A fair.

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Of course I mean the county fair type of fair!

Total bliss.  How else could I describe my Friday night fair? (snicker).

I almost gave up on the idea of my fair night despite plans of gorging myself on foods I should not eat, visiting the animal barns and wandering aimlessly through displays of many sorts.  But I don’t know.  I just wanted to go it alone.  A true county fair is like an overdose for the senses – smells, sights and sounds bombard a person in really a very pleasurable way.

After work, I mailed my letters, gassed up the Jeep, then headed back to town.  I was going to the fair!  I did not even play out how horrible it could be in my head.  No, I was pretty excited to go.  Fifty-one years old and excited for what was probably my fifty-first county fair.  That, my friends, means life is pretty good.  Even parking the Jeep on the grounds prepares a person for the experience.  By the time I got there, the grassed parking lot was expiring the day’s heat in coughs of steamy sand.  You smell the distant perspiration of humans and animals alike along with a touch of stale beer and this aromatic soup of exhausted deep fryers and taunting spices.

I cannot believe I have a usual rhythm to walking through the fair.  It truly is like nibbling at a feast.  First stop:  the 4-H and school displays of handicrafts, artwork, and plants.  And of course, even walking up to the first exhibition, now housed under a tent, memories started trickling into my head.  Layers and layers of memories through the years finally landing, not with tears but with the “warm-fuzzies” of working on my dad’s school art displays many years ago.  Thirty years ago, the armory on the opposite side of the fairgrounds housed all such displays.  He would instruct me to label, then create certificates for each student.  From all my fond memories of him, I do not remember him instructing me gently.  No!  But I smile as I remember how he would “boss” me.  After all, I was working for him!  And of course I would work, wanting the lettering to be ‘just right’, thinking that it would not be, then he – not reassuringly either – would pretty much tell me to “get on with it.”

That’s when I knew my work was ‘just right’.

As I walked through the displays Friday, I remembered “Red” and all the others from my parents’ past art life.  True to form at the fair, just as I was pondering life’s abundance with smells and sounds and sights that do not normally and not wisely belong together, I ran into friends – a family I had not seen for years!  I kid you not –  I had just been thinking about them.  Our lives, once daily entwined, now, never intersected.  Until Friday night, between the display of geraniums and school pencil sketches…


There are two, almost two and a half, walkways through our county fair.  Unfortunately the two main paved routes almost fight with each other for the title of “midway”.  I walked alone.  Truthfully I think I wanted to experience the fair that way.  I wandered and thought.  Past the games.  Past the rides.  But I did not hurry.  I remembered, chuckling to myself at it all, being warned about “how it all would look” – a woman walking in the fair, alone at night.  You would be “that kind of woman”.  I wondered if this is how travelling in the world would be – was I old enough now to be left alone?  Did I have enough presence in my own self to be safe?  Does a person just wander a bit, letting this magnificent world soak funnel through senses, into the cells of ones nerves, finally resting in ones soul?Would I remember to pick up my feet when I walked so as not to trip over the black anaconda snakes of electrical cabling which outlined the paved walkways?

I walked through the barns, stopping to play with the cows’ giant ears and huge knobs which were the markings of horns removed.  I visited the horses with whom I always pretend to be a horse person but truthfully I am not.  It is one of those wishes that, well, is not very realistic.  I love them, want to ride them, but do horses and I click? Um, no.  Pigs.  Pigs though?  Well, that’s another story.  I can carry on a snorting conversation with the pigs that is fairly embarrassing.

Is there any wonder why I am alone? (kidding…uncomfortable pause for momentary self-reflection.. yeah.  yeah, I am kidding).

So, I continued my walk through the fair, stopping to talk with friends.  Despite the heat and the late hour I found quesadillas and fresh lemonade with real fruit!  Then, on again, wandering thinking my thoughts, remembering, and letting the surroundings sink into me.  It’s at these moments when I wonder if someone looked at me would they know that I am really pondering such deep and meaningful topics as:

The name of the Ferris wheel.

Let me explain first that this is part of my nirvana. (Yes, I do know there is an election for which the nation is preparing and other serious matters)  But it is a Friday night.  Besides, I had an elephant ear in my hands and its greasy sugar across my face from ear to ear.  You would think I never had a pounded-down, deep-fried, cinnamon sugared slice of heavenly dough…it was minutes of the totally divine walking along, thoughts and distant noises of the very near energy of multiple layers of music genres overlapping, slurping at one’s ears.  Music upon music, being both muffled into a low snore by a tented band and pronounced vividly as if dancing off the neon lights of carnival game stands and food vendors and rides.

Take a breath, Steph.  Yep. I stood there in the beginnings of a sugar high, debating if the ‘MR. ED FERRIS WHEEL’ violated any copyright laws somewhere.  And then I wondered at that particular choice of names in the first place.

Shrugging my shoulders I turned to walk the dusty path to the Jeep.  I mean the “Mr. Ed Ferris Wheel” is one thing, but the moon was out to dance with the stars.  And the Jeep was topless.


Yep, it is the time of the county fair.



Ed was the most beautiful neo-neon colors of light…

#thebrickdandelion #countyfair #mistered #onewomanslife #thebeautifuljourney #windsparadox #stephaniespringborn #imjustme

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