The Kentucky State Fair holds lots of memories for me. Yesterday morning Sweet William and I made our way there.
Though we arrived in the morning hours, “Lot Full” signs appeared again and again as we kept driving to find parking. Lot 23 was on the back side of the ball field. But we were here and I was excited.
Sweet William, in his mobile scooter, and me, in my most comfortable shoes, headed for an open door and air conditioning. It was warm already. August, the state fair, hot temperatures. It’s a given.
We came upon the outside mule exhibit first and I love the mules. They were washed, brushed and looking beautiful, strong and muscular. Several leaned their heads for me to rub their faces and talk gently to them. And those ears – long and velvety. Who wouldn’t love the mules?
I recall my dad telling about working with mules on the farm when he was a boy. He had a different way of describing them, but then he had a completely different view of them from behind a plow.
I felt the cool air as we neared the livestock building. First in sight were the chickens in their colorful and exotic feathers. In my younger years, I would have owned chickens and gone for fresh eggs each morning for breakfast. These days I have friends who share their bounty, the colorful shells intriguing me. Blessed are those who share.
We looked at the variety of pigeons and rabbits, winding our way toward the goats. The goats are so sweet. I would have had goats too, milk goats that would give me delicious milk each day.
Next were the cows. Their big brown eyes win me over. I’m told my grandmother always had a jersey cow, a smaller breed that gives rich milk. The thick cream would rise to the top of the bottle. I can only imagine how that would taste in my coffee.
Yes, in my younger years, I think I could have been a gentle-woman farmer.
We came to the items entered for judging. I scanned the antiques, sure that I have things that old at home.
Sweet William and I searched the handmade quilts isles until we found my cousin’s entry, a beautiful gold and purple creation. Though she didn’t get a ribbon this year, her entry hung there for all to enjoy, and I am proud of her accomplishments.
I roamed through the artwork and admired the creativity and time it takes to bring forth a work of art, whether on canvas, with cloth or wood, cooked on the stove or in the oven, or planted in the earth. God, the master creator, has imprinted His image in us, giving people the opportunity to build, design, plant, craft and make something beautiful with our hands.
Food was next on our agenda, and we were looking for the Pork Producers. Bar-B-Que sandwiches and french fries only taste this good at the fair. We found a table near the end where another couple sat. We chatted and discovered they were from Bowling Green. Conversations wound around to children and grandchildren. Theirs live within two hours of driving time. I’m thankful when I hear families living near one another. I can’t help but wish my own were close enough for me to drive there for the day and come home.
God knows things I can’t figure out. I continually remind myself to trust Him with the unanswered questions.
I wanted to go through the exhibits hall where sellers of all sorts of goods are set up. It’s fun to see what items are popular and drawing the crowd. The food equipment displays always seem to attract attention as the demonstrator tells how we simply cannot live without having this vegetable peeler or that pot.
We stopped long enough to inquire at a couple of booths, and wouldn’t you know it, we walked away with some purchases (not the pot or the peeler). I just hope each one lives up to the hype that sold me on the product.
We saw some friends while we rested for a bit. It’s always fun to chat on the spur of the moment.
I people watched and that was entertaining. Some of the outfits folks wear these days are interesting. I had to wonder if we all need to look in the mirror just one more time before we leave the house.
While Sweet William’s wheels were still rolling strong, my feet were getting tired. We paused for ice cream cones, and I was refreshed enough to begin the walk to Lot 23 and the truck.
It seemed longer this time. I was well worn and my legs were tired. I’m pretty sure I got all my steps in today, though I might have canceled them with that cookies and cream waffle cone I devoured.
Loaded into the truck with the air conditioner at full blast, I settled in and let me feet relax. I needed a nap.
At home, Maisie was so glad to see us. I washed my face to cool down, drank more water, and was ready to put my feet up and drink a cup of coffee.
Our day at the state fair was a simple, fun adventure for us. Sweet William and I have altered our bucket lists as the years have changed us. We aim for what is less complicated, what will not create undue stress on bodies and minds. We’ve learned to adjust to what we can do and let go of what we can’t. It’s still a challenge some days to be grateful for the good things in our lives and not focus on what we don’t have or can’t do.
Life is like that for all of us, I guess. God provides all we need, though sometimes I want more. I remember that the apostle Paul learned contentment and I can learn too.
My grateful list includes this day full of blessings at the state fair.
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