Thursday, October 27, 2011

State Fair

Every August, the Minnesota State Fair rolls around. 
 This is one of those times when our experiences growing up come into a little conflict.

John grew up in Columbus, Ohio, the capital of that fine state, and every year his family went to the state fair.  One of those implacable traditions that families develop, and, all in all, I think, a fairly good tradition.

I grew up in Western Pennsylvania where the biggest fair within driving distance was the Canfield County fair and I don't think I went to it above once in my life. 

So, when state fair time rolls around here, our attendance is a foregone conclusion for John.  Not so for me. 

I've suggested various alternatives: Renaissance Fair, picnic at a lake, staying inside in the air conditioning.

I've pointed out the many attendant evils of the fair: overeating; enormous, sweaty crowds; greasy food; smelly animals; heavy, sweet foods; sunburn; tired, aching feet; deep-fried Twinkies; the high cost of everything. 

But, no, nothing but the fair will do. 
 It's one of those implacable traditions we're creating in our family, building relationships and fortitude.  This year, one of the ways we did this was by sharing a deep-fried Twinkie among the six of us. 

I think that we had plenty of relationship and fortitude building right there.  Enough for many years to come. 
 One of the new areas this year was the Alphabet Forest which Johanna and Sam enjoyed very much.  Here, you can see that they picked out letters and made large signs for their names (Johanna thought her name was too long so opted for JoJo, a common nickname for her around here.  Her brothers give her other nicknames, too, but she's not as fond of those).

The three youngest kids did a bungee jumping "ride;" we visited the birthing barn; we watched a horse show; we saw a troupe do Irish dancing; we ate lots of delicious bad food; we saw many of the arts and crafts entries; we visited a college booth (which freaked me out just a little, that we have a son who isn't quite thinking about that but will soon); and finished it all off with a bucket of Sweet Martha's chocolate chip cookies and many cups of milk. 

Not a bad tradition, really.  But I'm glad it comes around no more than once a year.  

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