People who know me know I love this time of year. If they REALLY know me, they know why. Three simple words...Neshoba County Fair. Yes, it's that time again, and for some reason every year it sneaks up on me! IT's NEXT WEEK PEOPLE!!
So much to do, to cook, to plan!
For 31 years (I missed the fair the summer I worked in MT...still a little bitter about it), during the last FULL week of July, I have gone out to rural Neshoba county and thoroughly enjoyed myself at Mississippi's Giant Houseparty. My mother would probably tell you that the first 3 or 4 of these years were not as enjoyable for her. BUT from then on, it has been one of the, if not THE highlight of my (and my children's) year. Rob is still on the fence with his "love, " but I think after almost 14 years of fairs, he's warming up (for three or four days at least). I know you don't understand it: it's hot, it's dusty, it's muddy, it's cramped (in a little cabin with 15 of your closest family). It's hard to understand the obsession (and people, it's an obsession) of it unless you have really lived it all of your life. It's reunion, it's friendship, it's family, it's fun, it's the definition of the statement "Life is Good."
Our Cabin -- 245 Sunset Strip
I could probably write a book about why I love the fair and funny stories that have happened over the years (b/c there are TONS of these). I will share one though that is very dear to my heart: Every year, without fail (and I LOVE this) our fair neighbor, Rachel Evans (sidenote: she writes the, "Just Among Friends" column in the Neshoba Democrat) tells a story about me. She is a dear, dear friend of our entire family (especially my Nana) and has watched my cousin Lee and I grow up since, well, I guess birth. As tradition has it (and still does), one of the first things we do when we get to the fair is walk over and give Rachel a big hug and catch her up on what is going on with us and talk about what a great fair it's going to be (b/c this one is always going to be the best one). Well, as Rachel tells it, I was about 3 or 4 and Lee and I walked over as we always do (now with our children in tow), and Rachel said, "Lee!! Who do you have with you?! Is that Melanie? She was just a baby last year at the fair!" and without skipping a beat, I replied, "Well, Rachel, I have done growed UP!!"
One of my favorite pictures from last year's fair:
Haley, Reed, and Ben -- this is what the fair is all about!
Well, the fair has meant fun for me and my family on so many different levels, ways, and experiences. I think we are all glad (at least until these children are a little older) that the nights aren't quite as late as they used to be and early mornings have a new meaning -- early rising children! I think the most fun though, for me, is that I am getting to watch my little ones enjoy the fair -- because lets face it, it is pure-D fun at every age, but especially in the eyes of children. It does, however, make me sad to think that I am going to blink my eyes and they will "have done growed UP!!"
Oh, and one more thing, here is a sneak peak at my "Fair Happy" for the ladies of cabin #245 -- at least with these we won't mind being in the kitchen AND we will be looking adorable!