When I was a teenager one of my favorite things to do was go to the fair. Wristband day, skip school, go with some friends and ride rides and eat terrifying (but oh so delicious) fair food until you felt you would be ill. Good times! The smell of animals (petting zoo), sweaty humans, fair food, and a general haze that was kinda gross but yet somehow comforting at the same time. It smelled like nostalgia. It smelled like fair.
As I made my commitment to post every day during the Mega Season, all the way back in February, I was serious about embracing the elements of Fall, Winter, and Christmas. I am serious. So, even though it was HOT on Friday night, I was determined to go. I was oh so thankful that Kevin, Austin, and Tiffany agreed to come with! Instead of rambling all over the place as is my wont, I will instead tell you about the evening in chunks.
Team Lazy Overcomes
I was really not feeling getting out of my chair Friday afternoon. Kevin was a lock for the fair but both Austin, Tiffany, and I all were wavering. Tiffany was not feeling the best, Austin agreed with me that it was kinda hot, and I really was tired and wanted to take a nap instead. On the other hand, my commitment to all things Fall, I had told Tiffany and Austin I would go, and Mason Jar Fireflies were playing. I keep missing hearing them live and I was determined not to let that happen again. So, I got off my butt and off we went. Tiffany and Austin followed suit, and we made our way to the line to get in the parking lot.
I only make this its own heading because I want to wax contemplative for a moment. With all the people at the fair, the parking lot was JAMMED and we basically ended up parking in a field. Which was fine, no problem, but I thought to myself: what if it rains? Talk about a quagmire! I can’t even imagine all those hundreds of vehicles locked down in the mud. I wonder what the contingency plan was… giant tarp? anti-rain dance? lots ‘o’ prayer? In any case, I really am curious what their plan was. What do you think?
Mason Jar Fireflies
If you have not had the pleasure of hearing Mason Jar Fireflies, hear their music on Spotify and bless yourself. Kyndle has a voice that… she is my favorite female singer. Period. Anyway, they had some technical difficulties but they tore it up! What a great set. I just can’t recommend them enough. Austin and Tiffany got a bit lost finding the tent (our instructions were wrong for them because they came in the other entrance. Oops!) but they heard the last few songs. We had the distinct pleasure of getting to chat with the band afterwards as well, and I finally bought their album on iTunes.
Now that the good part is covered, let’s discuss the heat. It was so hot in that tent. I am telling you, it was really bad. It was worth it to get to hear Mason Jar Fireflies but dang when it was all over we went straight for the (blessedly air-conditioned) exhibition hall. We saw some cool crafts and artwork in there, and I got a much needed beverage. That strawberry lemonade was seriously legit.
Viewing Art with Artists
I am glad we were with Tiffany and Austin in the art gallery area, as they were able to give a refreshing and insightful perspective about the stuff we were looking at. Lots of it was from school kids who were producing pieces that were truly stunning! The one thing that was ridiculous was the ‘Calligraphy’ section. Um… that’s just cursive. Not calligraphy. I can’t even… no.
We all had our favorites, but overall the entire thing was great because I (as an artist with words only) find those who can draw, carve, sculpt, or paint to be wondrous inspiration. I am easily moved by art. I love it. I give a massive kudos to all those young people practicing what (for many of them) is a great budding talent. Amazing.
Oh yes, the food. I think that perhaps the best part of the fair is the food, beyond it’s representation of the changing of the seasons. Normally I go with a philly cheesesteak or chicken on a stick, but this time I wanted something different. What I ended up with is a bucket of fries. Yes, a bucket. Of chili cheese fries. Not the large bucket, because come on now it may be the fair but I wanted to walk out, but a bucket nonetheless. I did share some with my friends but still. Ridiculous. Kevin had an italian sausage and Austin had a philly cheesesteak. Then, we shared a quesadilla (it was amazing) and contemplated how awesome it was that we were eating fair food at the fair. True story.
At this point Austin had to go to help out a friend so the three of us remaining decided we would do the Ferris Wheel. It is the one ride I always feel like I need to ride, for reasons that will become evident shortly. Kevin wanted to get in a fair dessert first, and who could blame him, so we had a Funnel Cake Sundae, which is just as awesome as you may think it is. So good, so evil! Tiffany is not a funnel cake fan, and I was so stuffed that Kevin was forced to bear the burden of eating most of it himself. Poor guy!
Ferris Wheel Finale
We all wanted to ride the Ferris Wheel, so we waited in the (pleasantly short) line and off we went. I absolutely love Ferris Wheels, and there are multiple reasons. First, you get the best pictures. All the lights, the crowds, the cars, it is amazing. Second, the nostalgia of it. I have been going on Ferris Wheels since I was a kid! Thirdly, and most importantly, the view from the top.
At the top of the Ferris Wheel you can take the best pictures but you can also see so far. From the Ferris Wheel at the Delta Fair I could see Clark Tower in East Memphis and other landmarks too far away to completely distinguish. I could see a big chunk of the road ahead, Germantown Parkway, and I could see for miles in all directions. I love the lights, but there is a certain beauty in seeing beyond them to the far distance. In those moments, it makes me think and I contemplate about how we have to have an elevated perspective in our lives. We have to elevate beyond the temporal and take the long view. In taking on the Eternal perspective, we can see part of the road ahead, and better prepare for our futures and surrender to what God has planned for us. We can see beyond our immediate surroundings, the trappings and lights and sounds and distractions of life, and gain peace from the knowledge that there IS a plan. And we are a part of it.
That night we heard amazing music, had lots of laughs, Kevin gave us a grand tour (he had already been this year), we ate some amazing fair food, and we rode the Ferris Wheel. It was a great night, it was a memorable night, it was a Fall night, temperature be darned.