet either way. Anyone with a dachshund got in for free because the national dachshund races run all weekend.
There was more food, wine and beer than you could ever eat. In addition to the predictable German restaurants and microbreweries from throughout the area, you had your Italian, Polish, and Greek food, and even a corn dog joint. Oh! I almost forgot the funnel cakes! You can’t have a fair without funnel cakes and all their deep fried goodness. Even the Hodge Podge food truck, Cleveland’s entry in the Great Food Truck Race, was there.
Growing up in Chicago, I was always told that I lived in the center of the polka universe. But nay! Cleveland is the center of the polka universe. It’s even got a hall of fame. What fits better than polka and Oktoberfest? There was music all over the fest in a half dozen halls. Polka bands roamed the grounds, drawing crowds wherever they went. Pat and I found two great polka bands, The Alex Meixner Band and the Chardon Polka Band. Boy can these bands play. They don’t look like your grandma’s polka band, but when it’s in the 90s and humid who wants to play in leather shorts and knee socks? Hats are OK though.

through the eyes of children

I walk outside and all I see is the work I have to do. I don’t have any projects left this year till mid fall when we dump another 5 yards of sweet peet. The work I’m talking about is the everyday work that gardener’s experience: grass that has spread into a flower bed or weeds popping their ugly heads up. It has been so wet this spring and summer that weeds seem to grow by the foot before my eyes.
Sometimes it takes a new set of eyes to drag me back to why I garden. Our friend Sarah brought her three girls over for a garden tour. They hunted for decorative rabbits and smelled flowers. To watch the girls wandering around the garden brought a smile and renewed the sense of adventure in Pat and Jim’s gardening adventure. The girls never saw a weed or a plant out of place.