Thursday, September 6, 2007

Going to the Fair!

My husband is in his truck waiting as I post this blog. It's fair time, you know the harvest type fairs so popular in the midwest. The Sandwich Fair started yesterday and tradition has had us attending each Thursday for oh -- some thirty years now. I can smell the cinna-buns already.

We always go in the early morning. The huge trees create a canopy from the sun and it's a wonderful feeling when its rays sneak through to warm everything up. As the day progresses the avenues grow crowded, yet we stop and visit our neighbors and friends as we stroll about. Thursday is pretty much hometown day; the city folk haven't yet discovered that mid-week is better than weekend. Please keep our little secret ~ the streets are crowded enough.

I can't decide what is my favorite part of the fair. The child in me loves to see how much the pumpkins weigh. Our neighbor Kent has won several years for having huge pumpkins, some as heavy as 700 pounds. The librarian in me visualizes a book ... The Pumpkin At The Fair! And I see colorful pictures of a farmer and his crop, one giant pumpkin in the bed of his truck as folks look on with awe. And the grandma in me loves the animals ... the rabbits are my favorite, but the sheep dogs working and showing their talents comes in a quick second. But then there's the petting zoo and the baby chicks are so fuzzy and cuddling and the piglets so pink they need their own crayon named after them. I'd call it piglet pink!

Of course we will look over the new tractors, trailers and trucks. My husband will dream his own dreams as I wonder off toward the barn housing homemade and home grown. The quilts hang as beautifully from the rafters and walls as flowers fluttering in a well kept garden.

And the people ... I love to people watch. If you need a character for your story, just sit on a bench and let your eyes devour the banquet of diversity. I'm usually eating something while I people watch. It's a good disguise; nobody likes being scrutinized. But I can't help myself. I look for those small oddities that make folks unique and my characters intriguing. Once I've filed away several ideas, and my funnel cake is gone, I move on, usually to the restroom to wash sticky fingers.

The antique tractor displays are one of our favorite spots and the pony rides where our granddaughters like to go. We walk through the camper and boats displays, dream of the day when we might own such a luxury. As we pass vendors, my eyes land on harvest and farming decorations. I buy what I can't live without and let the others go.

The day will melt away, but we'll return Friday night for the country western concert
in the grandstands. We may take in the harness racing or tractor and truck pulls. We may even wind our way through the two midways of thrill-a-minute rides.

The days at the fair will go quickly, they always do. But I will sort through my little bag of charater traits I discovered until they are in a safe place for retreaving when I need them. Paper and pen are usually needed for this. I don't trust myself enough to remember minute details anymore.

And the smells ... don't forget to catalog the scents you'll need to create a vivid picture for your readers. The animals offer a wide variety, and mix that in with corn dogs and cotton candy, one wonders how the words don't jump right off the page.
So if you're looking, needing descriptive thoughts, visit a fair this fall. It's a writers delight.

Til next time ~

DL Larson

1 comment:

Margot Justes said...

Hi Deb,
Your tradition is wonderful, we have something similar on a much smaller scale, for us it's apple picking in the fall.