Thursday, July 20, 2017

4-H Fair

Year 5- Day 202: Today, I am grateful for the County Fair.

There is a so much planning and preparation the goes into a county fair. When I was a kid... it was the next best thing to Christmas.  Near the end of summer, we were itching to catch up with friends. Farm kids got to show off their skills outside of the classroom. 

The atmosphere is always positive, attempting to encourage and build up youth as they try new things. 

It is always hot and often rainy, but that adds something, too. Fair is a community builder where churches, school groups, local business, farmers and creative arts come together. It is pretty amazing. 

I love to watch the kids working the animals.  They appear fearless. The truth is, the learn to respect the animals at a young age and how to read any signals that the animal is in distress and might act up. The animal might be bigger and more powerful, but parents and grandparents have been training them from the time they could first visit the barn as small children. It is almost as if they speak the animal's language. 

Seeing kids gain new confidence as they stretch their experiences is a great part of life in rural America. Tonight, many are trying to figure out to meet fair commitments and pay respect to a lifelong county resident, farmer and business owner who passed away this past week. Salt of the earth, good people is what you find at a rural county fair. 

Today, one teen reflected on going from novice photographer three years ago to Grand Champion in photography this year. She is headed to the Illinois State Fair. There were hours and days of practice and learning between. 

Then, I arrive to visit my Mama and what did I find? A County Fair at her nursing home. So many residents can't manage the fair, so they brought the county fair to them.  Mama was making friends with a goat when I arrived. Dietary served lemon-shakeups and elephant ears. Mama was in heaven.  How thoughtful of the staff to give them such a special activity. Valerie P. - the activity gal - brought her animals from home and all the staff jumped in to make the outside activity fun for all. 

Full day. Short post. 

Today, I am grateful for the County Fair.

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