STATE FAIR

Recently, Hubs and I spent a day at the Maryland State Fair. It was a day of perfection as far as the weather was concerned.

Our travel mugs were full, an audio book babbled over the traffic noises and a stop at an exotic wood store made the travel time worthwhile.

As always, we enjoyed our fair date.

As we have grown past the teens of yesteryear, we no longer hit the rides, but instead are content to grab a jug of iced tea and stroll the exhibit aisles.

I especially enjoyed seeing the beautiful hooked rugs displayed by guild members. I am in awe at the workmanship in each piece. It is great to see the ribboned pieces finished and hanging, after so many months of watching fellow hookers labor intensively over them.  Maybe one day, I will even enter one of my own.

Hubs, a photography hobbyist, loved  seeing the photos.  Such a variety of  subjects. Farm animals, puppies playing, fuzzy lambs, bashful babies, delicate flowers and magnificent sunsets graced the framework.  I am glad I was not a judge. With so much talent, I would have run out of ribbons if I had to choose!

Isn’t it amazing to see a carefully preserved snowflake, enlarged to show its uniqueness? How about the emotion provoked by the image of a tiny newborn? Can’t you almost taste the saltiness of the ocean when you gaze into the waves?  There is such artistry behind the lens.

Move with us down rows of long-labored-over creations. These pieces hold so much history in their carefully crafted stitches. Hours upon hours were required to turn simple threads and linens into delicate needleworks.  Afghans showed neat rows of rhythmic stitches and lacy tatting edged fine cotton. Feel the love and hope knitted into small booties and blankets for swaddling.

Do you smell the cedar, see the grain of butternut and feel the smoothness of the polished walnut? Imagine the skilled hands that carefully carved, sawed and sanded the wooden objects that line the shelves? Shorebirds carved to perch on branches, hinged boxes awaiting treasures, and sturdy furniture pieces were exhibited  by master woodcrafters.

Next comes the culinary artists display. Hear the laughter of children as they helped mom turn dough into shaped and iced cookies. Touch the cool silk of flour as experienced fingers work on latticed pies. Can you smell the dill and vinegar when you see the stately pickles jarred ? And look at the size of the pumpkins harvested along with ruby tomatoes, husky corn cobs and prize-winning melons! Can you feel the warm sun and soft mounds of dirt underfoot as you admire the shelves of produce?

Amazing quilts, florals  skillfully arranged, paintings… so much to see!

Next, we headed out to meet the animals, all groomed and tethered, waiting to be shown. Goats, chicks, sheep, pigs, bunnies, alpacas, cows–waited patiently for us to camera them.

I wonder if they realized these portraits would become subjects for future projects, adorning rugs, felted into shapes and carved into figurines?

I will have to say the highlight this year was getting to witness the birth of a baby calf. As we happened by a large crowd, we slipped in to see what was drawing the focus of so many people. A beautiful example of motherhood, a mama labored over bringing her baby into a world of onlookers. She swayed restlessly, obvious concern for her baby’s safe entrance slowing her progress, and finally required support from the compassionate veterinary staff.  As the mother bathed her newborn with her long tongue strokes, the hushed crowd slipped away to let her nurture the new babe. What a sweet reminder of God’s gift of life and  His creation. True Perfection!!!

Of course, a late afternoon lunch was next on the agenda. Fair food, who can resist it?  Shying away from such luxuries as funnel cake, cotton candy, deep fried concoctions and kettle corn, we opted for samplings of shaved lamb and smoked pork to accompany sides of fried green tomatoes and Maryland’s sweet corn. We were not disappointed. Yum !!!

Tummy’s full and feet ready to brake, we spent the next few hours volunteering in the guild’s booth where we distributed information and demonstrated the art of hooking rugs.  It is always so much fun to see the enthusiasm  as beginners pulled loops for the first time.  Children were especially eager to attempt it and a few adults tested their skills, also.  Hooks and kits were sold to the ambitious ones. I hope to see their finished pieces someday displayed, too.

The day was full. The sounds of laughter, the  aromas of food, hay and barnyard life, witnessing new life, all made a happy memory.

Actually, the whole day was perfect.

Are you one who loves an annual trip to a county or state fair? What is your favorite part? Do you love the thrill of the rides, the unique menus, the celebration of winning exhibits and well groomed animals? Do the happy sounds, lights and motions against an evening sky thrill you ? Comment below and tell me what you enjoy most.

Until later,

Blessings,

Pamela

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