Fair food bits and grimy dust stuck to my tired kids faces as they leaned against Mawgs and Pops--trying to get comfortable on the metal bleachers. Emma kept reaching for more slushy and sloshing it all over her tummy and my hands. The wind blew just enough to carry the happy sounds from the 4-H Pavilions and Farm Bureau hamburger stand into the grandstand where 3 oldish men sang in sweet harmony. The ranchers from Yost sat quietly in the heat with their cokes, hiding under their unshaved beards, and left me wondering how old they really were. A couple of dusty kids jumped down to dance on the stage, and old women in stretched-out knit t-shirts sang along with the hazily familiar songs. The afternoon sun softened the dust and almost made it misty. Shouts and songs from the carnival mixed in with the music and I almost cried those silly nostalgic tears that add a sweet tenderness to life.
Fair time is good time--the best of times. Summer's sweetness lingers through those last weeks of August. School, though just days away, might as well never come. Who cares about routine and lessons when all that's perfect is at our fingertips--
The perfect loaf of bread, the perfect pumpkin, the perfect quilt, the perfect bottle of peaches, the perfect painting, the perfect fowl, steer, lamb, or hog. Yes, fair time brings out the best of our lives. Blue ribbons attest to our hard work and somehow that little piece of fabric allows us to take a relieved breath.
In the wholesome daylight, our fair is a great county fair. As I walk through the pavilions, reaquainting with friends and neighbors, I again think how lucky I am to live here. Tomatoes and peaches, cowboyed-up county commissioners, FFA jackets, 4-H clovers, and two dirty little boy hands and a sticky, kissable baby face make me a pretty happy woman!