Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Day Out at the Fair

Mrs Bale hasn't been around much this summer because she is a modest sort of person who never likes to appear as if bragging. The summer weather has been perfect. Really. Out of a children's storybook kind of perfect. Not too hot, not too rainy, not too sunny, windows open all the time, fans blowing.

Addendum: Two days after I wrote this, I heard on our state public radio station that someone in the tourism department said that it has been a 'Goldilocks summer. Not too hot, not too cold, not too rainy, not too dry. It's been just right for any activity.'

If I could write a poem, I would. While so much of the world has been suffering through drought and its opposite, we've had nothing to complain about. So, Mrs B hasn't wanted to say much. She has just soaked it all in and smiled with pleasure.

And yesterday was no exception. We had a little rain during the night, and by morning the sun was out, and the temps in the seventies all day. A perfect day to go to the Fair!


The view of the fairgrounds from the top of the hill heading into town


We park across the road


Tom buys the admission tickets


And we are on our way!
The buildings are permanent, empty for all but a few days a year. But, oh how they shine in those few days.


The first stop is always here


to get milk, and a homemade doughnut (in that little basket) to have with these, my particular star of the Fair!


As we ate we listened to a local ceilidh band


In one of the halls I saw pictures of older days

Look at those dresses and suits. Not many of them in sight yesterday!

We wandered through the midway, and spent most of our time in the halls and with the animals. A few years ago, a new permanent exhibit hall was created. It features items from the past. It is wonderful to see the way life used to be lived.

Butter churn


A real cast-iron sink, and working water pump.


Washing the clothes


Wringing them dry


It was a Maytag from the 1930s








There's a whole barn devoted to old tractors








We so love the animal barns; separate ones for cows, horses, sheep and goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, and rabbits.








When the kids were younger I kind of dreamed that we might exhibit some of our animals or chickens, but we never did. It is quite a commitment. Many of the young people stay right there at the Fair for the whole time. They have to keep their animals/birds fed, and their bedding cleaned, and keep them groomed for the judges.



We spent about five hours at the Fair. We ran into some good friends, and their 37-year-old son with two of his three daughters. We used to go to the Fair together when all our kids were little, and now here he is with the next generation. The fairgrounds were filled with young parents and their little ones making memories. A young woman texted me saying she was homesick and wished she could come to the Fair. It gets into our hearts and stays forever. I wrote about this a few years ago when I quoted Auden's poem; the way the Fair is a constant in our lives.

For more years at the Fair, you may click the 'Fair' letter topic.

34 comments:

  1. Love the photos of the fair--looks like fun. And jealous of the weather!!

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    1. It was a wonderful outing. And yes, the weather is wonderful.

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  2. Hard to believe but my mother owned a "Batter Beater." She was not much in the kitchen but she loved word games, particularly pairing alliterative words. The batter beater was good at its job, too--and we never called it anything else. Nobody in the U.S. had heard of a whisk in those days!

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  3. What a marvelous time you guys must have had. Perfect weather indeed. Thanks for sharing all the pictures with us. Loved it!

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    1. I'm happy you enjoyed our day at the Fair.

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  4. How nice it is to see Mrs. Bale again after a long absence and how lovely to go to the fair with you, Nan. I tend to have an idealized vision of a farm kitchen. Your pictures bring me back to reality of the hard work that was to be had in them.

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    1. Watching that washing machine, I was struck by why there was a whole day devoted to laundry. :<)
      We had a wood cookstove in this house until finally selling it, and while it was fun to cook on, I never did get the baking thing down. I've read that the women used to know just what kind of wood and how much it took for certain items.
      Those women worked hard and long.

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  5. I've never been to a fair like this, but it seems like a great way to spend a warm summer day. Thanks for sharing the photos and descriptions. The one fair I do hope to go to in the near future is a renaissance fair... hopefully I'll have time to go.

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    1. Gosh, really. This is part of the life up here, and has been for ages. I hope you post about the R. fair if you go. I find them a fascinating idea, though I've never been to one.

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  6. As you say a lovely fair day to go to the Fair. What fun -- You (and Mrs Bales) have been lucky this summer with beautiful weather (we have been here in Oregon too).

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    1. Glad to hear there is another area where the weather has been good. Typical of news to tell only the bad, right?!

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  7. Hasn't this weather been unbelievable? I wish some of my ex-pat (down south) relatives would show up periodically when this kind of thing happens. They seem to turn up the day after the wind blows down all the autumn leaves, or during an ice storm. No fair for me this year. I am not quite sure how that happened. Glad to read about yours. I like all the same bits that you do. Enjoy this tranquil season.

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    1. You could still go to Tunbridge. We keep meaning to get there, but never have. Some year we should go and meet up!

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  8. You have been mightly blessed this summer Nan. I am so glad the Fair didn't disappoint.

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    1. It never, ever disappoints. The feeling of continuity through all the changes is a miracle to me.

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  9. I want to be Mrs. Bale. Is she your alter ego? If so, she is a lovely lady. We have not been to a county fair since the girls were little. If we went I would want cotton candy, I would want the smell of animal stalls, I would want to hold my husbands hand and stroll until dusk when the lights on the midway come on. Thanks, Nan. Have a super Labor Day weekend.

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    1. She is a character in the British television show, As Time Goes By. She is fascinated by weather and always reports on what's going on in the Irish Sea. :<) I've just kind of adopted her for the weather reports on the blog. She's a great character, and Janet Henfrey is a wonderful actress. You and your fella oughtta go. I suspect you will find it quite unchanged.

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  10. People were definitely better dressed back then - and hardly any of them overweight ;-)
    That fair is great, I could easily spend a whole day there! So much to see, and I am sure your lovely pictures can only give a glimpse of it, and that's without the sounds and scents and the general atmosphere.
    Maybe one day I'll manage to time my annual visit in England so that I can attend the country fair in Ripon, I've been past the fairground many times...

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    1. That's exactly right! Lots were overweight this year.
      I've always wanted to go to the little country fairs I've read about in books.

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  11. That kitchen sink and pump look EXACTLY like the ones in our little farm house up there!
    What Fair is that? We'll be going to the Common Ground Fair in a few weeks! :)))

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    1. The pump worked, too!
      We've never gone to Common Ground, and should! It's a bit of a haul for us though - about three hours, I think.

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  12. How lovely for us all to come to the fair with you, thank you so much. This sort of thing is a bastion of sanity in a chaotic world. Mrs Bale is pleased with the weather here today, sunny and warm, rare for this summer which has been the wettest for over 100 years.
    Carole

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    1. I wish you really could have been there.
      At least all is green!

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  13. I just love a fair. Didn't go to one this summer though.

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    1. Not too late for some of them. We went to the Big E one year a long time ago. I imagine it is even bigger now.

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  14. Nostalgia...that old Maytag wringer washer. My mom had one, but not that old...LOL

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    1. In the mid-seventies a neighbor had one, and that's how she did her wash. Amazing.

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  15. Love the pictures of the fair, especially the ones of the old items used long ago. That stuff is just fascinating! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. That barn was wonderful. We spent a long time in there. It's a place for the imagination.

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  16. This makes me think of Tunbridge Fair, in Tunbridge, VT--not nearly as rowdy and gaudy as Rutland Fair--a place I didn't enjoy. My husband would love the tractor exhibit.

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    1. Tom is taking care of someone's dog and cat this week while the man goes to T. Fair! I've never been to either R. or T. The one I go to has the 'rowdy and gaudy' on the midway, but when you move out of that area, there are barns and animals and displays. So, something for everyone!

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  17. Hello, Mrs. Bale! I've missed you. ;) I wish we had had a Goldilocks kind of summer...

    My former mother-in-law had an old woodstove that she used in addition to her convection oven and microwave. It wasn't quite as old as the one in the photo, but similar. I remember one Thanksgiving, I took a couple of cookie sheets filled with homemade dinner rolls over to their house to bake as the turkey was resting. I set them on top of the woodstove and promptly forgot about them. That is until everyone smelled something burning. It was my rolls! I had no idea the top of the woodstove was hot (they smoked the turkey on the BBQ) and the rolls were ruined. Completely black on the bottoms :( Live and learn, I suppose.

    Those fries look divine!! And the photos that show the blue sky and fluffy white clouds are gorgeous. It looks like it was an absolutely gorgeous day for the Fair.

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    1. Our house had one, and we used it, and kept it for many years but finally sold it to a local store. It burned up the wood too fast. I did some stove top cooking on it but never used the oven.
      Thanks so much for coming by and reading and commenting on all these posts. I've had such fun going through them.

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