Friday, August 22, 2008

A wet week of blue and gold

It's been a busy week with us gearing up for Fay's visit, then trying to carry on a normal life in nonstop rain for past three or four days. Amazing how dark and dreary Florida becomes without sunshine! The photo shows vehicles traveling through a flooded section of US Highway 192 in Melbourne, Florida, Aug. 20. More than 15 inches of rain from Tropical Storm Fay fell in some parts of Florida causing streets and homes to be flooded. EPA/CHRIS LIVINGSTON

I realized how difficult it is for government and school officials to decide when to cancel schools. I guess they figured out that weather is not an exact science, but still managed to listen to the forecasts and cancel school before the storm hit and fill the schools and buses with kids when the winds and rains built into a facsimile of a tropical storm. Yet, I think all worked out and safety prevailed.

But I'm thankful for the rains, maybe those along the coast see things differently, but we needed the rain and our damage was minimal. A leaky roof. The good news it is still under warranty from when it was replaced shortly after Hurricane Charlie visited. (Is it ironic that our governor's name is Charlie?)

If I were back in Ohio, this week would have been devoted to the Allen County Fair. A friend wrote to tell me about her 'goat boys' that her granddaughter raised as 4-H projects and showed at the fair. They earned a respectable 5th place and their involvement made their days at the fair even more special. Relatives showed their 4-H projects and took home the blue, while Olympians participated in Beijing. It's been a good week.

The photo features Presley Burden, 9, and her feeding calf Turbo. Burden competed in the fair this year with two feeder calves, one heifer and one steer. I bet her parents and grandparents did the same thing when they were her age. There's something satisfying, hopeful, about a multi-generational family tradition.

The Christian Science Monitor published my essay about the fair and lemon shake ups in their Home Forum section, if you want to check out my fair memories. Of course those barely scratch the surface. For several years I worked in the fair office during fair week and it was the most fun and exasperating time I've ever spent. We'd laugh, we'd kick boxes in frustration, we'd greet Alan Jackson, Reba, Arizona, and all of the other big names who added our little fair to their performance schedule. My days were filled giving directions to people trying to find the fair. They'd call from home, from their car, from pay phones. We pointed people to various locations on the fairgrounds, announced lost kids and lost parents, and gave updates on special activities about to begin. I miss that involvement and that energy that took hold of us during that week we had prepared for all year.

All seems to balance out this week, tipping a bit toward world peace and faith in our next generation and less towards disaster and fear of world wars. Maybe if Russian President Putin visited the Allen County Fair, he might forget about bombing Georgia.

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