John has developed a new philosophy and his new philosophy is "What are we saving for, if we keep bypassing every single pleasure? What about today?" I do understand what he's saying. We can save for tomorrow and we are and we will continue to do so, but every now and then we need to stop and think about what we're missing TODAY.
It is Fair season. The Georgia National Fair is a big deal and it's within 30 miles of home. It started last Thursday night and winds up this Sunday night. There's a limited window of opportunity for us to go and this year, John meant we were going to go. It did seem that every single thing came together to make the day about perfect. First there was that 'littlest girl' as she's called who asked specially if we'd spend the day with her at the fair. Flattered beyond words, we said yes. After all, how many 20 year olds think it's fun to spend a day with mom and dad? Then there was the weather which finally decided to act like autumn and turned off cool, then came out with sunshine, blue skies, cool breezes to mark the day as most excellent.
We started the day with waffles. What's better on a cool morning than toasty warm waffles with real maple syrup and a sprinkle, just a hint, of cinnamon sugar? The house was cleaned to a spic and span shine the day before, too. Not a thing to do beyond stack the dishes and make the beds. We went in two separate cars because Katie meant to stay until closing at 10pm. That was not what we meant to do. Our plans centered around the daylight part of the day. John and I had to run a couple of errands and then we finally got to the fairgrounds. Katie had called 20 minutes before to tell us where to park, "Just loads of open spaces," she said. Apparently a lot of people arrived in that 20 minutes. Katie parked at the fence. We were parked somewhere nearer the entry road about a dozen parking lines farther away. We met at the clock tower...That is center of the grounds and the tallest spot there. A great visual for lost ones or for kids old enough to be turned loose on their own who must meet back up with mom and dad at a certain hour.
John wanted a new hat and we went to place an order with one of the vendors first thing. Then we went to the VFW booth where we got lunch: a grilled burger.
We trekked to the other end of the park to see the new manufactured home set up, the new cars, tractors, hot tubs, grills, etc. etc. Lots of food booths, which for some reason Katie seemed to think had multiplied in years past. Nope...she just never bothered to come with us to that side of the fairgrounds. She preferred to stay at the Midway and ate at the few food booths over there.
So we finally made it down to the manufactured home site and discovered they had TWO this year. We absolutely fell head over heels in like with one home. It had a wide open floor plan, beautiful built-ins and cabinets, a huge laundry room, mudroom, a master bath that dwarfs ours which we've always thought was pretty big. A walk in closet that stunned Katie and I both in the master and the other two bedrooms had smaller walk-in closets (more the size of what our largest walk-in is here). There were nine foot ceilings, lots of windows. Now it might sound odd, but one thing I look at in homes is how easily accessible it is for a wheelchair. This dates back to the car accident I had many years ago and to our middle boy, Danny, who was in a wheelchair. Only he seldom was at our previous home because it didn't accommodate his chair at all. Old habits, I suppose, do come up and this house had a broad hallway, wide open bathrooms, etc. It was just lovely. They even used the same colors in the décor we are considering for our home.
Well...that took my breath away...We looked at the second home but it came up short in comparison as far as Katie and I were concerned. I thought John must have not cared much about looking because he just stayed in the living room of that house. I didn't know until later that he was as taken with that first model as I'd been and he saw no point in looking at the second one. He's a loyal heart even in his likes.
We walked into the petting zoo, but it was stuffy and Katie said the animals looked sad. The goats weren't sad; they were all being fed carrot sticks by a bunch of kids and the antelope was trying hard to jump the gate between them so he could have some too. The young zebra was enjoying being petted but the giraffe was definitely a bored teen who lay down in one corner and yawned. Katie went on through to see the llamas. I went back out to find my hubby. I was getting pretty warm from all the walking and sunshine at that point.
There was lots more to see and periodic breaks to just sit down, cool off and talk. We stopped for coffee and Katie got a Raspberry Lemonade. We walked and walked and walked. We stopped to listen to the tail end of a musician's program. There was a couple there who were of the generation who'd grown up with that last song. They got up and showed how they danced to that music.
We visited the commercial buildings and checked out several vendors. John has a tradition of sorts that started way back when we were first dating and he's kept up pretty much ever since. Come September, he asks if there's any jewelry I want...Come October and time for the fair, he seeks out the local Pawn shop's booth. There's a story behind why we go there which hasn't a thing to do with saving money. In my previous marriage the owner of this Pawn shop had been particularly kind to me. It's a courtesy thing with John to do business with them whenever we can. Over the years we've come to really like them and feel we're valued as customers. So every year that we go to the fair, John buys me a new piece of jewelry. This year it was lovely little pearl drops to slip onto a pair of gold hoops.
By the time we'd visited the commercial vendors building and seen all the demo products, etc., I was pooped. Five hours of walking had worn me out, even with a few spells of sitting down. We decided that a spell of people watching was in order. We were in a very well shaded area on the east side of the fairgrounds at that time and it began to feel chilly. I do love people watching especially when I'm accompanied by others who enjoy it just as much.
Well, we were finally too chilly to sit still. Boy did standing up make us all groan, lol! And the long trek to our car wasn't being looked forward to either. But the Fair charms you from the moment you enter until you leave. There were more kids, some of whom were begging friends to come see their display, their carpentry work, their plants. And then there's always the unexpected. A stop by a silly western show that was generating lots of laughter. And this:
Well that is the exit gate in the photo above as well...Hugs from a sweet girl who was determined to stay until 'the very end'. She'd planned to have dinner from one of the food booths, ride the rides, see the fireworks. She'd worn the parental units out with all that trekking around to see absolutely everything.
We stopped to have supper out at Applebee's. We were given gift cards last Christmas and we'd saved them all year long. The service was great, the food came quickly, it was hot and soooo tasty! Fresh air, sunshine, the constant good aromas at the fair had really worked wonders on our appetite.
We were convinced that the day couldn't get any better, but on our way home, along one of our favorite backroads, as we crowed to one another yet again that the day had been pretty grand, we had our final treat of the day. As we rounded a curve, a pick up truck came along slowly in the opposite lane. There atop the hood of the truck sat a great big dog, grinning for ear to ear. We're sure he must be the King of the road...
I'm afraid we all sported sunburns but none of us even realized it until we got home. It was the best day!
Fair Day...sigh. I can't wait until next year!