Shortly after my arrival at the fair, I remembered how much I actually do love the sights and sounds of the county fair--meaning, the 4H livestock judging portion of it. The sights, sounds, and smells make me feel as though I'm in a movie. The cows mooing in the background, animals being cleaned and trimmed, cowboy looking men swearing when a cow steps on their food, goats and sheep making noises, the misters spraying the pigs, and so on. For someone like me, who clearly considers herself a city gal, and a definite outsider amongst everyone else there, there is something charming about this part of the fair.
There are people dressed to the nines (in a 4H county fair type of way), and then there is me whose only rule of thumb is to wear closed toe shoes. (Figured that out finally my third year into it!--Next year, (I'm sure they'll be a next year, I will wear socks and tennis shoes!)
I love seeing the people in their white shirts with the 4H badge attached to the left arm, some of them so starched I'm surprised they can bend their arms to hold an animal leash. I love seeing the extension cords set up outside a goat pen to accommodate curling irons and makeshift beauty parlors. There are mothers who think this is some kind of beauty pageant extension, and fathers who think this is the make or break event of their child's farming life.
Then there was me sitting reading a book, Joshua coloring at my side, waiting patiently (keyword) for Luke's events. Neither Mike or I have had any involvement in the raising of goats, there is no multi-generational goat raising going on around here. We weren't part of any big family groups waiting anxiously for awards and accolades. There are no pressures of long standing traditions of Sowby's winning and succeeding in the 4H division of any fair. We're just along for the ride. I wasn't feeling any competition or pressure that some of those around me were. For me, all it's about is 2 goats, a boy, and a whole lotta love.
(The lower middle photo on the poster is of Lily, and the caption above it says, "In memory of Lily, 2012-13". Made me cry.)