Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fair Memories....

Just like little Addison, we can't kick the fair bug.  This week was a week of fairs.  It was the Illinois State Fair (an event I have missed only 1 year since I was 10 years old, & I was not in the country at the time!) this week, as well as our local Winnebago County Fair.  We spent Monday & Tuesday in Springfield.  Brent was serving on the Farm Bureau Young Leaders group at their annual Agri Quiz Bowl Event, and I was running back & forth to the Pork Patio - serving up pork burgers & chops for all the hungry fair-goers.

I really enjoy the fair!  It's more than just fair food (though I thoroughly enjoy my annual Elephant Ear!)  We get to catch up with friends we haven't seen in a while.  College roommates, judging teammates, sorority & fraternity sisters & brothers, and just other farming get a chance to stop, say hello, and catch up.   Congrats to my former roommates, Brad & Paula Zwilling, for being a part of the winning Agri-Quiz Bowl Team from Champaign County!  (Brad counts as a roommate since I think he was there when I went to bed, and was usually on the phone with Paula when I got up in the morning!...morning people-ugh!)  I enjoyed hanging out with their boys, building tents in the back row, Dylan & Caleb, while they were in the Championship Round.

We also get to remember memories made long ago....
-  Like the spray-painted "Maverick '97" sign that is still in the junior beef barn where my friend Holly (or we'll blame the graffiti on brother Nathan) will forever be proud of their Reserve Champion Steer.
-  Or giggling everytime I walked thru the "L" barn (Right, Tara?)
-  Or laughing at the kids that are still dropping the spider on a string on unsuspecting fair-goers in the Open Swine Barn.
-  Or seeing my old 4-H friends who used to abuse me like a little sister (dunking me in the water tank, stepping on me when I slept on the floor between the beds in the hotel room in the morning) with their young kids at the fair.
-  Taking the annual "Fair Tour" consisting of a trip across the fairgrounds to see the Butter Cow & get Mom her cream puff while those same 4-H friends put my steers on the truck to market, so I didn't have to.

There are also showring memories....
-  when I placed near the end of the class with General, and then turned around & won with Sargent (still crying).
-  My Grandpa meeting me every morning with Tom Thumb donuts when I came upstairs to do the pig chores.......
-  Throwing up in the bathroom before I gave my 1st set of judging reasons (boy, I'm glad I grew out of that one...some several hundred sets of reasons later!)

Yep, you can't kick the fair bug, and you know what, that's ok.  Hope you all get to take in a fair, festival, or whatever is near you.  While there, walk up to one of those families in the livestock barns & thank them for raising the food that you put on your table.  It is one of the few times they get to hear it, and it is appreciated!

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