The night before fair (Editorial)

by | Jul 6, 2018

’Twas the night before fair

And all through the farm

The family was hurrying

On the verge of alarm


Entry tags scattered

Across the kitchen table

As the kids picked one-by-one

Of their projects to label


The next day they will go

To the fairgrounds loaded

With all the trinkets and items

Properly set, distinctly coded


Though they were far from that now

And the hour was getting late

Nothing would stop them

From making the date


They worked far too hard

To not complete the mission

Besides, staying up late

Had become a tradition


The youngest of the bunch,

Age ten and three-quarters

Was charged with taping

Photos to matte borders


“This one better place,”

She said with complete confidence

Of a shot of her horse, Darling

Behind a split-rail fence


To her right was the oldest,

Her last year in 4-H

Sewing the hem on a dress

Trimmed out in lace


Her last record book written

Her last Fashion Revue

In a few months it’s college

And everything’s new


On the floor near the door

Sat what the kids made at camp:

A birdhouse, a glass mosaic,

A decoupaged lamp


Laundry and dishes

Each piled high

Put on hold until

After the fair has gone by


The stovetop was glowing

Each burner ablaze

Steadily blanching vegetables

For jars they will save


The oven was filled

With cakes from each child

Soon to come out

And get decoratively styled


The two middle children

Twin boys age thirteen

Were back from the barn

Keeping the animals clean


Two steers, three hogs and a lamb

They will be taking tomorrow

Tack and gear all loaded

For the seasons’ first show


Show pants washed and ironed

And shirts just the same

All part of the process

To reach livestock ring fame


The Dad stayed outside

Beneath a towering oak

Fixing lights on the trailer

He just remembered were broke


Then there’s the Mother

Rock of the crew

Directing the traffic

Of what’s next to do


“Time for bed,” she says

“Tomorrow we’ll finish”

They may be worn out

But their spirit won’t diminish


Up to their rooms they trudge

Destined for slumber

Stepping over woodworking projects

That started as lumber


The next morning after breakfast

To the garden they’ll go,

Rounding up more entries

From each weeded row


With the van fully packed

They all make the haul

Exhausted, but ready

Knowing they’ll have a ball!


Here’s to all the families on Delmarva and beyond who put life on hold during fair week to “make the best better” and to continue “learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live and living to serve.”

Thank you for your dedication and good luck this fair season.

1-800-634-5021 410-822-3965 Fax- 410-822-5068

P.O. Box 2026 Easton, MD 21601-8925

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