Two days before visiting our local county fair, I slammed my little toe hard rounding the corner from Jamison’s room to Jack’s. En route to reprimand Jack for jumping around like a crazy monkey when he should be settling down for a nap, I crumpled over in pain instead wanting to spew all sorts of words that rhyme with other words I know you know. A couple of hours later, with a bruised and swollen toe, I was hobbling around the grocery store looking for wine and vanilla bean ice cream.
Sunday of Labor Day weekend, I was still limping around, but determined to enjoy the fair with the boys. Even though the fair grounds are widespread and there is much to do and see, something about taking the boys there always feels so quaint and nostalgic.
It’s a breather from hurried and a break from the norm. Maybe this is why we enjoy it so much.
At the fair, the often overlooked is showcased and the sometimes shunned is elevated. Take for example the small animal buildings, commonplace animals get to shine there. Spectacular looking roosters and Leo the Lop looking rabbits take center stage. On fair day, we simply ignore the fact that deep-fried anything on a stick is completely without nutrition and focus solely on its color and deliciousness. Blue snow cone please.
It’s a place full of contradictions. Where else are you going to see dairy cattle led around by girls in prom dresses? And did I mention those same cows were covered in spray glitter?
And if none of that is your cup of tea, well, did I mention the elephant ears?
This year I got to appreciate all of this mostly from this vantage point, slowly following behind. One flip-flop dragging and click of the shutter at a time.
And lest you think my hobbling around and following behind ended at the fair, fear not. It continued on the home front, too.
There’s a magnetic pulse that emanates from the south end of our house. If you go out our back door and allow Jamison to take the lead, this is where he is magnetically pulled. Yes, do you see the magnet there, through the trees?
And after one sits on grandpa’s tractor, he might head over to grandpa’s shed and check out the tool selection.
Once you spy the tool you want and give a boy a hand tiller, then you just might end up here.
And if things go really well, you circle back to the sandbox and get a smile that looks something like this.
At day’s end, we can frame up the day any way we like. Each night’s rest is a do-over button with new possibilities to do better tomorrow God willing.
At day’s end, let’s dump out the half empty and drink in the half full.
Finding joy in limping along and following behind.