Y’all, can I just tell you how weird the last few months have been? We had a summer where there was never a full week without rain in the forecast. And more often than not, it wasn’t a light drizzle. No, we’re talking epic downpours on the regular. And now? In the middle of September, we have sunshine and summer like temperatures. It’s weird I tell you. Not unexpected, but weird. So when I see my Facebook friends posting about our upcoming fall fair, my brain doesn’t compute that it’s in just two weeks. The fair in our area has always been the last one of the season around here. More often than not, we attend it in fall jackets and light gloves. Possibly hats. Because it’s cold, people. By the end of September it is cold.
Apparently not this year. I mean, realistically there’s plenty of time for the temperature to drop. But right now the forecast is sun and summer-like temperatures.
Growing up, the fall fair in our area was always the last long weekend of the summer. It was the highlight of our summer, as it marked the end of haying season and the return to school. And I loved school. Labour Day weekend was for the fair. We would often go at least twice, once to see the demolition derby (what is it about cars smashing together that people enjoy?) and once to wander through the display barns and ride the Midway.
Parking was always a nightmare. Trucks, so many trucks (because #countryfolks) and cars lined the streets for half a dozen blocks. Sure, you could park onsight, but why spend $5 for that when you could park on the street and spend the $5 in the fair grounds somewhere. As kids, my dad would bring us, but we would have to stay with him while we went through the display barns and he talked to every familiar face we came across. As a nine year old, it was torture.
And my dad can chat, people. Good Lord.
So through the cattle barns, the tractor displays, the various prize barns. We would make our way to the demolition derby field. And for the next few hours (endless, noisy, smelly hours) we would watch cars and trucks beat the mufflers off one another.
Sorry, HockeyDad tells me that mufflers are often removed prior to the derby. Which would explain why it was bone-rattling loud. You get the idea though.
Having checked that particular event off our list, we would take another walk through the fair barns on the way back to the truck. And talk to more people. Sometimes the same ones we talked to on the way in. And we would head home.
Come Saturday, we would load into the truck and head back to the fair. Usually later Saturday afternoon because there would still be some haying to be done, or some other barn related activity that needed daylight hours. Saturday night was the big headliner night at the fair and you could hear the music playing through the whole fair. My dad loves music, so we would go, get our fill of the rides and then go and listen to whoever was playing that night. Given that we were kids and rather impatient, we would pester dad for more money for ride tickets or for the midway games. More often than not, he would give in and we would leave him be for twenty blessed minutes.
I’m sure that’s what he was thinking at the time. Just make.them.stop.
What can I say? Kids.
These days I understand the sentiment perfectly. In two weeks, we’ll take the boys to watch the demolition derby at our fair. It will be bone rattling loud and I will cringe every time a car slams into another car. And my boys will be thrilled. Depending on the hockey schedule, come the weekend, we’ll spend a few hours wandering through the display barns and the midway. We’ll spend our tickets on the midway and Boy #1 will want to go on all the big rides with me.
I’m getting older, so there’s a good chance I’ll get off the ride dizzy and nauseous. At some point, we’ll stop to eat. Pogos, French fries. A BeaverTail for dessert. Once my stomach settles, of course. Thank goodness for a relatively small midway, let me tell you. We’ll go to the ag-barn and look at the farm animals that my boys aren’t growing up with and therefore don’t see every day. Obviously, they are more thrilled about the farm animals than I ever was at their age. I’ll leave them there for a few minutes with HockeyDad while I go and wander through the prize barns and look at all the baking and quilting entries.
And we’ll tell them at least six times that we aren’t getting more midway tickets and no, we’re not playing anymore games.
Then we’ll likely allow for one more ride each before we leave.
Because the fair comes about once a year. So it’s always a treat. And eventually it will be a memory.
See you at the rink.