You claim to like my rural updates, so here goes

Every year the Sisters would ask what did you do on your summer vacation. I would listen to the usual “Canada, Florida, California, and so on. Then it was my turn, and the answer was invariably. THE COUNTY FAIR!!!

And it still is the fair for us, I showed livestock in 4-H and FFA for 8 years till I graduated from High School (well they at least told me not to come back ;>). Now my children have joined in the fun for the last 16 years, except for a 3 year break when my son was killed (story for  another time).  It is 4 to 5 weeks of training, clipping and washing  the animals and one week of hectic running around.   It is fun, especially since my youngest son is doing most of the work for himself for the first time, there is nothing more wonderful than watching a boy grow into a man, makes a father proud and feel slightly old, he is 14 and almost as strong as me.

To really make it nuts my nephews showed our animals at the Auglaize county fair one week and then we went to Mercer county fair 5 days later, 19 days of hectic fun.Plus I worked one day at the FFA stand in front of a massive grill doing sausage and pork chops, talk about HOT, but it was a good time, you meet more people working at a concession stand then walking around the grounds

Oh and there’s  the food, forget the rides, its the fair food, I hope that some where in a corner of heaven is a fair stand with fresh burgers from the Cattleman’s Association and pulled pork from the FFA booth.  The smell of steam and oil from a fry-o-later doing french fries and onion rings, plus the occasional funnel cake is a kind of country incense to me, and we cannot forget the guy selling home made ice cream. Plus at our fair we have a grange kitchen selling full country meals daily, pan fried chicken, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, veggies, the whole shebang. They have the best meatloaf and the beef and noodles are to die for.

Then we have the booths showing off sewing projects, and food prepped from the garden, baked goods to be judged, and the boys FFA woodworking and small engine projects,  crop projects and welding work. Then you get to my area, livestock, there is sheep, goats, hogs, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, steers and our specialty, dairy animals. All of Gods bounty there to be judged

The kids run loose and socialize when not working with their animals. there are water fights in the wash racks, occasional dunking of the startled victim including one or two adults.  It’s nothing to see little kids of 4 and 5 walking right in between the animals, yeah there are some bumps and bruises, but that is how you learn   At the end of the week it is truly time to go home and rest

See if you can guess which one is my son in the show ring, four tries, as he shows four animals, my wife found out how to use her i-pod to take video, enjoy