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Fair Memories

Every summer I run the wheels off the van chauffeuring kids from one camp to another.
One son just returned from basketball camp and this week our daughter is at a
nearby university learning the fundamentals of volleyball. Today as I was grabbing
a sandwich for lunch my friend Annette dropped by and was amazed to find me at
home. 

  “I didn’t think you ever stayed home,” she said. I explained where I
had been and she echoed a thought I’ve had before. “I think there ought to be
a camp for moms,” she said.

  Good idea. Camp Mom-all meals provided, no dishwashing or cleaning allowed.
The place would stay booked years in advance.

  Another staple of summertime at our house is the county fair. Some of
my most vivid fair memories include strings of colored lights against a dark
sky, children sticky from clouds of blue and pink cotton candy, the aroma of
fried fish sandwiches, and music blaring from loudspeakers as carnival workers
try to convince you that you really can win one of those big teddy bears.

  Oddly enough, when I went last year with my sister-in-law, her three
boys, and our twins, I found a few things had changed.

  The hot and sticky kids were mine now and I quickly realized my memories
had been colored by the rose-colored glasses of my youth. The weather was hot
and humid, the music too loud, and the fish didn’t smell appealing, just greasy.

  My mood didn’t affect the kids or my overly energetic sister-in-law.
They ignored me, ate fish sandwiches, and merrily rode one ride after another.
Unfortunately the third time they rode the teacups proved to be their undoing.

  This year Russell, one of my twins, showed that he learned from last
year’s experience by refusing to eat supper before going to the fair. “I don’t
want to get sick, Mama,” he explained. Smart kid.

  The ultimate in fair-going is the Kentucky State Fair, held each year
in Louisville. This year mark your calendars for August 17-27. This fair has
something for everyone: rides, exhibits, contests, and concerts. 

  So take your children or grandchildren (or borrow some children for
the night-mine would love to go) and make some memories.

  Just be sure to eat after you ride the teacups, not before.

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