Tuesday, September 1, 2015

State Fair

I'm not one for big crowds, but I've always heard how much people LOVE going to the Minnesota State Fair. Since Kate's current apartment is closer to the fairgrounds than most of the attendees get to park, since I'm currently between jobs so my days are not full of mandated activity, and since this looked to be the only year both these things will be true, I pushed my grumbly self out the door yesterday morning just as the booths opened.

I figured it was a rocking chair thing. A small one, but still. When I'm ninety, and about all I can do is sit in my rocking chair and think back over my life, when I think about this juncture, will I be glad I did this or sorry? Will I be sad I didn't take this chance, or relieved that mischance had passed me by?

In this case, I decided I'd be sorry I'd missed the chance.  And so I went, and I'm glad I did.

I came in through one of the back gates, into the swine barn first thing, and was captivated by the pigs.  Pink, black, spotted, most of them sleeping.  A few enterprising souls were up, trying to get the latches on their cages open.  Not so stupid, pigs.

From the pig barn, I walked on through to see the cows, the horses, the sheep, then onto the main streets of the fair, where can be purchased a large variety of foods on a stick.  The people watching was even better than the animal watching.  I pulled up a comfy section of curb and sat and watched the world go by. It was still early in the day, so folks were in good humor. The weather was good, they were excited and happy to be at the fair. I saw lots of crowding, but very few scowls at the inevitable bumps as those who decided to stop and change direction without signalling collided with those not quite watching their step as they conversed and got distracted by the fried cheese curd booth on the far left.

I wandered through the merchandise booths (didn't find anything I couldn't live without), went to the newborn life building and oohed with the rest of the crowd at the newborn lambs, stopped in the coliseum to watch the border collie herding trials.  I bought a fresh pretzel.  (I don't think it counts as going to the fair if you don't purchase at least one item of food.)  I didn't stay all day - couldn't; my feet won't take the punishment these days - but headed home mid-afternoon, a bit hot and tired and grubby, happy with my decision to see the fair.

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