Saturday, August 13, 2016

Iowa State Fair Reflections

I didn't do my Thursday blog because I was at the Iowa State Fair before 7 a.m. and I was too lazy to get up any earlier. So now, I have two days of the Fair under my belt and three more to go, I want to share some thoughts. Both Thursday and Friday started out rainy but cleared off by afternoon. I spent the mornings in the sheep barn watching the FFA Sheep Shows. Thursday Calvin showed three market lambs and Friday he showed one breeding ewe. He didn't do as well as he would have liked but received two very merited purple ribbons (the judge only gave two or three purples per class, a handful of blues and many reds). Calvin placed 3rd, 5th, 11th, and 3rd in his classes. His showmanship was excellent and the lambs looked really good. We are proud of all his hard work.

The afternoons were hot and a little humid but other than the muddy grassy areas and puddles of water to avoid it was a good time at the fair. Many people decided the same because the streets and sidewalks were a mass of people. Parking lots and neighborhood yards (also known as parking lots for the State Fair) were a huge mess. They always park the livestock trailers on Des Moines low lands so when the guys retrieved ours yesterday they were just thankful for 4-wheel drive and that they got out of the lot.

I walked the grounds to my favorite Fair spots on Thursday, braving the crowds and the golf carts. It takes patience to get where you want to go. I started with the Agriculture Building and its vegetables, bees, butter cow, and flower displays. Then on up to the Cultural/Arts Center especially to see the photography exhibits. I am so amazed at the beautiful photos that get no award and I don't always agree with the judges picks. When I read the list of how many photography entries there are in each class, I give up the thought of ever entering anything.

I walked back down the hill through the children's entertainment area, then along the Fair's Main Street to the Varied Industries Building. I don't know why I enjoy that so much but it reminds me of walking through with my parents as a child. Next was through the machinery, along the food vendor aisle and back toward the sheep barn. I enjoyed a corn dog, and two glasses of lemonade from the stand across the road from the sheep barn. I also took time to search for Graham and Piper's bricks in front of the sheep barn. Each grandchild has a brick there and I finally found them all.

Day two gave me the chance to walk the grounds with Payton and Bailey. We enjoyed the children's garden then went through the Agriculture Building where the girls enjoyed an egg on a stick. Since we still had enough time for a wait in the line we rode the sky glider together on the round trip. It was fun looking over the Fair Grounds, the top of trees, seeing all the people below and noticing places we had missed. The girls kept me calm while I shook with fear at the height. We found ice cream cones for the walk back to the sheep barn.

This was just the beginning as I will be there Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for the 4-H Sheep Shows that Payton is showing in.

"Never be lacking in zeal but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer," (Romans 12:11-12 NIV).

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