By Doris Schroeder
The week of the Kansas State Fair was one of the fullest weeks of our life for both hubby and me. It was a smart move on our part that we had prepared our fair entries ahead…John with his garden produce and me with my gourd paintings. When I look at the calendar, the fall season does seem to coincide with the ending of the summer and the beginning of the most beautiful time of the year!
But of course that was not quite the case this year, was it? Due to the big storm Irma. We had been following the coming Florida weather for several days previous to the beginning of the fair. At first, they predicted it probably wouldn’t hit aroundd Tampa or Clearwater where our son and most of his family live. but then that report began to change. Now the storm was predicted to hit the whole state. We kept in contact by phone.
We entered our exhibits on Friday morning, as usual, and it went well. We drove back home and then found out how the Floridians were really getting ready for the worst. At 6 we left for the fair to check out our entries. They hadn’t finished judging yet so we waited in the Pride of Kansas Building. Usually they were done by 7 but it took a little longer this year. Finally about 8:45 pm, we had to catch the last tram back to our car without knowing the results. Of course, being a woman, I was dying of curiosity but decided I didn’t HAVE to know. Besides. there were some really well-done gourds that even from a distance, looked like winners/ I began to think that perhaps this would be the last time I entered my exhibits…as much as I enjoyed it, maybe I was getting too old. I almost believed it!
At our Sunday night Bible Study, a friend of ours, Susan Penner, showed me some pictures she had taken at the fair on Saturday and I almost fell out of my chair/ All four of my entries had won something. I knew that God would probably have me around for another year!
We also got a call on Sunday from our son John. He and Carol, along with their son Jesse, hadn’t had to evacuate for the storm and had got their generator up and going. The storm had come by and knocked down limbs. etc, but nothing they and God couldn’t handle . Our grandson Jason and wife Becky with their two darlings were all right. We breathed a thank you to our loving father.
Monday arrived and we again went to the fair, parking in the special lot, we walked to the tram ( what a helpful invention for we who are older!) On our way we met John’s second cousin who helped us on the crowded tram. We had a fleeting visit about the latest in family news. The tram was quite packed at times. I remem- bered how much walking we used to have to do and was so-o thankful for what we enjoy now. Otherwise there would be absolutely no way we could get around.
We arrived at our usual get off point…The Pride of Kansas Building, and got off. The building was nice and cool as we entered. I made a bee-line to the painted gourds and John made it to the garden exhibits and, as usual, he did well. Actually, I saw a glimmer of a smile! It made me smile when I saw the sweet glimmer of a smile on my gourd, reminding me of our two great grandsons’ innocence and trust. We looked around for a place to sit, but finding none, hubby took off to see the other entries while I found a chair by the door by which to rest.
Two of the workers stopped by to talk awhile and we enjoyed visiting about life in general, the Irma Storm and how well God watches over us. As people mulled around the exhibits, expressing themselves, I was again reminded how wonderful and great God really is…He not only watches out for us without spoiling us but gives each of us some little creativity to give us joy in doing.
It does seem rather strange to me…when I was young I enjoyed the Kansas State Fair, but more for the food, the rides. and the thrills. Now that I am older, I enjoy it more for other reasons…the empathy of the people, the innocence of the little children and the greatness of our living God and for America!
God willing, we’ll see you at the fair next year!
Doris appreciates your comments and can be reached at [email protected]