We went to the fair this weekend. Every year, the second weekend in September this fair takes place, and in the last 3 years we have tried our hardest to stay at the fair as long as we can. This year was no different. The ride bracelets were bought in advance and we arrived early enough to ride all the rides to get it out of our system, knowing that we would have longer lines later on and may not get to all of the popular rides again. This year my eldest daughter asked to have her boyfriend come along and my youngest got to have his friend come. My middle child was more than happy to just hang out with her sister and be with someone her age. This year my hubby and I were going to be partly ditched by the older two girls. They would check in at lunch time and then again when we were leaving (of course). My youngest and his friend would have to suffer through hanging out with the parents. We had the plan in play, the water bottles were filled and the snacks packed. We were ready to go!
Earlier in the week we had run into a slight problem with the fair though. Thursday afternoon my boss had been to a client’s house close to where the fair was and was listening to the fire forecast (one side job she has is to help evacuate animals that are caught near wildfires) when it came across the lines that a wild fire had broken out west of where the fair was and that they town was on standby for evacuations. Now wild fires are not a new thing for us in this area. The pacific northwest seems to always have one going on and this fire was no different. We actually consider our summers a good summer if we don’t have smoke in the air. Needless to say our summer has had A LOT of smoke in the air and at times ash falling on our cars and homes. I called my hubby and let him know the news (don’t know why I do this, he seems to always know what is going on). So we had to wait and watch to see what this fire would do. By Saturday the fire was about 85% contained so the fair at least for us was a go…..YAY!
This fair is the biggest one in our area, it’s the one everyone goes to even though we have smaller ones throughout the summer. The rides to really change, but the community seems to all head out in droves to this fair and we were going as well. We got there with the plan to go on some of the rides first and then meet up for lunch to then separate again until we planned to head home. The first ride of the day was the G Force. This ride basically spins you around so fast that you are plastered to the wall until the spinning stops. If you are unlucky enough sometimes you are not pushed up against the wall hard enough and start to flip upside down. Sadly this happened to my daughter’s boyfriend. Normally you just ride it out, shake it off and head to the next ride once the spinning stops, sadly for him, it hit him a bit harder. The empty stomach (other than a flavored water he had) and the force of the spinning caused his insides to want to come out, and needless to say he was not able to just “shake it off” He was a bit green and was barely able to hold down the water and fruit bar we gave him, but he managed to and eventually was able to walk around a little bit more. G-Force 1, poor teenage kid 0.
For some reason the rides at the fair consist of spinning rides, more spinning rides, rides that go in all different directions while spinning, and bumper cars. After lunch and getting my daughter and her boyfriend in a cooler location we headed back to the rides. This time it was the boy. My so and his friend were so excited that they could go on any ride they wanted. They were finally tall enough!! The first go around of spinning rides was really no problem until they decided to do them again, then the spinning mixed with the heat and not enough water led to my little man sitting out in the shade for some of the time while my hubby gladly poured cold water on his head. Luckily his insides stayed inside but after a few times of sitting in the shade we all voted to go look at the quilts that won various prizes in one of the main buildings. By the time we cooled down, settled down and figured out what to do next, we all opted for shopping, ice cream and then to head home.
Another fair in the books, this time around we managed to be there for about 6 hours give or take, 1/2 more than the last time! We do love going to the fair, more to come together as a community, but also it’s to make memories. This year was about the girls going out on their own, doing their own thing. This year was about my youngest having a friend to ride the rides with him. We didn’t go early for the piglet chase and catch, but we arrived to see friends whose kids were in the chase. We had local food, we rode the rides and we had yummy Umpqua ice cream. My hubby and I were about to see people we haven’t seen in years, and talk to others we hadn’t talked to in longer. The fires that were nearby didn’t stop this day, and thankfully they were contained quickly. The two kids that had a hard time keeping the contents of their stomachs in their stomachs put a damper on the moment, but once they felt better we were able to keep having fun.
We came home tired, but knew we had a good day together. More often than not, our weekends are when we are able to do things as a family (our next adventure will be a 5k Mud Run). My hubby and I know our time with our kids is getting shorter and shorter. Times and circumstances have already taken our baby girls and changed them into young ladies with their own opinions and world views. Daily, sometimes hourly I am praying for them knowing that who they hang out with, and what they chose to listen to or get involved in will shape them into the people they will become, and sometimes I am scared to think about that. My son is your typical 10 year old who doesn’t realize that he really is not being raised in a barn. When we chose to show up, and be open to listen great things will happen. Even if this means riding spinning rides and eating fair food, while making sure the kids that have been given to you to care for do their best to drive you insane. Enjoy life, enjoy your family, find your joy and fight your battles on your knees praying for those you love. Until next time:
Life is a colorful adventure