In our household, “fair weather” means that the days really cool off just after supper, as the sun sets. It usually coincides with our county fair, the last one of the summer in the state, and especially late this year. The Sandwich Fair is named for the town with the fairgrounds.
DH was raised on a farm, so his family always attended, and his church had a booth selling homemade cookies and coffee. The fair was part of rural culture. Having been raised mostly in the Chicago suburbs, I think I only ever went to one county fair — until DH asked if I’d want to go. That was our second date, one we recall every year, especially his reluctance to ask me to go because he was sure I would think it was hokey.
It wasn’t and isn’t hokey, it’s full of wonderful dirt and smells and the sounds of people greeting friends and neighbors. OK, there are things I avoid (and I never make eye contact with a carnival worker or clown), but I love the Horticulture Building, where the produce and flowers are arranged amazingly artfully but are sadly droopy by the end of the week, and the Home Arts Building (the “Ladies Building”) with canned pigs’ feet and granny afghans. If we time it right, we like to watch the goats being judged and the draft horse competition.
Last week was my 25th Sandwich Fair. For three years, I have exhibited various antiques and collectibles for judging. For the first time this year I entered some stamped items. Being an exhibitor entitles me to a free pass for the week and modest potential winnings. Still, it’s a pleasant thrill to find out that your entries have earned ribbons. This year I won nine ribbons on ten entries! That haul netted me $31 in prize money; if I was any kind of a wife I would have taken DH out for supper after we picked up the items last night, but I’m not that kind of wife.
We’re already talking about which items I should submit next year. It’s small-town delight, full of the kind of moments I treasure because I never know how long they will last.