This past weekend, I enjoyed going to two county fairs. Now if you’ve never been to a county fair before, you’re seriously missing out! If you have but it a type of city-slicker fair with all sidewalks and hardly any grass, you’re also missing out!
Growing up, my sisters and I were in 4-H. We brought everything fun into the fair, after working on it all summer long, and this included baking the best treats (made usually the day before), sewing projects, drawing or painting, writing a binder full of typed poetry (and later winning a reserve champion ribbon on it), and finally, taking sheep, chickens, and rabbits to the fair.
From 1998 – 2009, basically 11 years, I spent at this Minnesotan, small-town county fair. I learned so much about sheep, chickens, rabbits, and myself. I developed friendships along the way, including with animals. We worked our very hardest every summer to make sure that the right feed was provided to the lambs to make their muscles stand out for the judges, and training our rabbits to get use to it, and so forth. Looking back, this was some of the best times of my life growing up. I’m so thankful to my parents for raising us on a farm where we could be such a wonderful part of all that stuff.
I never was a big fan of sports – as in, playing sports. Watching sports – football, basketball, baseball, NASCAR (my fave), etc., is fine, but I never enjoyed it or got into growing up. The most exercise I received in the summer besides bike riding growing up was, essentially, cleaning the barn! J Then, when I wasn’t helping my mom with a summer activity around the farm, I was gardening, reading a tall stack of novels, writing my beginner books (of course), and hanging out with family. When reading or writing, I was listening to my favorite late 90s and early 2000s pop music, ha – Hanson, Britney Spears, ‘NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Billy Gilman, and Alan Jackson. Yep.
Obviously that was a long time ago, LOL. But essentially, I learned a lot along the way. At age sixteen, instead of working and getting my drivers license, I was working on the farm full-time during the summer and didn’t want a job while in school to prevent distractions. I was one smart cookie, but I was shy and quiet all through high school – that’s a different story, though.
Nowadays, I’m knitting, writing (obviously), reading books still, listening to music, spending time with family, and spending time with my husband too. So not much has changed if you think about it.
When I was at my parents’ local county fair, my mom mentioned to me that she overheard a boy complaining to his mother about the 80-degree heat to his mom, and his mom took pity on him and said, “Oh, do you want to go somewhere air-conditioned?”
Folks, I’m sorry – but COME ON. Yes, air conditioning is fine and I still use it to this day, but don’t obsess over it. Why do you think God created heat in summer? For our enjoyment. It’s only when we relax from labor do we enjoy air-conditioning circumstances, or a fan. But we shouldn’t whine if we don’t receive it. Enjoy the moment.
Especially when you’re at a fair! Fairs are designed for fun, despite being in sometimes nasty summer heat and exhaustion. Drink lots of water, dress cool, wear sunglasses and sunscreen. Then you’re fine. Really. You’ll be fine. Take my word for it – farms and ranches aren’t designed for heat, either. It’s all for fun, and when you love something and enjoy doing it, you get used to it and also end up not paying the summer weather any mind. Summer isn’t all about staying indoors. It’s all about enjoying it and being grateful. You’ll be a lot happier in the end.
Have a great week!