Thursday, September 23, 2010

Miles to go on very hot feet

7:56 p.m. Today's project was to take a day off as a celebration for finishing my Walk in the Word: Galatians edits and go with Steve to the LA County Fair. He hadn't been since we were newlyweds, and I last took the kids to the Fair with my youngest son in a stroller. (Steven's now 22). I had purchased discount tickets online, so we had built up some anticipation.
The morning began oddly, because Steve had somehow misplaced his C-pap mask. The hose and unit were in the usual spot next to his side of the bed, but not the mask. At the point where I just gave up helping him look and went ahead downstairs to put on the coffee and start my devotions, he hadn't found it. So he was rather shaken and disoriented. Where could it be?
I prayed for him, and for me to be patient and nice about misplacing something expensive and beneficial--the Lord knows my shortcomings in this area--and went back up to see what was going on. The mask had been found--in our master bath!! Steve said, "I don't remember putting it there." He must have gotten up in the early morning hours and taken it off. "Is he starting to 'sundown?' " I wondered. (That is the condition Alzheimers patients develop where they are active, awake and busy at night while everyone else in the household is sleeping). No sense concerning myself about it now, I thought, let's just get on with our day. "Sufficient for the day is its own trouble," Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, so that sounded good to me.
We completed breakfast, put out the dogs, and it was time to get gas for the Jeep. Steve's job is to open up the gas cap while I pay at the ATM--he hasn't handled money or debit cards for almost a year-- then after I select the grade, he pumps the gas. I came back from the pay kiosk to discover that he'd not started his part of our joint effort but was staring out to the street... I just reminded him to get started, and he filled up the tank. It's one of scores of little opportunities for him to be successful that I try to set up throughout our days.
On the road at 10:45, we had no traffic to speak of, and drove straight to the gate. A shuttle took us to the line, and then we had 15 minutes in line before heading out to the midway. Our first stop was the Texas state display, where lots of funny jokes were told and I won a state flag bandanna for knowing that Texas chili has no beans. Maybe we'll win the free trip to Texas for two that we registered for!
Our first ride was on a steep, splashy drop-off, and we just got drenched, or rather, I did, because I was in the front of our kayak. We dried out pretty fast in the sun. And unlike Riverside, there was a cooling breeze there in Pomona to make things pleasant. Lunch was hot dogs on a stick and nachos. But I seem to remember fair corndogs having a gritty cornbread batter--this was kind of floury. I picked off some of the covering and gave it to Steve. Next stop was the funnel cake stand where they advertised chocolate covered bacon! That was a must- have, since bacon is one of my favorite foods. Served out of the freezer, this was a crispy, delicious treat--one I just might try to make at home!
In the homemaking and cooking exposition hall, I saw all kinds of jelly and jam--but no "Yellow Tomato Jam" like I make. Hmm--I should enter a jar or two, maybe in the upcoming Perris fair. The handmade jewelry and creative table settings were impressive, as were the elaborate cakes. I even saw a new Christmas cookie for 2010 and took a picture so I won't forget. My daughters and I try to add a new cookie each year to our repertoire. This novelty cookie will be one even my grandsons can help out with.
No fair would be complete without live critters, so we set out to discover where the farm animals were kept. We got wrong directions from a lady in the garden building, but we did see some kangaroos and got in some real cardio purposelessly walking up and down steep paths, because no animals, not even the promised circus dog show was to be seen at the time advertised for today! But Steve took a picture of me with my head sticking out of the cutout face of a Shaggy Dog.
We had to get serious about seeing the cows, horses, hogs, chickens, ducks, sheep and goats at this point. Things are kept so clean these days that you can't just follow the flies or smell of manure. And consulting a map when neither of us has a sense of direction doesn't work, we discovered. Finally we were pointed on our way and saw some giant Clydesdales, and all of the other animals you would expect at a fair. But I did notice not very many of each kind. I wonder if 4-H is going out of style, or our poor economy has left high school kids unable to feed and care for livestock--what a shame either way! The petting zoo was very busy, and we were told by one guide that 3,000 school kids had come through this morning. Wow--glad to see "country" skills still being taught to youth!
I was gratified to see several vegetable varieties that we've grown in the garden area, and inspired to carry on for another season!
We sure did a lot of walking, and had fun on a mechanical foot massager for 25 cents apiece. Best of all, we had a relaxed time together in the light crowds that lessened Steve's anxiety.
But one thing was missing from my last visit--the strolling German oom-pah-pah band! "To everything there is a season," Ecclesiates 3:1 says, and this was the updated version of the LA County Fair, a very good one!

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