|Geauga County Fair|
Labor Day weekend brings many wonderful things but no doubt my favorite is the Geauga County Fair. The first time I attended this fair was at Gary's encouragement and we jokingly called it our "honeymoon". Newlyweds we had a house that needed years of work, no chickens, rabbits, babies, barely a garden and a whole lot of hopes and dreams. It was fun to go to the fair that first time with Gary. He told me stories of when he was younger and running around the fair ground enjoying his youth. It wasn't like the fairs of my youth. It was more real, more country, more "fair" than any fair I had ever been to. I simply fell in love and I hope it never changes. However, this 2011 fair seemed more special than most...
My favorite part of every fair is always the animals. I could wander the barns for hours looking at and longing for the animals. Particularly the draft horses but all the animals drew me. I couldn't wait to share that with my son sincerely hoping to instill a deep love and respect for animals and the land in his heart at a young age. To be stewards of the Earth is to fulfill an ancient assignment given to us by God. For Wade to love the land and animals is to love God and obey Him. What better life could I strive to give Wade? Of course Wade can do and be as he chooses but I would hope that a part of himself would always come back to loving God's creation and having the same deep appreciation for it that Gary and I do.
Saturday afternoon we packed the car and prepared to drive the hour drive to Burton, Ohio. It was hot. I mean HOT! Everyone was talking about how it was the hottest days of summer yet. You just stood outside and started sweating but I wasn't going to let that stop us. I packed food for the baby and several iced water bottles and we loaded the car and headed out. We had a lot of fair to see and didn't leave as early as we had wanted. I was worried about how Wade would do in the heat and without a solid nap. I worried for nothing. Wade was a trooper and LOVED every minute of the fair. I have hardly seen him having so much fun.
Wade simply loved the sheep, had his first pony ride, saw cows, pigs, goats, miniature horses, and of course animals he had at home: rabbits and chickens. The fair was magical but we were no longer on the outside looking in. We as a family had started to secure and raise our own food. We had 23 birds in the freezer, a fresh laying flock of hens, my first ever canned tomato sauce, and a litter of rabbits with two more on the way in our own backyard. We had several gardens with more beds planned and could walk around this fair and dream of the next steps that didn't seem so far away.
I jokingly talked with Gary about sheep. They were sweet and shy and you could get meat, milk, and wool from them and they would mow the lawn. Why couldn't we get the whole neighborhood to sign a petition to allow them. They would hardly be noticed noise or sound wise, right!?! Perhaps two pot belly pigs raised for 9 months to slaughter age was just around the corner in our lives? No one would even know they were around. OK, maybe not but when you are walking through the fair barns you just can't help but dream. We have come so far. Someday my little boy maybe auctioning off his prize winning rooster or buck rabbit at this very fair. I could have a 4Her in my future yet. Welcome to my place of dreams. I can hardly wait until next year.