Friday, July 27, 2012

Get your sweet corn here!!

It is almost time for the county fair!  Woohoo!   I close my eyes and picture myself walking into the fairgrounds.  I can almost smell that tantalizing  combination of corndogs, popcorn, corn on the cob, and ohmygosh don't even get me started about the funnel cakes.  And manure.  Giggle. Well let's face it, you do get the aroma from the animal stalls when the wind is just right!  But that's ok, it's all a part of the charm of the fair.  
After I married my husband, I began working with him at the corn booth, run by the men's group from our church.  It was always a lot of fun, and I felt like part of the fair being a worker as opposed to an attendee.  Kinda felt important. Pretty sad right, that selling corn makes me feel special!!!  
                                  This is a picture the day before the fair started, looking out from the booth.  
                                             My husband had to repair the roof and I had to drop off my entries.  
I really enjoyed watching the people come and go from the safety of my little wooden structure. 
I'm not really a crowd person, so this was perfect!  

While slip-sliding on the butter drippings on the floor, I could look out and see the excited fairgoers, the animals coming and going, the tractors moving to and fro. I listened to the music and watched the colorful ferris wheel spin around and around - in the almost always perfectly blue sky. At night the glistening lights of the ferris wheel sparkled against the starry, black night sky, creating a beautiful kaleidoscope of color, like never-ending fireworks. It was almost magical.  When things got slow I would sneak off to the back of the building to enjoy a yummy, salty, double-dipped in butter ear of corn.  Mmmmmm.  Ok, I'll confess, actually by the time the night was over two or three.  One character from our group, Jon, always wears this crazy yellow rubber hat - shaped like an ear of corn of course - on his head and calls out to the people "Sweet corn, get your delicious sweet corn" for hours.  This isn't him, obviously, but I just had to include a picture so you could get the idea. I loved watching the people's reactions to his hat! 

I wished that time would slow down so the day would last longer.  You could almost feel the excitement in the air. Seeing the joy on the faces of the children just warmed my heart.  I always wished I was raised in the country rather than in a small town. I do know for certain that I am a country girl at heart.  Our grandparents took us "downhome" every summer to spend time with all the relatives in the little southern farm towns, and I think this had a huge effect on me.
After about five years of working in the corn booth I decided to venture out to see the sights.  I would spend hours visiting all the wonderful cows and horses and sheep and chickens. I took so many pictures of the animals, I just love them.  My grandchildren loved the animals too.  

I managed to find my way to the Open Class Building, the one with the jams and baked goods and quilts and knitting, and . . . sigh, I felt like I was stepping into Heaven, country style.  Over the next few years I began spending more time marveling at the magnificent handwork than I did selling corn.  I dared to dream that someday I would enter something.  I was sure my stuff would never be good enough, but it was really fun to just imagine and dream about it.  I will enter something . . . someday. 

Four years ago, I did it.  I don't know what came over me, but I marched into the fair office, requested a fair book, asked a bunch of dumb questions on how to enter, figured out the different  categories, and turned in ten items.  I was certain nothing would get a ribbon, but just being a part of it all made me so happy and excited.  On judging day I showed up with my notebook and camera (and nervous stomach) and watched the judging, listening to the comments. 
 I prayed that God would let me live long enough to win just one blue ribbon.  Well, I didn't win one blue ribbon. At the end of the day I had 6, yes 6 blue ribbons, as well as three red, and one white.  OHMYGOSH!  Then I thought about my prayer and said "oh oh", I should have phrased that prayer differently!!!   The next year I won three blue ribbons, and last year I won 10, as well as a few red and white ribbons.  Gosh, I had a lot of things entered last year, didn't I? I even worked a shift last year in the open class building, and now you will  find me at the fair pretty much every day, God willing. I have already purchased my season pass!  What is really funny is that my daughter, a city girl for sure, absolutely LOVES the fair and was with me almost every day last year. She is buying supplies for the grandkids to make their projects, and is planning on taking the week off this year. Even though she didn't have the exposure to the true "downhome living on a farm lifestyle" I did as a child, she still loves it all.  I guess it is true that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! I can't tell you how happy that makes me.

So here we are again.  I am so busy with mom and everything that I really don't have much time to make things to enter.  I'm so sad that this year I didn't even get to make jam, but as I looked around the house I was finding projects here and there that I have made over the last year that  just might have a chance.  I filled out my paperwork yesterday, and my husband and I took a ride out to the County Fair Office to turn it in.

I also entered two of my grandchildren.  Two years ago my granddaughter entered for the first time and won a blue ribbon and a red ribbon!!  I can honestly say I was more excited about her ribbons than I was my own.  As I tell her, it really doesn't matter if we win a ribbon or not, it's just so much fun being a part of it . . . but I would be lying if I said I wasn't praying for at least one blue ribbon.

Many thanks again to Meri for sharing all her wonderful images. Do visit her blog, you'll love it!


  1. I so enjoyed reading this! And I'm so happy for you! :) Yay for BLUE RIBBONS!!!!!!
    I'm getting excited for the MN State Fair!
    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. How I miss the fair in our town!! When I first got married they had the Country Living Fair here and I entered a few things I canned and won some ribbons! So exciting! Now they don't have it any more... I am crossing my finger and toes for you and your grandbabies! I love the sights and the sounds of the fair but I especially love the taste of it!!



  3. What a great story! And good for you to enter and win!! The sweet corn season is just beginning here, mmmm what fun to sit in a booth selling it and EATING it all day long!!:)

  4. One of my favorite places is the Home Arts building at the Ozark Empire Fair! I love your post about the fair--wish I could work at a fun booth like that! Several years ago I entered my cross-stitches and won a couple of times. But lately I've had the urge again--but kind of glad I didn't do it this year. It is going to be a 100-degree fair this year...I can't take the heat! But, maybe next year...I want to enter sewing, knitting and my salsa!

  5. What a sweet nostalgic story! I could almost taste the corn on the cob...I could definitely smell the manure. I actually like the warm farmy smell of manure...shhhh! You have a wonderful way of painting a word picture. Thank you for sharing this. =D

  6. Julie I love your post. I would love to come to the county fair. I remember as a little girl my mom would take us so we could enter our crafts in the oounty fair. I do not remember if I won anything but I do remember loving the fair.

  7. Just wonderful, wish I could go to the fair Haven't been to one in years...When I was young went a lot specially when I visit with my Aunt and Uncle up North every July they would have their fair and it was a blast..Always went to play bingo with my aunt..those were the days...congratulations on all those ribbons..You will have to show one day what you enter...Happy Friday..and have a lovely weekend..will send you little package soon..k...with love Janice Have fun at the fair..O and your corn hat is to funny!!

  8. Congratulations. I miss the 4h fairs we used to have in Texas. My brother won grand champion for his pig. She was so gorgeous. It was a wonderful experience. It is far to hot in Kansas to visit the fair this year. Enjoy your corn as ours has all dried up. Smiles...Renee

  9. Our corn should be ready by now, I'm venturing out tomorrow to get some! Have fun and take lots of pictures, Marilyn.

  10. What a wonderful fair! Sounds like a lot of fun to be part of, hope you enjoy yourself!

    Hugs, Estelle xx

  11. I went to the fair every day when I was a girl! I had hoped my boys would want to be in 4-H but they didn't. Congrats on all your ribbons and your grands' too! Blue ribbons will always Remind that Andy Griffeth episode about Aunt Bea's pickles. :)

  12. Congrats on your ribbons!! Oh, how I would love to go to a fair one day!! Living in a big city, we don't have them. Have a wonderful time this year, and wishing for many more ribbons!! Love the corn hat, too! ;) Happy weekend to you! xo Heather

  13. I loved reading about your state fair experiences. We finally went to the Tx state fair for the first time last year and it was really fun. It must be fun entering stuff-and winning some ribbons too. This post makes me feel that fall will soon be here-yeah!!

  14. Julie, thanks for your sweet comment. I had to pop back and let you know I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom's fall. It's so hard going through this kind of thing. I'll be thinking of you both!

  15. Lucy,
    All I could think about when reading this post is...THE EYE...lmbo!
    Didn't we discuss you starting early this year?lol I know. No worries, I am quite sure you will have another great year and a ton of fun! Keep me updated. Grrr now I want corn and funnel cake!

  16. We just went to our county fair last weekend. We're lucky, it's just up the road from us and we can walk there, coming and going as we please!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I read your "about me" and I just had to follow you.


  17. Hi my dear Friend, I am very very pleased that you have visited my blog. This is my pride that I have your friendship..:)) Thank you very much..:))I am very very happy to meet you..:))
    All best wishes..
    And happy sunny days..:))

  18. Julie,
    Too bad I live in Brazil, but would be at the Fair!
    I added your blog on my blogroll. Would you like to add me too?
    Catia Pinho

  19. Moving to Ohio from Washington, DC and attending our little town's fair was a revelation to me. The first year I couldn't imagine eating food from vendors on wheels. I was amazed to learn that people go to the fair specifically for Fair Food. I can now say I have had a funnel cake and kettle corn. (I had never heard of any of these before) This year I will be on the lookout for corn. Who knew people would want to eat it in public! This was such a fun post. It makes me want to win a blue ribbon. Thank you for sharing! Cute corn hat! Elizabeth

  20. Hi Julie,how glad I am that you graciously came by my blog to say hello because it now has led me to your delightful blog! I so enjoyed reading about the corn selling and your handmades winnings at the fair! I would love to see you post your pretties here on your blog! You asked me what kind of floss I use in my work..........I use DMC, but also some silks. I have not heard of Cosmo, but am interested in what color options they offer. I am searching for a link to your Etsy shop.......if you decide to sell Cosmo floss there. Thank you for stopping by! blessings,Kathleen

  21. Yay for you! Nothing better than country fairs:)


  22. Hello! Thanks for stopping by. If you want I can keep a eye out for the book and if I see it I can get it for you just let me know. And yeah I've been following your blog for some time. I'm just lazy on leaving comments lol
    Xxx Aija

  23. Congratulations on all those blue ribbons!

    I can't wait for the county fair! I moved up here too late in the autumn last year and I was so disappointed to miss it. I'm looking forward to going to a county fair in a rural (relatively speaking) area. The county fair in urban Southern California just doesn't cut it!

  24. 8-22-12
    Just dropped by to say hello and to see what you were blogging about! Have a great week!

  25. Well, I sure hope you get another blue ribbon, Julie. I entered our children's school projects a couple of times when they were younger and they were thrilled with their ribbons. They're all grown up now but the memories are great. Love the fair.

    Thank you for stopping by the shop. Glad you enjoyed finding your storyteller page marker. ;) It's actually an endearing title I give to my blogging neighbors for sharing their stories through writing, crafting, cooking, and so on. I brought your page marker over from my previous blogs from where I visited with you a couple of times before. Nice to visit again.

    Much love,

  26. Hello dear, how long!
    I just came to leave a hug and say I miss.
    Have a blessed weekend.