Living in the country requires trade-offs, and so does farming. Taking vacations in February instead of August, for example.
Sometimes the trade-offs seem like a good deal. Corvallis has an excellent fireworks display every Fourth of July, but we are so far north that the city waits until it’s fully dark at about 10:15 PM before starting the display. After it’s done, there’s a brief traffic jam and then (if you’re me) a half-hour drive home.
I decided a while back to never drive if it’s past my bedtime. It’s way too dangerous. So we spend the night in Corvallis at the Super 8 motel. The odd-numbered rooms on the third floor have a wonderful view of the fireworks. So much for late-night driving!
An added bonus is that the Riverfront Park in front of the motel is swarmed by holiday-goers who set off their store-bought fireworks while waiting for the Main Event. It’s a madhouse, but in a good way. My kids like joining in.
Our fourteen-year-old, Karl, who is autistic, found the flash and bang a little overwhelming (even with a set of hearing protectors on), and was greatly delighted to be able to retreat into the motel room, where he could still see and hear everything.
(If you have an autistic kid who hasn’t tried hearing protectors (Karl likes the standard 3M over-the-ear kind), give it a whirl. Karl can enjoy environments he found overpowering before.)
This year, with the Fourth of July on a Friday, we loaded the van with all our Farmer’s Market stuff so we’d be ready for the market the next morning. In fact, the motel is only two blocks away from the market.
Not too many years ago, I wouldn’t have sprung for a motel room, on the grounds of misplaced macho. It’s better to focus on what’s going to provide the best outing, and to cut oneself some slack into the bargain.