CALLAWAY CO., MO, – Against tough opposition and seemingly unending waves of corn, we came out victorious against this year’s Shryocks Callaway Farms Corn Maze, shattering our personal record in the process. Our completion time of one hour and twelve minutes marks the first time we’ve completed the maze in under two hours.
Our plan of attack this year was simple. We allowed each team-members’ strengths to shine: her, with her intuitive nature and tendency to pick up on non-maze specific details like, “There’s a lot of talking coming from that direction…I’ll bet there’s a checkpoint there.” Me with my methodical mapping of every corn corridor we traversed. We kept our focus, stuck to our game plan, and immensely enjoyed the afternoon together until we reached all the checkpoints. Then we picked out a pumpkin together and basked in our accomplishment into the evening. Together, the totality of our victory exceeded the sum of our individual contributions.
We went earlier in the year, but later in the day to the corn maze this year. In fact, we finished it in the dark! Angie wanted to leave the maze and get a flashlight, but I convinced her to press on and we found the last two checkpoints in quick succession.
Here, Angie is faced with the first of many decisions we would have to make that day.
Now here’s an interesting metaphor. Our annual trip to Shryock’s Corn Maze took on an intriguing theme: the U. S. presidential election.
I suppose as we have to chart a course through the maze, progressing through many obstacles and making decisions at every intersection, we should also ponder the presidential election as we, the people, chart a course for our country, keep our nation progressing through many obstacles and choose someone who we think will be making the right decisions at every intersection.
Or at least for this year, making the right decisions much more often than the other candidate.
I joke sometimes about our yearly pilgrimage to the corn maze as being our “marriage encounter.” As with most humor, there is a seed of truth hidden in the joke – I highly recommend the experience.
The maze gets you outside in the most beautiful time of the year. It’s a neutral ground, where you are posed with a challenging task that is both physical and mental and must be completed together. Well, I guess it isn’t necessary to complete it together, but that’s part of the fun for us. You make decisions together. You listen to one another. You walk and get a lot of exercise. You test your mind at each checkpoint as you answer the trivia questions. You enjoy hanging around the farm afterwards, watching kids put quarters in the three-story tall gumball coaster in the barn. Sometimes you pick out a pumpkin or two to decorate your porch at home. You have a nice date in Columbia afterwards.
What better way to improve your marriage than by spending good quality time with each other?
When I was in elementary school, I used to draw mazes for fun. I would fill up full-sized pieces of art construction paper in a couple of hours time with a maze that had only one solution. a large piece of art construction paper in a few hours time with a maze that only had one solution. They fascinated me, and they still do.
I read somewhere there are 6 different kinds of mazes varying in construction from simple single-path labyrinths to multidimensional mazes that are constructed on exotic surfaces (ie., Mobius strip). But for pure enjoyment value, I have to say your best bet is a maze constructed on an agricultural surface (i.e., corn).
I took Angie to our first corn maze as a birthday surprise back when we were still dating. Something about teaming up, roaming from checkpoint to checkpoint, and punching our cards as we found them really excited us. Here we were, putting our heads together and solving a problem. We were a real team!
Since then, the corn maze has become an annual pilgrimage for us. Now that we’re husband and wife, the idea of putting our heads together and solving problems isn’t so novel, but the corn maze keeps calling us back, a ton of fun and the last big outdoor event each fall.