Well, as my many millions of devoted readers have probably surmised, I am NOT working the State Fair this year. I am NOT doing 12 hour days, 12 days in a row.
The problem with my knee, as well as other circumstances, made me realize that it is retirement time for the Fair.
So, what will I miss by not being there? I will miss my friends; the vendors and the workers in Heritage Square. I would usually stop by to see each of them at least 1 time a day during my breaks. I will miss talking to many, many people who are HONESTLY interested in the past and history. I will miss hearing Roger the Bodger – he comes by every night after his supper to play his banjo before going back to work for the rest of the evening. I will miss lighting the lamps at dark – it is a magical time and people who come in at that time hang around to watch the magic.
What will I NOT miss by being at the Fair? I will not miss the 12-hour days; the heat or cold (sometimes both on the same day); the noise of the grandstand “bands” and “singers” (I use those terms lightly – I never would consider the noise as music of any kind) that would pour out every night into our cabin. I will not miss the smells of kettle corn. I love kettle corn but the smell of burning popcorn (which happens often) is hard to bear. The noise of cars going by (the parking lot is right outside our window); the dust and dirt as the Fair gets further along and the whole area gets dirtier and smellier. No matter how much the staff cleans the streets at night, they can’t get rid of the smell of garbage and mud and muck. This year has had no rain so instead of mud there will be a lot of dust.
I will not miss the nightly trek to the bathroom and shower. It’s a long ways from the camper to the water tower where those are lodged and if it’s any bit cold, a wet head is pretty miserable when trying to get “home” after a shower. I will not miss the fireworks!!!!!!! The Fair has fireworks after every grandstand show; sometimes at 10:00 and sometimes at 12:00 – depending on how long the show lasts. When one gets off work at 9:00, an early bedtime is demanded so that one can be refreshed (hopefully) the next day. The first blast of fireworks nearly always knocks me off the bed; if I’m awake, I can’t go to sleep until they are done; if I’m asleep, I am no longer asleep and can’t go back to sleep until they are done!
Here at home, I will be able to harvest and can to my heart’s content. I have missed the early (yellow) apple season each year and also the cucumber season. Norm usually would put the tomatoes in the freezer so I could can them when I got home – if I had the energy. This last year, I didn’t finish all the tomatoes until April!!
This year, we went to the Fair on the 1st day with Joy and family and I got my Fair “kick” and actually saw more than I would see the whole Fair in a single day.
But today (2nd to the last day of the Fair), I am canning corn and meat and pickles for my brother.
I owe my brother 3,978 jars of dill pickles (long story – ask me later!) so it will take a long time to fulfill that debt. Each year I usually would work as fast as I could but this year I’ve been able to take it easy and even pickle some sweet pickles for ME. And also some Bread and Butter pickles for Norm.
So, on this 2nd to the last day of the Fair, instead of counting hours to the end and dreading the clean up and packing up of all my stuff, I am relaxing; I’ve spent a nice long time on the phone with friend Jody, I’ve worked a bit on the Australian loom (Matilda) and have worked on sorting and pricing yarn for selling at the next event – Pepin, which is next weekend.
It’s a beautiful day – not too hot, not too windy and sunny. Norm is outside working on the siding of the house and I’m inside avoiding bees and enjoying the relaxation of being HOME. You have a beautiful day.