2009 Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival...is now over

My oldest son (Bob) and his family met my youngest son and his family in Elkhart for this yearly event. (I couldn't go because of work) Even though they got down there early, it was very crowded and before they left, evenmoreso. First is always the pancake breakfast at the new high school, followed by a trip around to all the arts and crafts stops. Bob said there were many Amish and Mennonite families there with many items to sell; blankets, baked goods, honey, and noodles to name a few. Then a walk back downtown to the general store to get jelly beans and other things that interest us. This years favorite was the "Jumbo Red Licorice Jelly Beans". For those who do not know, the general store sells jumbo sized jelly beans---as big as your thumb---depending on the size of your thumb! They also have other types of "old fashioned" penny candies available, and "stuff" always got to look at the "stuff".

After a leisurely stop in the downtown stores, back to get lunch at Nelsons GoldenGlow Chicken--for later--and back to the car. When the kids got back to the car, they realized that Macey my middle granddaughter was not with them. Panic set in, and everyone began to retrace their steps back to as far back as needed until they found her. Thankfully, she was still at Nelsons, waiting on them. She had been talking to some other kids and was generally distracted, not realizing that everyone else had gone until just before they got back to finding her! Thank God for Guardian Angels! Macey said she wasn't lost, she knew where she was. Typical eight year old. This could have been so much worse, but for the Grace of God, Macey remembered not to go off looking for family, and not to go with strangers, just to stay put. She was praised for this, but also reminded to watch for Mom and Dad moving. There were three adults and six kids, which sounds easy enough to keep track of, but not in a crowd of several thousand people.

And so all made it home safely, I got some Amish sausage for later, and listened to all tell "their side of the story", which is what I sometimes do best.  Maybe next year I can go and spend my Michigan bucks in Indiana.

Re: 2009 Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival...is now over

I  never thought when I posted the WMSF story that I would have so many replies of people remembering their own episodes of an almost lost child. I am ever so glad I did, in that these have all been the "happily ever after" kind of story, and not the "and we never saw them again and have never gotten over it" kind. I pray that anyone who reads this is reminded to be a bit more cautious in the future, not only with their own families, but looking out for others in our everyday life. Kids get away from us when they grow up and become independent, and all us just want to give our kids a chance to do this in a safe and knowledgeable way. I find myself taking too many things for granted somedays and when I hear about someone else's misfortune or near-miss, I really have to re-evaluate myself and my actions and slow down. I've made it a policy at work to silently pray for each person that I care for or interact with. Everyone can use a little extra prayer once in a while. I'm not able to be with or talk to all my family everyday, but praying for them is the one thing I can do. 

Thanks to all of you who are sharing your stories with me and anyone else who reads this. Blessings to all!

dcharrison's picture

Re: 2009 Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival...is now over

When our 3 were about 3, 2 & newborn I went to the state fair with my mother, sister & brothers.  We had the oldest 2 in a wagon (the youngest in a front pack) and had stopped to look a display.  I suddenly heard a yowl & knew it was my son - the 2 year old.  I couldn't believe it - my siblings, one of which was pulling the wagon, hadn't noticed that he had climbed out of the wagon while we were stopped and when he realized we weren't there, he yelled.  They couldn't believe I had recognized his voice without even seeing him.  And this was 1 of the main reason I had asked for a front pack - so I had 1 hand free for each of the other 2 since they were so close in age.

KJuneBug's picture

Re: 2009 Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival...is now over

Buddy system.  Each adult, gets two children, and each child in the buddy group is responisible for keeping track of the buddy.  That's how we do it when we go out.  Now a days, it's me, hubby and the twin boys and our two younger girls. Typically I get the girls he gets the boys, when it is just me, I team up a boy with a younger girl. 

Re: 2009 Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival...is now over

I wasn't there, but thats how I would have handled it, too. I was more than a bit concerned when I heard about it, but I also know by looking at my granddaughter and my kids that it's not likely to happen again soon.  All were contrite to say the least.

KJuneBug's picture

Re: 2009 Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival...is now over

Now for our "lost child" story, this was at a beach, so no enclosures, our second to youngest daughter was just 3 at the time...  Our church was there for a bbq, and tons of others because it was a gorgeous spring day... the twins where about  5, our oldest daugh. about 12  and our little one was just 1 and confined to the baby backpack... we blinked, turned and the 3 year old was gone.  It was the most frightening 10 minutes of my life to date, we don't know why or what caused her to wander off... as soon as we figured it out we had all of the folks in our group looking for her, I was checking the water, one of our friends came with her in his arms, from way down the beach.  She had managed to go quite far away in a blink.  To this day we don't know what happened, she barely remembers the day herself, all I can say is that we were praising the Lord...from that day on, it's been the buddy system on every outing, no exceptions. 

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