Tag Archives: family

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Cultural Pass Expands to Southern Indiana

screen-shot-2018-06-05-at-12-41-58-pmPass provides free admission to numerous arts-related institutions

For the first time, the 2018 Cultural Pass will be available to kids in Louisville and Southern Indiana. The provides free access to many of Greater Louisville’s arts and cultural institutions and is valid for one-time general admission at each of the participating institutions and is valid through Aug. 11.

Created from Vision Louisville, the Cultural Pass is an innovative initiative to promote art and culture and improve summer learning in our community. The 2018 Cultural Pass is presented by Churchill Downs, in partnership with Metro Louisville, Fund for the Arts, Arts and Culture Alliance and the Louisville Free Public Library. Additional underwriting for Southern Indiana families to participate is made possible by the Bales Foundation, Duke Energy and the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, in partnership with the Jeffersonville Township Public Library and The Floyd County Library (formerly known as the New Albany-Floyd County Library).

Nearly 200,000 passes have been issued since its inception in 2014. The 2018 Cultural Pass can be picked up at The Floyd County Library, Jeffersonville Township Public Library and any of the Louisville Free Public Library locations. For more information, go to fundforthearts.org/culturalpass.

Can’t beat a summer trip to the creek.

WHEN WE THOUGHT WE WERE BUSY…

Can’t beat a summer trip to the creek.

Can’t beat a summer trip to the creek.

By Adam & Kristin Kleinert

Summertime is almost here. We Kleinerts are anxious to close out the semester, and everyone in the household is looking forward to a few mornings of sleeping past 6 a.m. Sitting at the dinner table together recently, one of the kids mentioned how quickly the break seems to go. The others all agreed and seemed concerned about getting in some fun and relaxation before they have to head back to school in August.

“We should plan for this summer to be more like when we thought we were busy.”

You see, when the kids were little, our summers seemed packed. We remember going to bed exhausted every night after chock-full days of activity. Yet, until now, we haven’t really examined how we used to spend the time back then as compared to how we’ve done it during more recent breaks. And after reflecting a bit, we’ve learned our game plan for the next few months needs to take a lesson from our younger selves. This year, we plan to enjoy our summer together by slowing it down…at least a little bit.

When it comes to managing family schedules, busy creeps up on you. One moment you agree to allow your kiddo to play a couple of all-star baseball games at the end of his or her regular season. Next you find yourself shuttling that kid to practice four nights a week through the entire month of June and then playing in several tournaments in July, often traveling out of town and engulfing multiple, full weekends. Add in academic enrichment classes, open gyms and league practices and suddenly, the family calendar begins to look very similar to the regular school year. It’s a slippery slope because the opportunities offered are positive experiences for the kids. The vast majority are things the kids want to do and some are even obligations. The point is, positive experiences or not, it all adds up and before you know it, summertime has disappeared. This description is nearly identical to the format of our most recent summers and, in the interest of making a change, we’ve decided to aim a little lower this year.

It’s kind of a perfect year to make the shift. By some fortuitous twist of fate, there are no required varsity sports practices this time, no significant league play we have to attend, and we’ve chosen to forgo all-star baseball participation this season. Already it’s looking promising.

Now, we aren’t entertaining fantasies of long hours spent laying in the hammock drinking iced tea and lemonade. Not only are those delusions unrealistic when it comes to our high-energy crew, they’re not at all what the kids were referring to when they mentioned the summers we used to enjoy. Those months of yesterday were as busy as ever. The difference lays in the activities in which we occupied the largest chunks of our time in summers past and, even more significantly, the sense of obligation we lacked in those years.

We won’t be lounging by any means; rather, we’ll fill our days to the brim. But we’ll fill them with very few scheduled activities and lots of flexible fun. Creek visits, dips in the lake, evening fishing sessions and trips to friends’ pools will top our to-do lists. We’ll enjoy easy summer meals together and eat them outside any chance we get. We’ll attend vacation Bible school, wash the cars in the driveway, stain the front porch as a group and stay outside way past dark while the kids run around with their friends in the yard.

Reality will take over now and then, of course, and we’ll have to go to dentist appointments and fit in well-child visits at the pediatrician. There’ll still be work for Dad and Mom and chores for all. Eli will want to go to open gym some nights, and Syd will need to hit the driving range when she can. But for the most part, we feel like this summer is an opportunity to make strides toward being the kind of “busy we used to be” and we’re looking forward to the adjustment.


WHAT’S ON OUR AGENDA THIS SUMMER?

screen-shot-2018-06-05-at-12-59-01-pmBRAHM, 8: “I’M GONNA DIG SOME WORMS AND GO FISHING AND I’M GONNA PLAY IN THE CREEK. I’M GONNA PLAY TRUCKS IN THE DIRT AND THEN GO SWIMMING IN THE LAKE AND I’M GONNA SLEEP IN MY TENT. WE SHOULD GO CAMPING, TOO.”


screen-shot-2018-06-05-at-12-59-14-pmMOLLY, 10: “I WANT TO SWIM! AND I WANT TO MAKE CRAFTS, VISIT MAMAW AND PAPAW, AND HAVE MOVIE NIGHTS WITH POPCORN AND ROOT BEER FLOATS. OH, AND GO OUT FOR ICE CREAM! AND I’M GOING TO SLEEP IN, LIKE, A LOT.”


screen-shot-2018-06-05-at-12-59-22-pmELI, 13: “I WANT TO SWIM IN THE LAKE, DO FLIPS OFF OF THE HIGH DIVE AND GO TUBING. I WANT TO HAVE FRIENDS OVER FOR COOKOUTS AND PLAY BASKETBALL OUTSIDE UNTIL IT’S REALLY, REALLY LATE. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY PARTY!”


screen-shot-2018-06-05-at-12-59-30-pmSYDNEY, 15: “I’VE GOT SOME BABYSITTING JOBS LINED UP, AND I’M EXCITED TO MAKE A LITTLE MONEY DOING THAT. I WANT TO SLEEP IN SOME MORNINGS, WORK ON MY GOLF GAME, AND SPEND TIME AT THE LAKE AND THE POOL.”


screen-shot-2018-06-05-at-12-59-53-pmKRISTIN (MOM): “I’D LOVE TO TAKE THE KIDS SWIMMING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND FINISH A FEW SMALL PROJECTS AT THE HOUSE AS WELL. I PLAN TO EXERCISE WITH ADAM AT LEAST THREE TIMES A WEEK AND DO SOMETHING ACTIVE WITH THE KIDS ON DAYS I DON’T. A WEEKEND OF CAMPING WOULDN’T HURT MY FEELINGS EITHER. OH, AND MAYBE WE CAN GET OUT THE OLD CROQUET SET AND HAVE SOME HEALTHY COMPETITION IN THE FRONT YARD!”


screen-shot-2018-06-05-at-1-00-00-pmADAM (DAD): “I DON’T KNOW WHAT EXACTLY WE’LL DO THIS SUMMER AND THAT IS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. TO GO INTO EACH DAY WITHOUT ANY AGENDA OR SCHEDULE (BESIDES WORK) SOUNDS AMAZING. RAIN OR SHINE, AS LONG AS WE ARE TOGETHER, IT’S GOING TO BE A GREAT SUMMER!”

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A Weight Loss Journey I’m Afraid to Share

screen-shot-2018-06-05-at-3-17-35-pmMY NAME IS ZACH MCCRITE and I am an addict.

I’m the same sort of addict as one you probably know or are related to or might even be yourself.

I’m no different from the guy who can’t kick the crack habit or the gal who just can’t stop smoking or the one who bellies up to the bar night after night after night.

I’m just like those people. I’m just like you.

I’m an addict. My addiction is food. And it always will be.

Since November 2017, I’ve lost 80 pounds. Now, I’m proud, don’t get me wrong. But I hesitate to talk about it. Much less celebrate it.

Please forgive me for this different kind of weight loss story. A lot of this piece will probably be all of the hesitations that I feel about sharing the story in the first place.

For instance, when our fearless editor-in-chief insisted that this would be a good topic to swing at in the latest issue of the best publication in the Metro (pardon the brown on my nose), I hesitated… again (you will see a growing theme).

In the end, I reluctantly said I would. I hope she still feels good about her insistence now that I’ve written it.

Regardless, I hope it resonates, because my hope is that this space is more a tale about the successes and failures we all endure in our lives – both health-related and otherwise – and how we deal with them.

That said, the hesitations to share my story are plentiful.screen-shot-2018-06-05-at-3-17-22-pm

I FEEL GUILT, EVEN WHEN I LOSE WEIGHT

Partly because it opens old wounds. Talking about it opens up the pain that I know others share about not being looked at like the “rest of the crowd,” but becoming so used to it, you joke with others about it.

Hesitation also comes partly because I feel guilty for how my weight affects the people who choose (or, in my family’s case, have no choice but) to include me in their lives, but have to rearrange their cars, houses, weekend activities, big ticket purchases, vacations, etc. to accommodate “the big guy.”

And even more hesitation because – and I know this is backwards, but – I had found a personality inside this humongous frame that I thought some people were starting to latch onto. And that felt good, even if my health sucked!

But one of the biggest hesitations is this.

I’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE

Back in November, I tipped the scales at 377. As of this writing, I’m weighing in at 297 lbs. Awesome, right?

But, I’m sure most of you know how the story sometimes goes from there. The majority of people with weight issues do the “yo-yo” a lot. Get fat, lose some weight, feel good for awhile, use food to celebrate because “we deserve it,” put all the weight back on.

Rinse. Repeat.

The latest yo-yo for me began around four years ago, when I had worked my way down to about 270 lbs. from 388 in a little over a year. And then…

Rinse. Repeat. Back to 377 just six months ago.

No rinsing or repeating this time. At least not yet.

And that’s one of the problems: I keep saying “yet” as if I’m destined to put it all back on again.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happier than I’ve been in quite a long time. My parents, my wife, her parents and our extended families have been beyond supportive. Life is good.

But, I got so used to being fat that, even with a lot of weight gone (and plenty to go), I get into this seemingly-neverending internal struggle where my inner voice is telling me, “Hey man, you’ll be back up here in the 400s eventually,” and I come out of the gate swinging saying, “Nope, not this time.”

Ring the bell. Let’s go. Let yet another weight loss fight begin.

I throw a left jab at the inner voice. Then a right uppercut.

But, like George Foreman in “The Rumble In The Jungle,” I’m in that boxing match with my inner voice, swinging and landing punches (and shedding pounds) like I never have before.

Jab. Jab. Jab. Right hook.

But my inner voice won’t budge. It’s taking every punch like it’s been hit with a feather as my energy and willpower are nearing empty.

Jab. Panting. Left hook. More panting.

All the while, my inner voice is whispering back at me.

“Is that all you got, Zach?”

Apparently, my inner voice is as strong as Muhammad Ali.

And I was tired of getting beat by him.

SO I ASKED FOR BACKUP

Let’s go back to April 2017 for a second. My wife was pregnant with our second child – a boy (Monroe officially joined the family a couple of months later).

My weight was climbing (again), and I had been bumming because I lost all of the weight the previous time around due in large part to not wanting our firstborn child, Remi, to be subject to an obese father. But, she was born and my inner voice had told me, “Mission accomplished, now come on back to the dark side.” And I had.

Anyway, we knew our health insurance deductible for the rest of the year was going to be met with the birth of Monroe in July, so I threw it out there joking, “We should go ahead and get all the medical work done we need if insurance will pay for it all.”

I threw out the option of weight loss surgery, but I figured that wasn’t even possible. I figured insurance wouldn’t cover such a thing.

But, the more and more my wife and I talked it out and researched it, we started to find that this sort of thing was, indeed, covered by our insurance plan with one big, fat (no pun intended) contingency: I had to be medically supervised for six months on the same diet and exercise plan to prove that I was invested in this process and not gain one pound over that time. I was to come in to the doctor once a month for a weight and wellness check.

Only then would the insurance company decide whether or not to count the surgery as “medically necessary” and, therefore, covered at 100 percent by insurance.

“OK, then, I’m in. I’m doing this,” I remember telling myself. Only to hear the inner voice tell me over and over: “Six months without gaining a pound? Yeah, right.”

And I’m not gonna lie. There were times I was convinced the insurance company was going to come back and say “denied.”

But there was one more hurdle. One more hesitation that’s tough for me to share.

There was a part of me that was sort of hoping I would get denied the coverage I needed to go on with the surgery.

I was ashamed that I was even using this route. I didn’t want to tell anyone I was going to have the surgery. Why? You know why.

Because everyone would’ve thought I took the easy way out.

I was already having nightmares about how people would talk about me after the surgery.

“Zach is so weak. He couldn’t do it the old-fashioned way, huh?”

It was debilitating. On one hand, I NEEDED HELP to reach health goals that I had not been able to maintain. I still do.

On the other hand, I hated the very notion that people would consider me weak-minded for not being able to lose weight and keep it off the traditional way.

I can remember the justification I made in my head. “If the insurance company denies me, that’s OK. I’ll still be fat, but I can work on it again, and when I lose all this weight on my own, everyone will look at me as strong.”

I could hear my inner voice chuckling.

Anyway, the six months rolled by. I lost a little weight on my own and the insurance company, to my surprise, accepted the cost of the surgery in full.

I was a mixture of scared and ecstatic. Scared to tell my friends and family that I was taking the “easy” way out.

But then I started to attend all of these meetings with Dr. John Oldham and my other doctors at the Bariatric Center at Baptist East Hospital in preparation for the surgery. They wanted to make sure I knew this wasn’t an easy fix. It was cemented into my head that this was going to be tough.

I couldn’t leave the place any of the umpteen times I went without hearing something to the effect of “Remember, this surgery is just a tool in helping you lose weight. If you don’t use the tool, the tool becomes useless.”

In other words, I have to get over the psychological addiction I have with food as well. The vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure, commonly referred to as the “sleeve” would remove 90 percent of my stomach. Ninety percent.

But, the addiction to food for many can be so overwhelming that the stomach removal just doesn’t matter. The patient still eats even though they receive signals of being full way quicker than they ever had before.

It’s yet another reason I am afraid to share my story. Because here I am – my story thrown on paper with ink that will last forever – and if my addiction wins out over my new “tool,” I’ll want to literally eat every one of the magazines this story was printed on as a way to shred the evidence of me having ever told my story.

BUT I DID ITscreen-shot-2018-06-05-at-3-16-32-pm

But, that’s the chance I took on Nov. 6, 2017.

Pain after surgery was real. Making me walk an hour after leaving the surgery floor as to get my body back to normal as quickly as possible – not fun. Eating broth and drinking liquid protein shots for days upon days after the surgery – not fun. Watching others chow on the delectables I used to shove down my piehole without taking a breath – sometimes not fun.

But, all worth it.

A little over six months later, my excitement and enjoyment of life is outweighing all other feelings at the moment – although, I know this story of all of my worries would likely prove otherwise.

But I share my worries because I think they are important to the overall story.

In the end, I’m ecstatic because I know getting this tool would help me reach my ultimate goal of not being an obese parent for my children. They are about to turn 3- and 1-year-old, respectively.

I’m glad I still have a little longer to push more weight off before they start to have true memories with their father that they’ll tell their kids about down the road, much like I had with my dad, and still do.

And, believe me, I’ve still got a long way to go to get to a “healthy” stage. My journey has just started.

In all, the real reason I ultimately decided to share this is so when someone else is struggling with the decision to change their lifestyle forever, that they know that they’re not alone.

It’s a lifelong battle.

I’m here to help. So are others. You are not alone. You need the accountability. So do I.

Because I’m an addict.

And I’m happy.

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Kid Talk

PHOTOS AND Q&A BY JENNIFER MCNELLY

SOMETIMES, KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS. OTHER TIMES, WHAT COMES OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS CAN BE ENLIGHTENING, HEARTWARMING AND ENTERTAINING, TOO. WE SENT PHOTOGRAPHER-WRITER JENNIFER MCNELLY OUT ‘N’ ABOUT IN SEARCH OF YOUNG PEOPLE WILLING TO LET US KNOW WHAT’S ON THEIR MINDS.

“Our family keeps growing, and with
each passing year, there is a garden.”

The 100-Year Garden

By Amy Gesenhues

My grandmother turned 101 years old on April 3.She has survived being born in 1917. WorldWar II. Joe McCarthy. The Korean War. Vietnam. The Cuban Missile Crisis and the assassination of President Kennedy. She is a devout Catholic who survived a divorce in a deeply rooted Catholic community. She survived being a single, working mother of six kids during the 1970s. She also survived the death of her first son, and probably a million tiny heartbreaks I know nothing about.

Through all of these tragedies and losses and survivals, there has been a garden.

When my grandmother was young, her family’s main crop was strawberries. She talks about what it was like to grow the heart-shaped fruit in her 1997 autobiography, From My Window: “We planted them in the Spring and hoed and plowed them all that summer. Then the next Spring we picked them. They were a hard crop to grow and depend on, but they were what we planted, picked and sold to make most of the money we needed for the rest of the year.”

They also planted potatoes and cabbage and corn and tomatoes and beans. Pumpkins, cantaloupes, watermelons, and cucumbers.

“Our family keeps growing, and with each passing year, there is a garden.”

“Our family keeps growing, and with
each passing year, there is a garden.”

Grandma said the cucumbers were a good crop for them. “The growing season was so short and they could stand the dry summers of the Ohio Valley,” she wrote. “It only took them six weeks to grow, and we would pick them every other day for over a month.”

She said picking the cucumbers was a back-breaking job, and she is the toughest woman I know.

The garden I first remember is the one my grandmother and grandfather started at their house in the two, maybe three acres of land between their home and the creek at the bottom of Jenny Lane in Floyds Knobs. I don’t know what year the first garden was put there, but it continued to be planted well past their divorce and after the death of their son. He was only 26 when he drowned at Buffalo Trace Lake. His name was Norman. He was my dad.

Last year, on the 40th anniversary of his death, a cousin shared the following memory of him on my Facebook page: “I don’t have any really clear memories of your dad. There is one, though, when the family was planting the big garden in your Grandma’s yard. Everyone was kneeled down, carefully planting seeds at just the right distance apart. Except your dad. He had a handful of seeds – peas, I think – and he was hunched over, walking briskly, letting them roll out of his hand like hewas eating peanuts. Someone was grousing athim about not doing it right and then following his row, re-placing the seeds carefully, movingeach one an inch or so.”

My cousin said he remembers being off to the side, playing in the dirt when my dad came by with a grin and asked him, “My way is better, don’t you think?” I am grateful to have this memory. My dad sowing seeds in the garden. Doing things his way.

Grandma’s garden has since relocated to the other side of the property from where it once was. Instead of being in front of her house – which is now my uncle’s home – it is across the street, in front of the house where another one of my cousins lives. She has two toddlers.

Our family keeps growing, and with each passing year, there is a garden. In 2001, one of my cousins started a garden log to archive every crop our family plants, harvests and cans. It is a small spiral notebook with a green cover that up until last year, was kept on top of our grandmother’s refrigerator.

An entry dated July 1, 2004, reads: Canned 56 quarts of green beans. Vicki and Lucy picked one row for this canning.

The time it took to pick the beans is in parentheses, (2½ hours). The entry includes a bulleted list of everyone who helped stem and can the green beans: Grandma, Janice F., Doug, Jan, Joe. Beside Doug’s name, in parentheses, is a note that he only received partial credit because he arrived “very” late. Jan was noted as a late arrival too. Joe’s name included the following citation: Cut very little with lots of complaining. All of these details listed in parentheses beside their names.

An entry from August 13, 2013, says the corn didn’t come in that year. Instead, two bushels were bought from Ralph Fenwick. Parentheses ($35). After grandma deemed it fresh enough, Emily, Junnie, Vicki, JJ and Jan shucked and cleaned it, while Molly, Eileen and P3 (short for Paul the third) played in the basement. JJ wanted it noted that she pulled out a worm from an already boiled year of corn, and that she was there from the beginning. Parentheses (9:30am).

This small notebook is so much more than the food my family has harvested for the last almost 20 years. It’s a record of what we talk about when we’re sitting around our grandmother’s table, chucking corn, canning beans, eating. It’s a handwritten confessional, showing all the ways we care for and nurture each other. I think of these small moments, the quiet details within the parentheses, as clues to the ways we’ve repaired each of our family’s tiny heartbreaks – from my dad’s death to all sufferings that were left unsaid.

My grandmother had six children. Those six children had 16 children, and I am one of them.

I have two kids of my own now, and we all still eat food from her garden. When my son was three, still in a car seat riding home from Sunday dinner at Grandma’s house, he said her cream corn – made with the ears of corn cleaned and chucked from the garden – was magic. I can think of no better word to define it.

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50 Faces of Harvest Homecoming

There’s so much to love about the New Albany festival

PHOTOGRAPHED & COMPILED BY JENNIFER MCNELLY, REMY SISK, JOSE APONTE AND ANGIE FENTON

In honor of Harvest Homecoming’s 50th anniversary, the Extol Team hit the streets and asked 50 community members what they think makes the New Albany festival so special and why it continues to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors year after year.


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-42-55-pm“The food is awesome – the doughnuts of course are wonderful. And then it’s also great for my store [Colokial Boutique] too because it brings so many people downtown and shows them a side of New Albany that they maybe haven’t seen before.”

ALI GUESS

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-43-00-pm“The most interesting thing about Harvest Homecoming is that it attracts people from all over the county. Almost everybody you know will be there at some point, and when the weather’s nice especially, it’s like a great big old-fashioned town reunion.”

BOB SISK

Clarksville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-43-10-pm“It reminds me so much of fall, and in Vegas, where I moved from, there’s not really ‘fall’ – it’s just another time of the year really. But really I just love community – I love people a lot – and the community and hospitality around here is awesome, so it’s really exciting that Harvest Homecoming represents that – that we’re able to come together as this little town and be friends!”

KIMBERLY PAVAN

Jeffersonville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-43-33-pm“I’ve been coming to Harvest Homecoming for years, at least 20. I love all the food! I’m a food man.”

JEFF THOMPSON

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-43-17-pm“I’ve been going for at least 10 years and I always enjoy the doughnuts.” “I am a big fan of Halloween and Harvest Homecoming is the kick off for me.”

JOHN MCILVOY

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-43-41-pm“We try to schedule it through work so we can all come down here together – we’re like a little posse and we all just walk down and enjoy the atmosphere! And then we see people who we know, of course, and then we’re back in the evenings. Also, I think with New Albany, as it’s growing, Harvest Homecoming is just one of those things that brings people together – it really is a true homecoming.”

DENEEN JORDAN

Memphis


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-44-02-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for 15 years now and I go for the chicken and dumplings, it’s the first thing I get when they first open up.”

DONNY YOUNG

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-44-11-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for at least 40 years. I really enjoy the baking contest. I won 1st place five times, and last year, two of my granddaughters won 1st and 2nd place. It’s very exciting!”

CAROLYN WATSON

Georgetown


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-44-23-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for about eight years and the only reasons I go is for the Boy Scout grilled corn, the Bella Roma pasta and fried Snickers.”

EMILY BROWN

Floyd Knobs


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-44-29-pm“I’ve been coming to Harvest Homecoming for as long as I can remember, at least 45 years. I love seeing all the people that keep coming back every year.”

TIM KRON

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-44-37-pm“I’ve been to Harvest Homecoming one year. I loved meeting people and the food – it’s so good!”

JEANNIE ROBINSON

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-44-47-pm“I have never been to Harvest Homecoming but I have heard about it. I have lots of friends going.”

BRYCE MOORE

Greenville


 

screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-45-47-pm“I’ve been coming to Harvest Homecoming for at least 10 years. I love the food and all the live entertainment. It’s really fun.”

NATE BYNUM

Jeffersonville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-45-52-pm“This is my first time coming to Harvest Homecoming. I just moved here from Bloomington because I heard it was so good! I can’t wait to try the chicken and dumplings, everyone says they are the best!”

MIKE PRICE

Jeffersonville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-45-57-pm“I have been volunteering for 12 years with the festival and became a member six years ago. Now that we are a 501c3, we can give away more money and more scholarships, be able to help more students achieve their dreams of going to college, raise more money for the Crusade for Children – helping our community, that’s what we’re all about.”

DREW JONES

Harvest Homecoming President-Elect 2018-2019


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-01-pm“I’ve been coming to Harvest Homecoming most of my life, at least 20 years. I love the food. I get the gyros every year!”

ZACH WOODARD

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-06-pm“This will be my first year coming to Harvest Homecoming and I’m really looking forward to the parade!”

MARGO MORGAN

Jeffersonville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-21-pm“Been going since the 80’s and I have always enjoyed the concerts down by the river.”

JASON MCCARTHY

Clarksville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-16-pm“I love everything about it. I love to see all the neat crafts and the different things that people are selling. Obviously food is number one – always love to get the dumplings. But it really speaks volumes to our city. It shows that we all come together and everyone enjoys it. My kids – they’re 9, 6 and 3 – my younger kids love the rides, and as they get older, they start to enjoy the food as well as the rides and facepainting. Meanwhile, me as an adult, I love to see old friends I haven’t seen in years.”

STEPHANIE FORTNER

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-24-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming on and off for 25 years and I always love the concerts they have.” “I love the music and I also get to see people I haven’t seen in years.”

FRANKIE MOLET

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-29-pm“This will be my second year and I think it’s a great thing for the community.”There is always a very diverse crowd and it brings a lot of foot traffic to the area.”

REECEE FROM UNDERGROUND CLASSIC CUTS

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-34-pm“This will be my second time returning to Harvest Homecoming. I loved the kettle corn and the corn on the cob.”

TAMARA MEANS

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-40-pm“I’ve been going on and off since 2010 and I most look forward to the craft booths.”

BRI SMITH

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-58-pm“I love the parade – all the different floats. It’s so fun to see the different ways people decorate their floats, and it’s always exciting to see the different themes that people come up with. I think it really shows off the creativity of the community.”

RILEY SMITH

Flodys Knobs


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-46-55-pm“I’ve been attending for around 25 years and I always look forward to the rolled oysters.”

STEVE ROBINS

Martinsburg


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-11-pm“I’ve gone to Harvest on and off with my dad since I was two years old, and we would always get the pumpkin rolls.”

LILY BARNETT

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-19-pm“Harvest to me is the three Fs: family, fun and friends. I’ll tell you what, the friends are the (festival) vice presidents here who take care of things and do a very, very fine job.”

BRADLEY NEEDHAM

Harvest Homecoming President 2016-2017


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-23-pm“I have been going to Harvest Homecoming for just a few years and I always look forward to the animal booths.”

KELSEY ELLIOT

Jeffersonville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-35-pm“It brings so much money into downtown New Albany, which does so much for small local businesses. And then so many people who haven’t been around here can see what’s coming up over here – restaurants, places they may want to come back and visit – or they might see somewhere for sale and want to start a new business over here.”

SUMMER SIEG

Corydon


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-40-pm“Harvest means community to me, it means fellowship with local residents and vendors and it means ringing in the fall season. I started helping my grandfather sell pins when I was only four years old. … Right now, we have between 200 and 300 volunteers, and with the festival expanding and adding events, we’d really like to increase that number. … We are an organization that is all about being inclusive. We want people from (all walks of life, ages and beliefs). That’s what’s going to make Harvest Homecoming stronger going into the next several years and will allow the festival to be around for another 50 years”

HALEY MATHENY

Vice President of Volunteerism


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-47-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for 35 years. I just love the community environment and the tradition that surrounds it. The atmosphere is just great.”

ANDY DUGGINS

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-59-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming on and off for 10 years. I love the food. The apple dumplings with vanilla ice cream are the best. ”

RICK BYNUM

Jeffersonville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-47-54-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for 20 years. I love the people.”

TONI THOMPSON

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-06-pm“Harvest Homecoming means family to me. Not just my own flesh and blood but my HH pals. We have a wonderful time together. We work really hard together, but it’s a great way to spend any extra time that anybody has.”

POLLY NIEMEIER

Harvest Homecoming Vice President & Office Manager


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-22-pm“Oh I’ve been coming to Harvest Homecoming for 20 years or so. I really like helping out my church and decorating their booth. I’m excited about the theme this year!”

AMI JO

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-13-pm“I’ve been coming to Harvest Homecoming for at least 10 years. I love meeting new people and talking to them. When you have a booth, you meet a lot of new people that are really friendly.”

RENEE PFEIFER

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-17-pm“I’ve been to Harvest Homecoming three times. I love bringing my kids. We love the corn and the funnel cake! After the food, we usually go to the fair to ride the rides.”

YOLANDA BAUTISTA

Louisville


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-29-pm“Harvest Homecoming is where we [Sweet Stuff Bakery] first started selling the tubs of cake, and it’s since become our biggest advertising event. The tubs just started gaining popularity and we were taking more and more down there. In fact, so many times, I’ll have brides come in from way up north and I’ll ask them how they know about us, and they’ll say, ‘Harvest. We had your cake at Harvest.”

DIANE CHRISTOPHER

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-37-pm“It definitely draws a lot of people to downtown New Albany and brings people from across the river and across Southern Indiana. And it’s set up where all these different business are, and all these businesses offer different things so it puts that in the back of people’s minds as they’re walking around that they might want to come back and check out more of the city.”

RYAN MARSH

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-42-pm“I love the food and the general festive atmosphere. It’s so cool that we have something like that that is so fun but also brings the community together. It says so much about our community, too; it says that we want to get involved and participate and do things together and have fun!”

BRIANNA JACOBI

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-50-pm“It wouldn’t be fall without Harvest Homecoming. … As the executive director of the scholarship pageants, I have the absolute blessing of working with young women every single year and helping them make their way to achieve their dreams on the Miss Indiana stage. A little-known fact, Harvest Homecoming is a local preliminary to the Miss America organization, which allows young women to represent our festival on a national stage.”

CARA ELISE LAWSON

Executive Director of Miss Harvest Homecoming Scholarship Pageants


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-56-pm“New Albany is such a great home to so many people, and Harvest Homecoming really brings out the joy that this town has.”

ALLYSON SEARS

Harvest Homecoming Vice President of the parade and pumpkin decorating and baking contests


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-48-59-pm“I’ve been to Harvest Homecoming one time and I plan on going this year. I really loved all the different people that show up. For such a small community, you would never have guessed there would be so many different booths.”

ERIN ZEHNER

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-49-03-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for many years. I really love seeing all the people and how the community comes together.”

KRISTIN KENNEDY

Corydon


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-49-08-pm“It means too much really to put into words. You have the family part of it, you have the community part of it, you have the tradition, and when people come to Harvest once they always want to come back. It’s something that stays with you no matter where you go. People travel from faraway places to come back every year.”

MARY ARNOLD

Harvest Homecoming Vice President of various children events


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-49-13-pm“What I get out of it is the giving back. When we talk about family and community, one of the things that is an important part about in a family and community is what you give. About 30 percent of our booths are nonprofits and a lot of them make their entire budget for the year during Harvest Homecoming and that money then, in turn, gets spent in our community for people who need it.”

BETH WHITE

Harvest Homecoming Vice President of booths


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-49-20-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for at least 10 years and I always look forward to the chicken and dumplings!”

MICHELLE RYAN

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-49-29-pm“I’ve been going to Harvest Homecoming for at least 10 years. I love decorating our booth.”

CHRISTIN JOHNSON

New Albany


screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-4-49-37-pm“Oh I’ve been going since I was a wee one and my most favorite memory was when I was able to represent Goat Milk Stuff in a vendor booth.”

TERRY LYNCH FROM PEARLS ON PEARL

New Albany


 

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A LIFE IN PROGRESS | A Fair and Balanced View of My Facebook

By Ray Lucas

I have a co-worker who recently commented on a series of Facebook photos I have posted during the past year. “My wife and I were just talking about how your family takes all of these family trips to cool places.” He went on, “You guys are always doing something fun – I look forward to seeing what type of adventures you are in to.”

It is true that as a family, we have made a conscious decision to focus more of our time and money on life rayexperiences. As a result, we frequently spend weekends camping, vacationing in places we have always wanted to visit and exploring unique local destinations. It is also true that I have always used Facebook as more of a shared photo album for family and friends than to share funny memes or political ideologies. Grandparents, family and friends from different states as well as close to home often comment about how they enjoy keeping up with us through our Facebook posts.

However, his comments started me to thinking that perhaps posting photos of smiling children, happy family times and fun weekend ray-2getaways is painting an unrealistic picture of what the Lucas family is really like. Let’s face it, very few people on social media are prone to post the nitty gritty moments of life. We want to share the moments when our children are smiling and laughing, not the ones where they are arguing about having to take a photo in the first place. It’s human nature to share the best of times.

I’ve begun to wonder what Facebook would look like if in addition to the good times, families like mine started posting very candid and real photos of the mundane or downright hard moments of life. Instead of editing our photos for the best smile, maybe we should occasionally slip one in of the kids whining that they don’t want their photo taken in front of Cinderella’s Castle at Disney. In the interest of presenting a more fair and balanced portrait of my life on Facebook, my New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to post more moments like these:

I resolve to post a photo of me weed eating in a T-shirt full of holes and my  wife cleaning the bathroom toilet on a beautiful Saturday morning in addition to the one of us paddling our kayaks on a placid Deam’s Lake later that day.

I resolve to post a photo of our five- and nine-year-olds whining in stere about “How much longer do we have to walk?” captured just ten minutes after they cheesed with my wife and I for the trail selfie we took in Brown County State Park.

I resolve to post a photo of my teenage son and daughter rolling their eyes  about having to wear matching sweaters for our annual family photos right  before I upload our family posing in a beautiful shot taken at the Falls of  the Ohio.

I resolve to show the image of me getting frustrated with my wife who is  trying unsuccessfully to help me back the camper into a tight camping  spot between two trees, as well as the one of us sitting around the fire roasting s’mores with the kids later that weekend.

I resolve to post a photo of the McDonald’s double cheeseburger I ate in  the car on the way to a school open house a few days after I post an image of the two beautiful rib eye steaks and fresh corn on the cob I am grilling on the front porch.

I resolve to post a photo of me returning work emails on my iPhone while my  preschool son comes to the sidelines to ask how much longer soccer practice  will be on a blazing hot afternoon a week before I proudly upload the video of him scoring the cutest soccer goal in the history of the YMCA league.

I resolve to post a live feed of me threatening my teenage son that if his grades drop due to all of the time he is  spending in the Actor’s Theatre production of Macbeth, he will not be trying out for the spring musical at Providence.  I’ll upload this hours before the live feed of his feature solo singing “It Takes Two” in the musical Hairspray  on the New Albany Riverfront stage.

I resolve to post of photo of me in the bedroom watching Sunday night football while my wife is in the living  room watching the series Outlander a few days after the romantic photo of us dressed up and having dinner  with friends outdoors at Brooklyn and the Butcher.

I resolve to ask someone from church to click a shot of me bribing my children with Hot Wheels and candy  if they smile for our family photo after Christmas mass with all of them wearing their Christmas best outfits.  I’ll post this moment before the one I post of our smiling Christmas electronic postcard.

And finally, I resolve to post the evidence of mom and dad sleeping/recovering on the couch on New Year’s  Day while the kids serve themselves cookies and Cheetos for lunch as well as the photo from the night  before of me kissing my beautiful wife at midnight at a New Year’s Eve party with extended family.

The next time you idealize my or another family’s life based on the posts you see on your scrolling social media feed, remember that the grass is always greener on Facebook. And if it isn’t, I probably used Photoshop to make it look like my kids were sitting in a field of the greenest grass in all of Ireland. Can I get a like?