Fair Arrives !

Summer’s here to stay for awhile! We’ve all been feeling the heat, watching as crops and grass wither in the unrelenting sun and high temperatures. Every summer there’s a few weeks here and there, where it feels like we live in the desert!

Also, near the end of June, the Pulaski County Fair happens! All the 4H kids, people entering open classes, food trucks, a talent show, the Miss Pulaski County Pageant. Booths of local businesses set up to share their services with the fairgoers. One of the most fun things to watch, is the Dunk Tank! It’s all in fun, and usually, the weather’s so hot, the folks on the platform really don’t mind taking a dip! Just watching the joy on the kids’ faces when they hit the target with the ball is heartwarming!

It’s interesting to walk through the buildings. Examine all the displays and appreciate the hard work the kids have done, all come to fruition.

Parents, and family members support the kids in every category! The cheering has the kids lighting up with pride for the work and time they’ve spent on their projects.

Our kids were both 10 year 4H members. They’ve been out 5 and 6 years respectively now. Going to fair is bittersweet for me. I like to see folks I haven’t seen in a long time, have a snow cone, or maybe a ribeye sandwich! But walking through the hog barn, knowing there’s no hog pen for our daughter, or a duck that belonged to Dawson in the fowl cages, can bring a lump to my throat, a tear to my eye.

Ten years seems like a long time to be in 4H. When you’re in the middle of hauling animals to the park for practices, or filling out what seems like endless paperwork, evening meetings on weeknights, or searching for the Green Books, it actually flies by.

One day, your babies are in Mini 4H. The next, they’re announced as ten year members, auctioning off their livestock. I can see Dawson, being recognized as a ten year member. I see him auctioning off his duck. A big smile on his face.

Just a year later, I watched as Rachel, in her Miss Pulaski County 2018 crown and sash, guiding her pig to the arena for auction. Tony was walking behind her. She looked up, knowing I was on the top bench of the stands. Tears began streaming down her cheeks. My heart just broke. I smiled at her though, and in return, she gave me a wisp of a smile.

Then it was all over. We weren’t active 4H members anymore. We didn’t belong there in that sense. The early mornings, late nights, long, hot days, were over for us.

In an instant, all the ribbons, trophies, and plaques, sit on bedroom shelves, kids move on, head to college, or the workforce. I still dust those trophies, I gaze at photographs. I remember the joys, the losses, the hard work, the comaraderie.

4H is a wonderful program. I hope you’ve experienced it in your life in one capacity or another. If they had it in my hometown in Michigan, I wasn’t aware of it. I’m so thankful that my husband Tony was in 4H. He was excited to get our kids involved. Our kids benefited from their experiences. I know I have lifelong memories.

Fair is starting again now. Tony went up this morning to help with hog check in. the pageant is tomorrow night. Hog show on Monday, and events through Thursday. I hope you go to the fair. Make some new memories. Cherish the ones you have with your kids, should you have some in 4H. Take advantage of learning new things.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *