Sunday, August 29, 2010

One Fair Day

Yesterday was one of those days where the stuff we did in the morning seemed like a week ago by the time we finally made it to bed.  Just listing everything that happened would take quite a while, but there's a couple highlights I wanted to write about instead.  To start with, we spent the morning going around town to more than a dozen garage sales looking for nothing in particular except a good deal or two.  The thing with garage sale hunting is that you can't really plan ahead to look for specific items--it's really more like looking for coins on a beach.  Most of the time you'll find nothing but scrap or garbage, but every now and then you'll come across a quarter or even a half dollar, and so it is for garage sales.  For three hours we scoured the city, taking a pre-planned route we devised the night before in order to maximise efficiency yet deviating often when we saw additional signs for sales along the way, and even though we only made one purchase we had a good time nonetheless.  Our find?  A nice desk chair for my wife that we got at an estate sale.  It looks like it has hardly been used at all, and is so far making a very nice replacement for the IKEA chair we've had for a couple years.  But much in the same way that hunting for coins on a beach is enjoyable for the sights of the ocean, the feel of the sand, and the wind in your hair, going garage sale hunting is fun (for us, anyway) even if we don't land any huge deals.  Kind of a thrill-of-the-hunt sort of thing, I guess.  :)

These women were serious about the pie judging.
And even more serious about baking with
butter instead of margarine.
After we got back home a friend of ours called and invited us to the county fair, and even though neither my wife or I have been to a fair in years, we thought it would be fun to check out.  And boy, was it ever.  I recall going to the Minnesota State Fair in the summer of 2004 and not being particularly impressed because it was so crowded and sprawling.  But the county fair yesterday was just our style.  We wandered among the indoor booths and exhibits, and I had a great time talking to a guy with a sprawling N/HO/O scale model railroad and another who was manning a HAM radio booth.  The best part by far, though, was the pie contest judging.  It was an intense affair, with pies of all shapes and sizes being inspected, tested, tasted, and ingested.  The two judges were as serious as prison wardens, and left no flake of crust overlooked in their criticisms of the baked concoctions.  A first place ribbon in this contest was a hard-won and well-deserved honor, let me tell you.  After that, we went to see some of the animals and wandered among the chickens, rabbits, horses, and cows, but the goats and hogs were nowhere to be found.  Even though I grew up in Nebraska I have spent very little time around farm animals, and I still think it's cool to hear a rooster call out his famous cock-a-doodle-do cry, or a horse let out a giant neigh.  But the crème de la crème was the horse competition.  Not necessarily for what the riders were able to do with their horses, like maneuver in specific patterns or race around barrels, but the age of the riders.

Who knew a girl so small could ride a horse so big.
I was amazed at how young the people were and what they were able to do on the horses.  The barrel riding competition had an entire category for children ages eight and younger, and even though they weren't exactly equestrian masters, these kids were incredibly competent at horse riding.  I have ridden a horse maybe three times in my life, and the amount of skill it takes (for someone like me, anyway) to even get the big animal to go forward or turn from left to right is fairly high.  But these kids could command the horses to turn on a dime, sail around a barrel, and break into a sprint for the home stretch.  There were other age categories too, but it was these little kids who impressed me the most.  After that we strolled to the tractor museum and finally made our way back home.  Later on we looked at some paint samples for a couple rooms in our house, which we hope to get working on soon, and I finally replaced the faulty fluorescent light fixture above my workbench in the garage.

As for today, we're heading to church in an hour and then back to church this evening for a welcome-back event for the college students.  Should be fun.  :)


Tom said...

So does this mean that I will finally get back what is rightfully mine? Perhaps a office chair that was stripped from my room oh so many years ago...

Simon said...

Hmmm...this office chair you speak of...well, look, a blue car!