Thoughts on the Fair

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It’s my birthday week again, and that must mean it’s time for another Farmington Fair. Hard to believe this was the 11th one my family has attended, but there you have it. It’s developed into quite the tradition for us, even though it inevitably falls at a very hectic time of year.

This time, we had the chance to introduce the fair to some friends who have moved into the area. It was fun being on the opposite end of that, since I still remember clearly being introduced to the fair myself ten years ago. (I worry that I didn’t do quite as good of a job at it as the friends who introduced us years ago, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying,)

As we were going around with our kids, it gave me time to reflect a bit on what things were like for Denisa and me back then and what they’re like now. A great slice of that was seen by just observing how each of my kids were interacting with the fair. Tomas was zooming around with his friends from ride to ride, as “spending time with his parents” at the fair has taken a bit of a backseat. DC was still walking around with us and happy to hang out with Denisa or me. MC was, of course, attached to us at the hip. (It’s a really busy fair. Losing track of your little ones would be bad.)

The rides themselves age up with the kids. Our friends’ daughter was small enough that some of the kiddie rides really intimidated her. MC had no problem with those, but some of the big kid rides were too much for her. DC couldn’t even fit on the kiddie rides anymore, and there were yet more rides she just wanted to avoid. Tomas just wanted to do the daring rides and that was it. There’s a life lesson in there somewhere, I’m sure. About how we each handle challenges that are generally matched to what we’re capable of (hopefully). And how as we grow older and better at handling challenges, life seems to have a way of finding new, harder ones for us to tackle.

In any case, it was a fun time. Got some maple cotton candy, mini donuts, french fries, and a new thing (to me): maple cream. Somehow if you boil maple syrup just right, it magically turns into this butter-like spread, but is still 100% maple syrup. I have a feeling demons are involved in its construction at some point, because it tastes absolutely amazing. I bought a pound of it on the spot, and I haven’t had to sign away my soul yet, so I think I made out okay on the transaction.

And of course for me there’s now the permanent connection the fair has to THE MEMORY THIEF, since a good portion of the book takes place there. It’s always fun to walk around and picture the different events of the novel happening in different spots. As if I could see Benji running through the crowd, trying to get away from the bullies, or breaking into the grounds late at night after everyone’s gone home. Good times.

Another one in the history books now. It’s running through Saturday, if you’re in the area. I highly recommend it.

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