The fair is a big deal around here. Attending public school, we would get Fair Day off school, like it was a holiday. Many of my classmates took the whole week off to show their animals. This was Rosemary’s second fair and Leo’s first. Fried donuts, cheese on a stick, criminally expensive games and rides that you really, really, really hope are assembled correctly, children leading their sizable dairy cows and gaggles of geese across the grounds: it’s all there, at the fair. We missed the open window for Rosemary to ride her first pony (my nieces and nephews have been riding these same ponies every year for five years!), but “Uncle Dave” did take her into his tent to meet Smokey. Yes, the fair is a bit of a spectacle and I don’t agree with a lot of what I see. Still, there is joy to be found in community, and in watching children take it all in. I had half-intended to submit my sunflowers to be judged, but never did get to it. Next year.
Speaking of raising animals . . .
A few years ago Mark and I raised a few goats. You might recall. We called them Dill and Tuna, and for a summer and autumn would wake to the sound of their bleating from the pasture outside our camper door. Our plan had always been to raise them for meat, but it was a last minute decision to cure their pelts ourselves and have them professionally tanned. (You can read all about the process, from the joy of their living to the sadness of their dying, here.) It wasn’t until after I snapped the photo below, the morning after the fair, that I realized our initial hope of our children resting atop these pelts had come to fulfillment. Quite a poignant moment. As always, but again: thank you, Dill and Tuna.