Wednesday, October 16, 2013

We Almost Died in a Corn Maze, but Lived to Have Some Fun

Every single year, as Autumn arrives, I dread three things:

1.  Cold weather
2.  Spider infestations
3.  Corn Mazes

I do not, in any way, shape, or form, understand the appeal of corn mazes.

Honestly, who ever sat looking at a field of corn and said, "You know what that field needs?  A maze." (I hope you read that with a nice, full, redneck accent.)

Obviously someone who has never heard of those millions of science experiments done with mice.  I'd bet a million bucks, the mice are not enjoying those little "races" through their mazes.

And clearly, the person never saw the movie "Children of the Corn".  That movie kept me afraid of corn fields for decades.

Or "Field of Dreams".  Sure, it's a sweet, inspirational movie, but ghosts come out of the corn field.  That's just creepy.

Unfortunately, my children have never heard of mice maze experiments or seen "Children of the Corn".  They think those corn mazes are brilliant and beg to go to them every single year. 

Usually, I have no trouble telling them a big, fat, NO!

This year, something went very wrong.

With Phoenix in high school now, the kids' breaks don't always line up.  October break illustrates this perfectly.  Phoenix had break Friday and Monday.  The other kids are on break from Monday through the rest of the week.  Between the messed up schedules and soccer over the weekend, it left us with one day together to do something fun.

I decided we'd go to a little town to which we'd never been about 45 minutes away from our house.  In the heart of town is a gigantic apple orchard.  Those who own that apple orchard actually hire a well-known corn maze designer (WHAT??  THAT'S A PERSON'S JOB?!?!)  to create a new design for them each year.  In my IneedtomakethisdaythebestIcanformybabies soft heart, I agreed to let them do the maze.

Wanna see what the maze looks like from an airplane?


That little square in the bottom right is the start/finish area.  It reads "Beasely's Corn Dog.  Who Rescues Who.  And there is a somewhat distorted drawing of a wiener dog.  (That is the scientific name, isn't it?)  Beasely's is the name of the orchard.

I know.  What the hell was I thinking??  Clearly, I wasn't thinking at all.

In a flurry of activity, the kids split up in pairs and took off, leaving me in the dust.

This...


was all I saw.

I frantically chased after the children, with thoughts of never seeing them again floating through my head.  Thankfully, it didn't take too long before I came across this:


How sweet is that?  Giant and Cuckoo were paired up, taking their sweet time walking through the maze.  At each fork, they stopped and had a small chat about which way to turn.

Once finding them, I stuck close.  I offered no advice, but I wasn't about to let them out of my sight. 

Eventually we found Phoenix and Buttercup,


which meant Star and Turken were out there all on their own.  My heart started fluttering a bit harder with that information.

The older two didn't stick around for long.  They were determined to win this race.

Giant and Cuckoo and I trudged along.  Twisting and turning and circling and spinning and getting lost and running into dead ends and more views of this:



At one point, I muttered, "I wonder how many dead bodies are hiding in this corn."

Unfortunately, Giant heard me.  "What?!?!"

"Oh, I was just thinking, this maze is dumb.  And never-ending.  And I was wondering how many people died in here, because they could never find the flippin' exit!"

Twisting and spinning and stupid "left or right?" decisions.  Though, really, they weren't really thought-filled decisions, seeing as how all corn looks maddeningly identical and is 8 feet tall, preventing anyone from actually seeing anything besides corn stalks.

Well, I take that back.  We could see the birds watching and laughing from overhead.  I swear I saw a few of those birds with little mice in their claws, and those mice were laughing the hardest.

I almost crushed Turken with hugs the one time I caught sight of him and Star.

He looks a bit nervous, doesn't he?  It's not because he was afraid of dying in the corn, but because he saw the look on my face of utter "OH, MY DARLING!!  WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!?"

But before I could say, "Watch out for Malachi!" they were off again.

And when I turned around, I saw this:


My little companions in corn were gone.

I was on my own.

What did I do? 

Yell.  Of course.

I yelled my head off.

I called each child by name.

Not one answered.

I stopped and listened.

I heard nothing.

I
Was
Alone

So I ran.

Which was explicitly against the posted Corn Maze Rules, but I didn't care.

I had to find my babies.

I finally caught up to two, who were on the scent of the exit. 

I chased them down right about here:



They did it!!!  After a grueling 35 minutes, they got us out of the Corn Maze of Death!!

When I asked them how they won, Giant replied, "As the tortoise knows, slow and steady wins the race."

We sat for about 5 minutes before we heard Phoenix's gigantic plodding feet on the other side of the corn.



We sat for another 8 minutes waiting for the last two.

My heart was beating faster by the second.

Two of my boys were out there.  In that maze.  All alone.  No phone.  No flares.  No way to find us.

I had to go back in.

I went as far as I could without getting lost, yelling for them the entire way.  No sign of life anywhere.

Realizing I left my phone with the four found children, I went back, praying the other two had found their way back out the entrance.

No such luck.

My heart beat a little faster.

We waited another 3 minutes, before I couldn't take it anymore and sent the biggest 2 kids back in for a search and rescue (after making sure Phoenix had his phone).

A full 7 minutes later, they emerged.  Two victorious, two shamefacedly.

But they were alive, and that's all that mattered.


The rest of the day included loads of fun.  Two hours playing on this:



And eating lunch here:


And playing here:

Cuckoo is coughing up a lung in this photo.

And walking here:

Clearly, the person who put that sign up doesn't have children.

And, in honor of Columbus Day, explored here:


Which actually wasn't all that fun for me.  Major drop-offs and no clear path through the woods put me on high alert the entire time.

They think they're funny. 
In the end, we came out alive and not even a scratch on us.

It turned out to be an awesome one day of break.

Do your kids have an October break?  Did you do anything fun?  Or life-threatening?



Have a lovely day!

57 comments:

  1. I'm most impressed that you were so detail-oriented that you got in a plane to photograph the field from above. Way to be thorough. ;)

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    1. I was thinking the same thing... once a blogger, always a blogger --- thinking of taking those much-needed pics for a post! Awesome aerial photo, Christine!

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    2. Ha! Very funny, you two.
      http://www.beasleys-orchard.com/

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  2. Why was there an outhouse in the corn maze when it's so much easier to just mark your territory if ya know what I mean? Your kids are so cool and I love how you enjoy your time together!

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    1. Oh, I know what you mean. And while boys are fine marking their territory, I'd rather not. Haven't you figured out that I'm a lady?
      Actually, I think it's there because they had a huge festival over the weekend and wanted to keep the territory marking to a minimum.

      Thanks!

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  3. I've never gone to a corn maze, and never really wanted to either. After reading this I'll never go. Sounds awful.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

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    1. If one person is saved from my telling of the story, it was all worth it. :)

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  4. Your musings about the number of dead bodies made me laugh aloud. Unfortunately, my daughter heard me and wanted to know why I was laughing. She would not see the humor in your comment, but luckily, she didn't press my answer of "Oh, just this blog I'm reading."

    We're headed to Disneyland tomorrow, just like you suggested. :-)

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    1. Oh, good. Your daughter is like my kids. All I have to do is say "blog" and they lose interest. :)

      Yippee!! Have fun!

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  5. Sounds like a fun day! I would definitely be scared to walk the corn maze by myself! Your kids sure are good sports about you taking their pictures! My son-in-law teaches middle school - the kids were off on Friday and Monday.

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    1. It was a fun day. They are quite creepy. Not nearly as creepy during the day as those "haunted" ones at night. There is no way I could go through one of those.
      They were in a very picture taking mood, thankfully. I think it has a lot to do with Instagram. They need photos to post. :)

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  6. Sweetie, it's a maze of CORN, not Triffids! Then I'd worry.

    Looks like you all had a completely beautiful day, and all of your brood look thrilled to be there (well, except Buttercup, in that one photo, where it looks as though she's wearing her best 'I'm WAY too cool to be in a photo with my dorky, smelly brothers, but I know you're gonna make me' scowl)

    Also, if you don't want your kids to love corn mazes so much, show THEM Children of the Corn ;)

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    1. After looking up Triffids...
      It's not just corn, it's 8 acres of corn, with FOUR MILES of maze trails. Clearly, you've never seen a field of corn.

      Ha! That is her "tough" pose. She was completely happy.

      That is hilarious that you said that! We have the same brain sometimes. I actually wrote, "I'm thinking I'll just show them the movie, and we'll never have to go again." But I deleted it, because we live in the middle of 200 acres of corn. They would have nightmares and be deathly afraid of going outside for years!

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    2. Okay I concede, that's a lot of corn. I don't think we really 'do' fields with quite the same panache...or mazes. Look - this is a terribly, terribly English maze, for your comparison...http://files.list.co.uk/images/g/glendurgan-maze-lr-lst097453.jpg

      Oh she has a 'tough pose'?! Sweet :D

      I guess you'd be outta luck next time you yelled at a kid to come out and hold the camera while you chased a chicken or a coyote or whatever you're gonna get next to replace the piggies (I'm holding out for alpacas myself - a good source of wool and meat and cuteness) and you'd wind up on the end of "But mommy, the Coooooooooooooooooooorn!!!"

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    3. Oh, see, that was a lovely maze. You all make them to be pretty and part of the garden. We make them to be death traps. Yours are only as tall as your knees, so you can actually see where you're going. Ours are taller than any human, ensuring complete disorientation and panic.

      Yes, she does. She has 5 brothers. It's a necessity.

      Exactly. I'm doing it for you. :)

      An alpaca?!?! Good heavens. Have you seen how much work goes in to getting that wool into a usable material??? And then to make things with it?? Don't hold your breath on that one.

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    4. *sigh* 'Mericans! Take a perfectly good idea and make it...plain weird! Not to mention OVERBIG and, okay, I concede, probably a bit scary. I wouldn't want to lose Niece in 4 miles of unseeable-through corn paths.

      Ha! Still try, perhaps with just the older ones - then they can put the younger ones off in that 'urban legend not telling you what but it's terrifying' way that older kids warn younger kids ;)

      Yes I have. And guess what. The farmer usually doesn't DO THAT PART! They just shave the beast, send the fleece and rake in the lovely money, cos alpaca wool is 'sought after'.

      And they look really goofy! Mum and I once went up to Scotland and looked after the herd belonging to one of her friends, while the friend went on holiday. They're such dumb, weird animals with their long wiggly necks and big eyes and soft, soft fluffiness.

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    5. Well, that's a whole different story. If I don't actually have to work... Except it's a year-round animal. I'm not a fan of having to take care of animals through the winter. I get annoyed having to deal with chickens, and they're pretty close to the house, requiring very little outside time.
      The thought of you and your mom babysitting a herd of alpacas cracks me up.

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  7. I belted out a laugh at "Watch out for Malachi!!"

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    1. Oh good!! You've seen the movie! :)

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    2. Well, of course!! Takes place in Nebraska! ;)

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  8. I love the last photo of your kids - in fact I love your kids. Sounds like you had a really fun day in spite of you thinking you were all going to die in the corn maze.

    During the summer holiday season, about a mile from the Norfolk camp site where I stay, there's an Amazing Maize Maze in a big field - I've often thought of giving it a go but haven't done it yet. Maybe next year.....

    The bit about the mice mazes reminded me of when my son was young, we had a hamster and he would spend hours on the floor creating mazes for it out of pet food cans - I don't know how but it always found the right way out.

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    1. Aw, you're sweet. Yes, that photo really shows the personality of a couple of the kids. :) It was a terrific day.

      If you go, make sure you take food and water. Maybe some flares.

      Can't say I ever thought of doing that with my gerbil when I was a kid. Sounds like lots of fun. Perhaps rodents (what is a hamster?) are better at that sort of thing than humans.

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    2. Maybe hamsters are known by a different name in the States? They are a bit bigger and slightly fatter than mice, but without the long tail. Very popular as small, easy to keep pets and once hand tame can be great fun. They don't have a very long life span though, usually only about two and a half years for a female and three years for a male. I've had several over the years, the last one escaped from its cage and went to ground under the upstairs floor - I had to take up the carpet and several floorboards to retrieve it!

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    3. We have hamsters here, too. Sorry. I should have explained myself better. I did not have a hamster. Just a gerbil. The only similarities between the two is the cage they are kept in. I never took my gerbils out of the cage to play, so I guess they never became tamed.
      My gerbils escaped once, too. They died from heart attack after the chase and capture. We had to empty out the linen closet, and when my mom grabbed it, that gerbil bit her on the finger and wouldn't let go. She was jumping around and screaming, shaking her hand to get the thing off. It was dead when I got up in the morning.

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    4. That reminds me of my son with our very first hamster. He didn't realise they sleep during the day, thought it was dead and poked it - it bit his finger and held on. He didn't jump about but he did shake his hand to get it off - fortunately it survived the shaking, but I had more sympathy for the hamster than I did for my son!

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    5. Aaaawww, poor kid and poor hamster. I'm sure they were both pretty surprised in that situation. I have to say, once it was clear that everyone was OK, I would have laughed. Did you? Has your son ever laughed about it?

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    6. My son's an adult now and that happened years ago but it does come up in conversation occasionally and we always laugh about it, though he didn't find it funny at the time. His latest 'fright' concerned a dead cat and a washing up bowl - I may even put that one on my blog sometime.

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    7. Please do!! You have me intriqued...

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  9. Ok, when I first read the headline, my brain read "We almost did it in a corn maze" and I thought WHAT??? ;-) Seems like a really, really fun day, and I wished I could have gone into this corn maze.. Love them, maybe because I didn't have them growing up..

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    1. Hahahahaha!!! Those stories never make it to the blog, rest assured. :)

      You love them??? Please, tell me what there is to love? Really, how are they fun? We didn't have them growing up either, but I can't see how they are fun.

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  10. Maybe it's the Y Chrome talking, but come on! the next to the last photo?? that *is* pretty funny.

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    1. Now that I'm looking at it from the safety of home, yes, I do find it funny. :)

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  11. The third repeated picture of the corn maze scene had me rolling. Did you know we are going to a corn maze just this weekend? I shall be giggling the entire time thinking of your experience... XD

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    1. Hahahaha!! Take food and water. And flares. And phones. Perhaps really tall flags so you can see each other's whereabouts over the corn. Then, maybe, it might be fun. But probably not. Be careful. :)

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    2. Why is it that terror for mom's is so much fun for our kids???

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  12. I remember being terrified of Field of Dreams when I first saw it! Dead baseball players coming out of cornfields? No way!

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    1. Exactly! Not something I want to be a part of, that's for sure.

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  13. I, too, am confused by the allure of the corn maze.

    What if I have to use the bathroom, for cryin' out loud, and can't find my way out?!

    I worry about these things.

    (Lovely pics!)

    Pearl

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    1. Yes! The bathroom conundrum. Sure, there was a port-o-potty OUTSIDE the maze, but that doesn't help when you are trapped INSIDE the maze.

      (Thanks.)

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  14. OMG! I am dying laughing. You are hilarious! We would be great friends if we lived in the same town. Or State. lol. I don't get the corn maze allure either--- or the "corn maize" as they call it to get all fancy. lol. I want to know how they get the dang designs in the corn! I mean, I get they use a tractor or some equipment... but, how do they know where they are at any given time to create the path and make a pretty picture?!

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    1. Why, thank you much. :) Undoubtedly, we would have a grand time together.

      As for the design, I have an idea on the how. Not because I asked, but because we went to an "open farm" day at one of the farms in town. I believe they do it all with GPS. Plug the design into the computer, and it tells the guy exactly where to go.

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    2. Of course, I'd like to tell him "where to go" as well, but it wouldn't be very nice. :)

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  15. I was scared after seeing your first photo - I HATE corn mazes. I could feel your panic as I read, and when you mentioned Malachi I started hyperventilating. (Not really, I'm being a drama queen.) My kids have off tomorrow, and we are sleeping in and getting flu shots - am I the funnest mom ever or what?

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    1. It is scary, isn't it? That maze was gigantic!
      Don't think we do all fun things. Yesterday, when our oldest had just a half day of school, I made them all clean. On their hands and knees scrubbing. They did get to sleep in, though. Until 9. I can't handle any later than that.

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  16. SO. MUCH. FUN!!! I've never been in a corn maze but Riley has many times with some of his workers. He "seems" to like it. I'm thinking I should be more concerned?!? ;P

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    1. Riley went? With his school?? Why, oh why, would a school take a group of kids to a corn maze?

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    2. No,no...he went with his weekend community worker. :) He's going again tomorrow...hopefully all the fog that we've been having will be gone. ;P

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    3. Oh, shew. That makes me feel better. Yes, I hope the fog lifts. A corn maze in the fog?!?! Aaaaahhhh! Noooo!

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  17. I literally just printed directions to a corn maze about 45 minutes from us that I thought would be fun! Those directions will now be deposited in the trash....I can't take that much stress! My kids would totally leave me alone...and laugh about it. Not happening!

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    1. Hahahaha!! Don't ever tell them it is my fault you won't be going! :)

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  19. I have never, in my life, been in an actual corn maze. I've been lost in corn fields, but that's for another day. I've always wanted to go to a good one and this makes me want to do it even more. Alas, I think it's a little past the season here in New York. Maybe I can plan a good one for next year somewhere.

    This looked like one heck of a fun day. And despite not being a parent, I can totally see where the panic could set in at the end.

    Alas, I must offer one batch of kudos to your son wearing the Andrew Luck jersey. As a fan of the Colts (a rarity in NY, at least in my part), it's always refreshing to see a jersey like that on a young lad, even if said lad is from the home state!

    Finally, that place you ate looks like a spot where I'd jam the brakes to stop and eat at!

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    1. Ha! I was talking to someone just yesterday about being lost in a corn field. Not a chance in this world you'd find me wandering around a field.

      It was a lot of fun for everyone, mostly them. They were never afraid.

      I am impressed that a non-Hoosier could identify it as a Luck jersey! How did someone from NY become a Colts fan? The jersey was his birthday present this year. He wears it every chance he gets.

      Sounds like we have a lot in common as far as interests go. I refuse to go to chains when we go out of town.

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  20. Oh my word, I would not enter a corn maze. They seem a bit claustrophobic. Maybe a lot. I would never get out, and kill myself. Horrors!

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Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you're thinking!