28 Aug

… those wonderful things that happen year-after-year.  Those things that the mere thought of missing them, skipping them, makes you feel a little less whole and a lot less happy.

These guarded behaviors, family rituals if you will, are part of what makes us the family we are today.  Silly things — pancakes on Sunday morning for hungry boys, specific dishes on the Thanksgiving table, certain books read before bedtime each night, phone calls made every week on the same day.

One of the equally trivial but also immovable for us, the annual jaunt to the 4-H Grange Fair. I’m fairly sure that I’ve been to the Grange Fair every year since High School — and certainly most of the years prior to graduating.  I spent plenty of hours in elementary school entering baked goods, mediocre flower arrangements and odd and likely poorly fashioned craft projects.  Despite my ecclectic entries, I almost always won something.  With fists full of blue ribbons and cash prizes added to my pockets, I’d pounce on the penny candy station, carnival rides and shopping tents.

Since my crafting days are long over and my baking days are now for consumption only, recent Grange experiences are more tame but equally important.  Tim and I got our marriage certificate there seven (yes, seven!) years ago. We’ve run into old friends and close family while walking the dusty paths.  Two years ago, we stumbled into some of Tim’s  colleagues who were shocked to see my giant six month pregnant belly since he had yet to “announce” the news at work.

And this year, the tradition enveloped the newest member of our family.  Of course, he was there last year (amidst the downpours), but at eight months he wasn’t totally cognizant of goings on. The opposite was true this year.  Luke is an official Grange Fair boy — running from tractor to tractor, mooing at the cows and dancing to the live music.

He’ll still tell you all about his experiences if you ask — a big accomplishment for a child with seemingly no short or long-term memory that doesn’t include food.  His retelling usually goes like this:

“Fair. Ah-nimahls. TRAC-ters. Mama. Dada. Dou-cas. Gigi. PopPop. No Tali.”

If you prompt him for more details, you’ll likely hear:

“Cows. Sheepies. Harses. Naaaaay! Piggies. Big TRAC-tors!”



And he almost always ends his tale of the Grange Fair with, “Big Slide! I skerrred.” Because, even after this happened, his parents just couldn’t help themselves.









All in all, a highly successful 4-H adventure.  We’ll be back next year.  After all, it’s a tradition.


2 Responses to “Traditions”

  1. smithical August 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    your pictures look just like our farms how/fair pictures! i think the same carnies must move around to the different PA county fairs! 🙂 we love going to the fair every year as well. this year has proven my most difficult “mothering letting go moments” as the boys are now tall enough to go on the big, scary rides. my rule is that if the ride is a fast moving, upside- down thing, and can be dismantled and moved to a different location in a day, then it’s not fit or safe for riding. do you think it’s wrong of me to just allow our kids to only ride dutch wonderland rides for the rest of their years under our roof? ~liz

  2. GiGi August 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm #


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