Across the country county fairs celebrate the bounty of summer while anticipating the turning of the season. Giant pumpkins and wilting vegetables fill the Harvest Hall. Baked goods slowly lose shape and change color as the fair days progress. Often school has just begun, bringing busloads of youngsters with teachers and parent volunteers trying to keep up and keep track. The animal barns are filled with eager 4-H kids watching over their prized entries, hoping to win a blue ribbon and also to sell their pigs and cows and sheep for a good price. There are quilts of all sizes and colors and styles and walls displaying cross stitch and photography and so many things! As a family, we made a habit of taking the yearly trek to the fair grounds, anticipating the first sighting of the ferris wheel in the distance and dreading the inevitable traffic jams.
Fair day this year was hot as blazes! I confess there was a bit of “endurance mode” happening for me as I stepped from the car. But the little guys rode tractors, generously provided by the gray-haired farmers willing to ride round and round in slow circles in the September sun just to see small children smile. And we peered at piglets and climbed around fire engines and city buses, and a camel was ridden for a ridiculous price. After our visit, I started reading Charlotte’s Web to Gunner. He’s ripe for a longer read and it was the perfect way to seal in memories and create some more as we find ourselves peeking into Mr. Zuckerman’s barn to check on Wilbur and his new friend Charlotte. Conversations are happening around those complicated and sometimes delicate subjects of pets and bacon…(can you have your pig and eat it too?). I’m grateful to be a part of this unfolding of another generation of childhood and so utterly pleased to hold small hands and listen to large issues unfold as we walk and talk.