Monday, August 20, 2007

All's Fair

The county fair starts this week, and our family is ready.

We generally enjoy the fair--well, the animal and handicraft portions of it. True to our "stuck in the wrong century" mindset, we abstain from the chaos of the midway and its rides and games. Part of our avoidance comes from the sheer fact that there is nothing on earth that can convince me that 30 seconds hurtling over a rickety metal track assembled by folks lucky to make minimum wage is worth $10. The other element that factors in is my own unfortunate first-hand experience with the lack of quality-control present in many traveling carnivals.

Normally, we stake out the Kids Come Free! day and pack a lunch, meeting up with friends or DH on an early-leave day. We cruise through the animal barns, paying special attention to the horses, pigs and sheep. We find seats in the big arena and take in a free log-pulling or harness-racing show. And we ooh and aaah at the quilts, pies and giant sunflowers on display.

We're a pretty simple bunch, can you tell?

Last year, after a memorable tour through the arts and crafts building, DH pointed out that all three of our children are old enough to enter items into the fair. He issued a challenge: Every member of the family should enter something in the 2007 county fair. This lit a fire under all three of them. They spent the next month designing and building elaborate dioramas and log houses, only to cast them aside when the next big idea came. It was a flurry of creativity that chewed through massive amounts of cardboard, pipe cleaners, glue sticks and construction paper. In the end, while neither Jo, Atticus or Logan felt that their dioramas were fair-worthy, they were still interested in creating something, anything for display.

As it turns out, each of them turned to their particular areas of expertise in assembling their final entry. I can't tell you how wonderful it was as a mother to stand by and watch each of them sort through their ideas and gifts looking for
just the right thing. While the S. family may walk away from the fair without a single ribbon to show for it, no one can say that our hearts weren't in it.

This is Atticus' entry--a digital photograph he titled "Water Leaf."

I don't have a picture of Logan's. He choose to build about a dozen international flags out of Legos and mount them to a display board.

Here's Jo's entry--the erstwhile Mini Rex that she shows for 4H. In addition, she entered a poster titled "Rat Poison: Your Rabbit's Worst Enemy." Please don't ask how we know about

And finally, here's DH's entry: a loaf of challah. Yes, he did it all by himself.

By now you're wondering what, exactly, I entered into the fair. The answer is ... nothing. While I kicked around entering a baked item, I never got around to it. Too much time consumed running about for poster board, matte board, looking up rules. Maybe next year.

Fair enough. :-)


my5wolfcubs said...

I was cleaning out my saved blog bookmarks and rediscovered yours (not sure if I ever commented before)! Great job at the fair everyone -- especially the behind-the-scenes effort by mom! :)

Christine said...

Hi. Thanks for visiting my blog and posting a comment. I found your blog through it and yours looks like one I will read. We have some shared interests.
I feel the same about the midway but my kids have talked me into one ride each per year. Sigh...

Catherine said...

Great Fair items! I love your blog and I put it in my favorites to check regularly. Hope your school year goes well.