Well, the 2017 Miami County Fair is in the books.
And I’m currently suffering from Post-Fair Parent Syndrome.
My house has no food. All the clothes are still in the car. I’ve been looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, yet I can’t fall asleep because I think I hear that obnoxious sound of diesel trucks racing down 25-A outside my window.
Post-Fair Parent Syndrome has many side effects. Your eyes will burn from sale day tears. The sight of little girls hugging their animals will cause excessive tears to fall as you wait in line for the auction. Sunglasses can and will help mask the overwhelming pride in your community as they help your 4-H kid to go on to the next year.
It’s walking back to the barn to clean pens with an empty halter in your kid’s hand. That may also lead to tears to fall.
You wake up at 7 a.m. ready to yell at your son for not feeding the lambs … only there are no lambs to be fed.
You panic at noon because you are conditioned to check their water and give them a bit of hay as a snack. It’s a pretty empty feeling around here. You spring off the couch at 10 p.m. to close the barn door before you go to bed to protect them from coyotes. But that pen is empty.
Yet, there’s a little bit of excitement in anticipation for next year’s projects. There’s plans to do it better the next go-round. You know you are doing something right when your son says he’s willing to do it again the following year. Then you laugh like he’s got a choice in the matter.
This year’s fair was especially bittersweet. My mother’s brother passed away this week. Fair week was one of his favorite weeks of the year. My cousins brought pigs each year. This was his grandson’s second year of bringing his own 4-H market hogs to the fair.You could usually find Uncle Dale in the corner of the hog barn watching the show with his arms crossed in his plaid shirt. I guess it was fitting that I found out he passed away, not by family members, but from good friends standing outside the hog barn late Wednesday.
He’ll be missed. I know he enjoyed this column each week. He used to cut it out and keep them in a scrapbook. That meant a lot to me.
Next time you attend the fair, look around at all the hunter green benches. Many have local businesses and supporters displayed in white paint on them. Yet many benches serve as a memorial to those who attend the fair in spirit and are remembered on that special week of the year.
The county fair, as aggravating at times it can be, will always serve as a place where time stands still and where memories are made and then reflected upon year after year.
I’ll remember this year as the first year neither Evan nor I cried right before he showed his lambs. Tears of frustration, we’ll call it. He had a little more fun this year. It’s amazing how fast four years goes. Looking back on his first year to this year, it’s incredible how time flies.
But it does and somehow, this one week that seems to take forever to come around on the calendar is gone in a flash.
And we’ll do it all over again next year — possibly with even bigger sunglasses — to continue the tradition.
Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews