Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Best Part of the Fair

There's just something about the county fair.

Maybe it's the pungent odor as you walk through the livestock barns. Maybe it's the little bit of awe you feel as you come close to the backside of a huge cow (and you're wondering exactly how far it can kick...and what would make it likely to launch a blow in your direction). Maybe it's looking forward to this year's batch of ducklings who will be taking the risky walk up to the top of the slide, reaching out for that bite of delicious food, then sliding down to the pool to repeat the cycle all over again. Maybe it's marveling at the size of the pumpkins. Maybe it's eating a bloomin' onion (and remembering how you ate one three years ago at the fair when you were pregnant with your third child...and how good it tasted, the grease dripping down into your full-of-baby insides). Maybe it's knowing that, as you round the corner in the exhibit hall, you'll get to the hospital booth, and they'll have cold bottled water there, free for the taking. Maybe it's watching your sons try to keep the plastic firemen's hats from the fire department's booth balanced on their heads. Maybe it's the noise coming from the grandstand (a concert or a tractor pull never actually pay the extra money for the ticket to go in, but sometimes your boys peek through the holes in the fence). Maybe it's thinking as you do every year, "We really should have entered some stuff. Next year, we definitely will." Maybe it's running into people you know and stopping to chat for a few moments, before eager kids pull you away (see and be seen--that's what we do at the fair). Maybe it's the joy that comes from putting your little ones on a ride, stepping back behind the fence, and seeing their faces come alive with joy and excitement as the ride starts to move. Maybe it's the caramel apple your husband always buys you (some cotton candy for the boys, a caramel apple for you, and then it's time to arrive at the minivan with sticky hands and faces, and lots of sugar in tummies). Maybe it's the combination of the unusual (it only happens once a year, after all) and the familiar (the honeybee exhibit is always in the same corner of the flower building, the rides are always the highlight for your children, the poultry and other small livestock building always smells funny, you always look for a table in the 4-H pavilion when it's time to sit down and eat, you always see Jim with the sheep). The air is thick with tradition.

All of this made our annual visit to the county fair special this evening. But the highlight for this year? For me, it was discovering that this talented young lady won a blue ribbon for photography. Even better, the picture for which she won it is near and dear to my heart.

See the blue ribbon hanging there? Recognize the photo it's hanging from?
Yep, it's Shav smashing his cake. Here's the famous young man posing by his photo.
I always knew that I loved that picture of Shav and the cake, but it's nice to know that some judges thought it was good, too. And it's nice to see Emily rewarded for her hard work and determination with photography. I'm so proud of her!

And that was the highlight of the 2010 fair. :)


Emily Joy said...

I was so excited! With such an adorable subject, I'm not surprised I won :)

Beth said...

A highlight indeed! We were at the fair last night too! Sad that we missed you and couldn't wave in passing! :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats to the blue ribbon baby! Love those pics. My niece turns the big ONE tomorrow and I can't wait to see her "enjoying" her cake!

Morning said...

Hooray! those were lovely shots -- a well-deserved win!

Anonymous said...

That is so cute. Shav is so cute. All of your boys are cute! -Abby