Thursday, October 14, 2010

Some Things Change; Some Don't

Last week I was lucky enough to go to the Henry County Fair with one of my favorite nephews for his birthday.

Ethan turned 11 and instead of going out for his birthday supper somewhere like Outback or Longhorn, he wanted to go to the fair.

Ethan and Nick October 6, 2010

I don't know how long it's been since any of you have been to a county fair. My sweet friend, Dena, in Iowa goes every year. I haven't been in many, many years. And after reading all about the fun that Dena and her family have at their fairs, I wanted to go check my local one out.

After going to the fair, I realized that some things change and some things definitely don't. That was especially true for the fair!

When we were kids, every October the fair came to McDonough. We'd always beg mom to take us and most of the time she did. Back in those days, the fairgrounds were dirt. Now, the fair is held on nice -- although busted up in places -- pavement.

Ethan and Nick on the slide

They still have some of the same rides. Like the slide. I think that fair rides are mostly for young folks. I mean, if I come flying down that slide on a tow sack like the boys did, as soon as my bootie hits that last bump, I'm heading to my local medical center. But not kids. They ride and ride and ride.

Ahhhhh, the funnel cake. Who knows what it is or how to make them. And more importantly, who even cares. Crystal said she saw a funnel cake maker at some store that you could take home and make your own. For me, that would be a very bad idea. I would probably eat them every single meal. That greasy, sweet, powdery sugar goodness would clog my arteries and probably send me to an early grave. But wow, would it be a heck of a way to go.

Crystal bought the boys $20 armbands, which allowed them to ride as many rides as many times as they wanted to. It allowed them to play the games exactly zero times. What was the thing they wanted to do first? Play the games.

The games were pretty much the same. Fill your balloon up with water first, win a prize. Shoot a basketball so filled with air it's most likely gonna bounce off the rim, win a prize. Pick a duck out of the water, you know, all the same ones.

But the thing that was different was the prizes. Sure you could always win a Teddy Bear, BUT not one with a Department of Corrections jumpsuit on. Is this supposed to be endearing? I guess if you had a loved one locked up, you could snuggle up with your DOC Teddy Bear and feel closer to that person.

Another all-time favorite of mine. The sticky, gooey, delicious caramel apple. But with these teeth of mine, if I had even one bite every tooth in my mouth would likely be crunched up with the apple. Sadly, I had to pass on that one.

Crystal and James have been working out really hard. Don't they look great?

Maybe fairs are in cahoots with cardiologists because some of the things they have to eat there are crazy. Deep fried candy bars! That's scary!

Gone are the days of thinking ahead and getting your cash before you go to the fair. Now, if you don't have cash or if you spend all you brought and you just can't resist that deep friend candy bar, just walk over to the ATM.

I love Ferris wheels. I love Nicholas Sparks, who also loves Ferris wheels. I think they are so pretty with the lights against the night sky. Haven't ridden one in years.

I have to be honest here. I love corndogs. Love them. So of course, no trip to the fair would have been complete without one. Nowadays in America, we have supersized everything. Including the corn dog.
Also keeping it real, I tried something called chicken on a stick.

And honestly, it was the best chicken tender I've ever eaten. Nobody, and I mean nobody, can fry food like the fair people can.
We took a look at the animals. Unfortunately, it was a Wednesday when we went and the only ones left were the cows. They had been shown the day before and the day we went was the day of the sale.
I've been around cows plenty of times. My PaPa Kimball raised them and we saw them lots of times. They used to mess up our fishing in PaPa's pond by taking a swim in it. But PaPa's cows were just cows. They weren't brushed and petted and massaged.
The ones at the fair were so pretty. Their hair was nicely combed and they didn't have any slime hanging out of their mouths or flies flying around their eyes like the ones I had seen in South Georgia at PaPa's farm.
I pet one and fell in love. He was so soft and warm. I decided then and there that I wouldn't be eating any more beef. Alas, though, it was not to be. I have craved nothing but a steak and roast beef since that moment.
So for the best fried food around, people watching at its absolute best, may I suggest your county or state fair. It was the most fun I had had in a while. To be there with my sweet nephew celebrating his 11th birthday was just the powdered sugar on the funnel cake.

Till next time...


Tracychele @ The Week-Ender said...

Wow. The fair still looks the same after all these years, with the exception of the ATM and the "DOC" bear...huh? Why not "Jesus" or "Stay in School, Kids"??? Looks like everyone had fun. I hope he had a great birthday. Can't believe he is 11!!!

suzanne said...

Oh, this was hilarious! The fair is so bright and pretty and makes the BEST pictures. But the jail bird bear is the best. What are people thinking? My mouth watered just looking at those caramel apples, cause girl, teef is good and I can eat them all the day long! Love you and love our sweet little Tunch, too!

Theresa said...

First of all, Happy Birthday Ethan! He is such a precious fella!

Crystal and James are LOOKIN' GOOD:) I need to be working out with them!

I love fairs and I have fond memories of going in the fall when it was cool. The food is good but fattening:) hmmmm I am hungry!

I am happy you all went and enjoyed being together:)

Love you! Auntie T

wendy said...

I LOVE going to the fair. FAIRS are so much fun. I don't care for the rides, I just love the sights, the sounds, the FOODS!!!!
pure calorie heaven

I am glad you all had such a great time. Good choice for a birthday

wendy said...

Oh, and I went down further and read YOUR birthday post.
Happy happiest of birthday.s
45...your a spring chicken.
Ya know, I just turned 59, next year will be the big 60 and THAT really frightens me.
but .....certainly we don't want to NOT be here
It is just hard accepting the changes in our bodies, when our minds keep thinking like we are 21 eh.


Joyce said...

You made me laugh, reflect, and mostly drool with your post. I love the corndogs and funnel cake the most. I think I will stay away from the fair! But ya'll walk it off after eating them.. right? lol That bear was crazy.

billypandnikkysmom said...

Wow, I love a good fair, that cake looked SO GOOD!!! The bear not so much, my hubby is a correstions officer & he would have been "heated" to see such a thing ~ LOL!! Your post brought back so many memories...we had a place near hear called Rocky Point, rides, games, yummy treats! Glad you had a good time!