And we have it down to a science. There are rules:
- Arrive early on day 1. The animals are perkier, the food is better, and the attitudes warmer; plus you get to skip out of work for a day.
- Do not eat ahead of time. When you're complaining later about a tummy ache, don't say I didn't warn you.
- Only buy food cooked by old people. They don't care that you're waiting; they will take their time and put love into that food. Ever buy an awesome blossom from a 16-year-old? That's a whole lot of disappointing raw onion and crummy coating.
- Attend with like-minded people. Because you're sharing food, you will get to try more as you work your way through the day.
- Onion rings (big'uns)
- Corn dogs
- Fried pickles
- French fries
- Funnel cake
- Fried dough
- Enormous donuts
- Hot fudge sundae (it was the hot fudgey-est)
- Steak and cheese sandwich
The crafts are one of my favorite things at the fair. And each year, the braided rugs, quilts, hooked rugs, and paintings are better. I look forward most to seeing the latest creation by my favorite painter, Ted Nichols. He submitted two this year. Unfortunately, I cannot find him on the Web anywhere. I would love to buy some of his work. Someday.
The quilts are great too. This log cabin village was adorable.
But the ultimate joy that I get out of the fair is being up close with the animals. My family, particularly little brother, is extremely patient while I high-five each sheep and stand in awe of the oxen. They're all such interesting creatures, and they bring me a sense of calm. I just generally enjoy animals more than people--I can accept the faults and behaviors of animals in a way that I can't for people.
So another year, another fair. Another day off the diet, and another day of laughs with some of the people closest to me. The ones who know me best and accept my faults. It's worth every minute.