It's been years since I've been to the fair, and I was surprised to find that it's lost its luster for me. How I used to love to check out the giant pumpkins and the clever quilts, colorful jams and mile high apple pies! The rows of 4H animals seemed endless, and the amazing things people made or grew always filled up several buildings. Today it just seemed less.The rooms felt empty.To be sure, the midway was jammed with shiny rides, bright lights and games of chance (or luck), and the booths of tacky souvenirs were abundant; it was the celebration of home and creativity and connection that was wanting. The whole thing made me sad, especially the racing pigs and the stampeding turkeys, which really are just animals running to get some food.
There were some bright spots. My favorite things today were in the Collections section, where people display their passions. Often they are just accumulations of things you can buy: Pez containers, or tiny teddy bears, toy trucks. But two young brothers proudly showed their collection of lovely round rocks which they find in a secret river, and a five year old boy painstakingly prepared an exhibit of dead flies, mounted under glass. He won a blue ribbon thank goodness. In the produce building kids display sculptures made from fruits and vegetables. My favorite was Sheep Being Abducted by a Spaceship, fashioned from cauliflower, a sweet potato and a squash--it turns out that little bits of cauliflower turned just the right way have an uncanny resemblance to sheep; he won a blue ribbon as well, so there's hope.
Today would have been my parents' 82nd wedding anniversary. That doesnt even make any sense. It's just that some dates never disappear from your internal calendar.