Face cleanly shaved, hat pulled down tight, good mornings shared with warmth and glee.
I have found myself sitting quietly on a bench inside the livestock area of our local fair. It is that time of year and with three children left on the ranch all three are proudly placing thier animals on display for all to judge and see. My wife can’t make it this year due to this whole “Leukemia” thing. So it’s just me, myself and I.
I sit alone.
Like I said; clean shaven, hat pulled down, my world has turned into a vacuum, a void. I most likely know or are acquainted with 70-80 percent of those roaming this small town within a town. Yet quietly, peacefully I sit as it all rushes by like that of a busy city street filled with animals not cars.
People watching can be fun when you’re camouflaged into the fabric of your surroundings. There are many groupings to witness. Parents worked up over nothing herding animals from one place to the next. Kids rolling their eyes while turning away from mom who obviously needs an Ativan. Dads running to and meeting their daughters every needs. (I am no exception to this rule) and of course putting all kidding aside those uber competitive parents who are really reliving their former glory days through sheer frustration of their own child.
There is also a small faction who actually enjoy just being here. They are usually the new families, eyes wide open, yearning to learn and grow, expanding upon this experience purely by being a part of an annual pilmigrage. Suckers! Little do they know next year competitive mom/dad will emerge from under that sweet sappy exterior!!!
Goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, rabbits, steers, quail, turkeys and dairy cows oh my! All that’s needed is an arc and a man named Noah. It really is an amazing feat when you think about the logistics of running this very operation. And even though I am poking at the proverbial ribs of its existence, there is no better place for a child to learn about animals in combination with enjoying the fruits of labor.
I feel sorry for every child not lucky enough to raise animals, show animals ,developing a life long bond forged together with other like minded children. Oh there are those who say they’ll find it in baseball or soccer, football or track. But I beg to differ. There is something about raising an animal to the best of your abilities, caring for and showing that animal that creates a different adult out of a child. Just my opinion.
I am one of those parents who raised animals in 4-H, it changed my life. My parents raised animals in 4-H and it changed their lives. Hopefully my children will carry it forward into their lives. If they do I am fairly positive somewhere along the way my four children will grow into fine adults and even better parents who I am sure will be, competitive, animal rushing, a tad bit psycho, reliving the old days parents who are just happy to be here, at the fair supporting thier children.
Oh well more to watch…
I sit alone…..