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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Let's talk about BEING at the Sandwich County Fair :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

Hi hi ... we're taking a break.  We are actually at the Sandwich county fair.  We're really here.  We have been here for a couple of hours and it is a couple more hours before we go to the tractor pull show in the Grandstand.  I've got my ticket already ... it was $20, but it's in the disabled section so I should be able to pull the scooter in and just rest there.  I heard the show going on at 12:30 pm and man o man are some of those tractors noisy!  It gets you a little excited though and you want to be peeking behind the fence.  But, It's hard to be sneaky in a big crowd.

I figured I needed a rest from constant moving.  There is a lot of watching other people so you don't run anyone over.  I'm not real happy about going behind slow people.  I think I'm going to walk away from the rest area a little woozy though.  We are next to a large selection of old farm equipment ... a lot of it pulsating on oil or gas.  Its pretty odoriferous.  Think it's like being high.

There are 7-8 picnic tables and we're sitting at one and there is a nice big oval tent on top of us and its open on all four sides.  It's about half full.  Most of the people have someone to talk to so I'm not feeling as conspicuous for having a computer open.  Eh, how do they know we're not a newspaper reporter?  Yep that is the one we're going with.  The other really unique thing about this spot, is that it is right across from the people moving train.  There is a little station here and people are gettig on and off the train.  They look like they have had a good ride.  Most are smiling and stretching a bit as they stand up.    And, there is a long crowd to gett on.  It sits about 50 people.  There are four cars and each car has three sections of double seats.Long line!  I'm not sure how much it costs, but everything here costs something.

The part that has been fascinating me the most is the number of rides in the park - some of them are lightweight for the real little kids, but some are really fast moving and exciting.  While I was eating a little, I just stopped in front of the rides to watch.  This is a really nice size fair.  Even though it is a county fair AND a Saturday, there are a lot of people, but its not overwhelming.  There are a lot of people, but there are gaps between things too.  It's a little muggy, but for the most part the weather is comfortable.  It rained a little this morning and thunderstormed, but it just gave us a chance to hang around a little bit and that was a good deal.  I really needed it seemed the time on the computer.  Sometimes we have a really hard time leaving that spot, but you would know that right?

I love the toot of the train horn.  Ok, and to be truthful - I like the smell of the antique farm machines.  I don't know how the people do it though that sit there all day long - day after day.  Maybe they build up a tolerance?  It's kind of a unique place here in that it allows a good amount of people watching.  I feel real comfortable with the "kind" of people we see.  It's not a real fancy group.  Just really comfortable people  A good mix of young and old.  I like it when we get in groups - where like all the people aren't wearing make-up ... they're more like me - comfortable in their own skin.

I haven't taken any pictures and I'm not sure if I will or not.  I should I suppose, but I don't see a lot of people doing it.  It seems to put a damper on the flow of things, especially when so many people are just moseying along.  In all actuality there is quite a few people. Every time I look up there's more and different folks and its a little intimidating so I go back to my computer screen.  Some lady just came to talk to me as if we were old friends.  She said it was raining.  It seems like blue skies and I don't see the rain, but maybe there is something that I don't know ... I'm in a good spot under the tent, though part of our scooter is outside the covered area.  I really hope that it isn't going to rain seriously.  It takes a while to pull up our screen.  I guess I just had to look a little further.  I checked out the seat on our scooter and it is wet.  I moved the napkins so that I can dry it after it stops raining.  I don't think it is bad, but the seating has filled up under the tent.  It hasn't stopped the line from going for people getting onto the train.

I feel really good about where we are at now, AND I'm happy to say that my batteries on phone and computer seem to be holding a charge well.  My computer says I have four and a half hours to go on this battery.  I will still go out after awhile and see if I can find the home arts buildings.  I haven't seen that yet.  I'm a bit lost here ... I should have gotten some kind of a print out where things are at.  It's a little confusing in that the paths, cross and crisscross ... nothing is in a straight line.  It is moe like clusters.  Hmm, maybe the rain is stopping.  I see real sunlight out there and I don't see new raindrops on my seat.

I've tasted a few things at the fair.  I'm watching my money ... I think I have about $80, but I might have taken more than Rich's allotted $100 ... we'll try not to spend it all ... so far what have I bought?  NOTHING THAT I can TAKE HOME :(  The first thing was the $9 to get in ... AND we'd paid for the scooter in advance ... Including everything it was $60.  Then we paid for the Tractor pull and that was $20.  And, then came the food stuff.  First was a station with a HUGE salted pretzel - heated of course.  Very good, and then we had a freshly squeezed lemonade.  Then I forgot that we hadn't taken our medicine yet and we spotted another sign that hit all our bells and whistles.  It was one of those old fashioned places where they make home made mini-donuts - WITH sugar.  It cost $5 for 20 ...We still got some left but that might be a highlight of the food events.  AND, the other nice thing we got was a $5 strawberry smoothie.  We're still finishing that.  I think I will get another one when I go into the tractor pull. Thing.  Maybe some kind of meat (dinner) too.  Time will tell.

I went to the bathroom once and it seemed to turn out and we'll do it once more before the tractor deal.  It's a little different being by yourself in that when you do things like go intot the bathroom, you are letting your "wheels" sit unattended.  I brought the key, but all the keys to the scooters are generic.  I guess we hope for the good common sense of a nice community in that no one in all reality is going to take the scooter.  Looked up to over by the old machinery ... There sure is a lot of older guys gathering around that now.  Maybe it is a really good thing for them to be seeing.

There are a lot of things for sale from houses, to out buildings, tractors, signs, pictures, jewelry, most anything you can imagine, but by far the biggest thing being sold is food!  Hard to know where to go first.  I would have stopped at the pull-pork place, but I thought nope nope nope, too messy for us.  We have the light print long skirt and silky green shirt and I'm pretty sure they would be unforgiving to pork spatter.

Ok, now we're into random.  I really do like being here and it seems not to be too much problem being by ourselves.  It makes a difference to be able to type at will to get through some of that conversation rattling through my brain.  I don't think there are too many people sitting out here with a computer.  But, then that just seems to be the kind of person that we are.  I am trying to pace ourselves to get through the fair ... there is now about 3:30 and the shows at 6:30 pm.  Did we mention that already?  Maybe in about a half to hour from now we'll take the scooter out for another spin.  Still would like to find the home arts buiding.  I don't think it is too far from where we are sitting now.  I don't know though if we can bring the scooter in and that could be a done deal - as to not going in.  We'll have to see. I wouldn't be a deal breaker.

I think there is going to be enough light so once the show gets over it might be close to dark.  It said on the sign that I have to get the scooter back by 10 pm.  It doesn't say how long the tractor pull is but it could be a few hours.  I don't have any feelings I have to close down the fair, but it is sort of fun being out.  Hmm, checked the web page.  It says that the buildings close at 9 pm, but didn't see anything about when it clears out or the rides stop.  I'm thinking there will be a bit more of the older kids about dusk and they will take over the rides area.  I have seen a few people drunk, but it is usually the older folk like the lady that stopped her looking for her friend Sue.  Eh, not me

I might have to get started though maybe in not too long because we're out of something to drink.  Maybe we'll pay the $2 and get a bottle of water.  That feel good.  I have a lot of sugar my system.

I have to think now is there anything we want to get down until we have another chance?  Maybe 15-20 minutes before the show, we'll go to the washroom and then find our seating, then another hour for writing, which leaves about an hour and a half for touring about.  It is kind of fun and I wouldn't mind going back to see what we missed.  Your always looking on both sides of the passage way because there is so much going on on either side.  Just think we'd like to find the buildings.

Hmm forgot, we also already saw a lot of animals.  We went past the petting farm, but didn't see too much there from the outside.  We went past and stopped though at a horse area where they were being judged for doing certain things.  We also went by sheep, pig and goats.  One of the goats was VERY loud!



Sunday, September 8, 2013 @ 8:24 am

Good morning ... this is us and we're going to again continue from here, because we want to do a wrap of the day yesterday.  We've been up for about 1 1/2 hours and just moseying through our normal stuff - like getting caught-up in FB.  We did leave a message for Linda, but we haven't seen her yet this morning.  Maybe a little bit down the road :)

Hmm, just stopped to pet Missy for a little bit.  Sometimes the kitties need a little more attention than not.  I think we're good to go for a bit on that account.  One thing there I hadn't seen before was how long a couple of her whiskers have gotten to being .. Wow ... like how did THAT happen?  Maybe it is a new fashion statement?  Hehehe.

Ok, so I guess then we're going to have to focus a bit to see where we are with our memories of yesterday - particularly the fair :)

The first thought?  Had a very good time.  That was for sure.  We had gotten there about 12:30 pm and we got home about 8:30 pm ... so it was a full 8 hours ... Really worth the $9 we put into getting into the fair.  There was a little more cost with getting into the grandstand event with the Tractor pull.  We've got some pictures there ... Hmm, maybe we should upload those now?  Hold on

Good good ... did that.  My oh my was that a load event.  Sometimes it was SOOO loud that Your ears felt like they were shaking from the inside out.  VERY LOud!  I like the pictures we got, but didn't get many good shots of the tractors sitting up on their "hind legs."  It seemed a normal part of the pulling that inevitably the front part would be up in the air.  The front tires were usually very small in comparison to the back.  Some of the vehicles looked more like tractors than the others too.  Some, in fact, were like frames with like four engines on the front - all open and then the frame led back to a barred in seat for the drive behind two huge tires.  It was pretty darn amazing all told.  Wish you could have seen it.

Oh too ... there was an opening ceremony to the tractor pull where the biggest tractor you ever saw came out and did a flag presentation.  Basically it was some kind of tractor with full expanding "arms" that I believe was for watering the fields - it had a HUGE wingspan!  It was like watching a transformer - the wings started folded in on the tractor and then it went like 4-5 conversions of things unfolding and unfolding and at the very end of these "arms" were a flag on each side.  Then in the background they played the song - "Proud to be an American" and there were visuals up on the big screen.  Then they had someone singing the Star Spangled Banner.  It was just the most amazing feelings of warmth and pride.  It's a whole new super endorsed feeling of what it is like to be in a community of farmers.  It's really a very great thing!  Makes you feel sorta like crying its just such an intense feeling.  AND, of course they saluted the people in the armed forces, and in fact one of the displays at the fair was a traveling memento wall celebrating the lives of Illinois service people who had died in the line of service.

So many amazing things to look at an see.  After we got done on the computer and before the show, we were out looking again at all there was to see.  It is sort of a blur now, but was pretty amazed at how much out there there was.  I didn't in the end buy anything but the "getting-in" things to the fair and show, food and drink, and THEN there was one more set ... we entered a couple of drawings each for $5 for 6-8 tickets.  The first one was for a quilt that the local Catholic St. John's Church had made.  It was wonderful fall colors - more toward a log cabin, and then later since we had put in a bid for the quilt, we also for Rich put in a bid from a local company - called Plano ... they make plastic storage containers among other things.  Rich has talked about this company several times and have stopped by their showroom as well.  The company makes the plastic trays he uses for his fishing lures.  One of the prizes we were bidding on was an assortment of boxes.  Have no idea - the chances of winning, but we put in our best numbers for our buddy Rich!

Other than that - we did, spend any money ... the extra couple of food items other than the smoothie, mini-donuts, pretzel, and lemonade were a large corn dog, a slushie and a couples of water ... but it WAS over a 8 hours!  Oh one more thing we bought on Rich's recommendation a fennel cake.  WOW was it good ... it's sort of like as sweetened waffle with powdered sugar.  Ours was like all mangled up (think that was the design) and it was very large.  We brough home part of it to be eaten later.  I'm looking at it now and thinking it was about $40 of food ... I suppose I should have seen that coming, but hadn't.

The only thing we were really interested in buying - that we looked at a couple times was some lawn art that was made in some kind of black metal ... not sure if it was considered wrought iron or something else.  We also looked at some caricature pictures, and some signs, but all of that ranged from $40 and up and I didn't want to spend that kind of money.  I think we did pretty good.  No real mementos other than the plastic cup/top from the slushie, but I really didn't see something in our range that I just HAD to have.  You know?

We did end up finding the arts building but I would have had to take my scooter up about a three foot incline and I wasn't ready for that.  I also didn't know if there would be stairs inside, or what the floor was like - thinking it was more an indoor floor than and outdoor floor which would be better for the scooter.  I was a little disappointed there, but not much to be done.  In the end caution outruled the decision not to pursue that farther.  There were other buildings we went into that were more outbuildings ... they were solidly on the ground with perhaps a heavy metal grating over the door way.

We went into one building where they were showing the prized which had gotten rewards.  There was so many things that it was hard to concentrate on any one.  That is where we saw the quilt to be drawn.  There were other quilts there that had won, but didn't see much other.  The building which we didn't go in had more quilts, but they were showing a lot more in that area and it felt like from what I saw in the doorway it was limiting to the quilts because they take up so much room.  It was kind of nice that other than the barn yard animal buildings, the Home Art building was the biggest at the fair ... it was the only two story building and on top of that it had another raised area ... maybe like the top of those decorative barns where it looks like there's another small building on top.  The building had a lot of windows and was right next to the Home Arts stage where we stopped and watched a couple of performers.

The first time we stopped, it was because our scooter had run out of battery.  We nudged the last few seconds of its energy to get to the side of the sidewalk which was next to a tent that was open on sides and handy because it rained for about 10-15 minutes. Just light, but tent was handy anyway.  The owner of the scooters left a tag on the front of the scooter of his number to call in case something like this would happen.  It took about ten minutes, but he found us and replaced both batteries and we were good to go for the rest of the time - no problem.

I really thanked this poor guy at the end when we turned in the vehicle because he was doing apparently all parts of the job by himself.  He talked/complained that he had help, but then gave us a litany of excuses why the "young" employees didn't come in.  He said that he gets to bed (for this last two weeks) about midnight and has to be on the job the next morning at 7:30 am.  It would be a hard thing to do and you could see his body was moving on steam.  He seemed a little rough on the scooters, but other than battery - we had no problems and having the scooter was the make or break part of being able to do what we did.  I would have NEVVER made it with just the walker.  I'm more than happy with the service this company provided.

I stayed at the tractor show for about 1 1/2 hours.  I know I didn't get my whole money worth, but it was already 8 hours and 8 o'clock pm and we were really getting tired and had only a sense of how to get back to the scooter place AND then to find our car in the dark.  I don't have a moderate to severe recall disability ... so everything in directions comes more like a "sense" of knowing where something is than reality.  Like I couldn't find the smoothy place again, had trouble finding the bathroom the second time, I could tell which path to go on to find the grandstand, and I had no direction sense to tell which side the scooter and disabled parking space was at.  Basically in the end, I just kept rolling along on what seemed like an outside path until I came to the one thing that been my marker. On that particular corner there was a small airplane advertising private lessons.  I couldn't tell which path was next, just remembered that was something we had seen soon after getting to the park.  We did ask directions about then and got something fuzzy ... because he was pointing in back of us saying just go down "that" road to the end and then ... we couldn't hold the second, third or fourth direction past that AND we didn't know which path he was pointing to in the first place.

Fortunately, we did end up finding the scooter place, AND eventually we found our car after going down several wrong turns.  In the end the part that saved us was our key fob and being able to unlock "turn on the blinking front lights."  Man oh man was that a lifesaver!  We were able to get the walker in and out of the trunk.  Fortunately the trunk was empty.

Hmm, just got caught up on FB again.  We looked at the pictures several times and this time posted a few comments.  Good times good times!

One of the things I forgot was that at one point, we found ourselves back at the picnic tables we had had sat at with the computer before.  The table we liked and was sitting at was just out of the rain (light), but half of it was taken by a single older woman.  We asked if it was ok to join her at the table, which she seemed pleased to share.  After a while I asked her how she was enjoying the fair.  It turned out her husband was one of the cooks at the one restaurant from Kenosha who had LONG lines in front of it and was by far the biggest tent - like 500 people or more - with seats/tables.  So apparently, she came to this fair quite frequent and also noted that this spot we were sitting was the best in the house.  I wholeheartedly agreed for all the reasons mentioned before ... we did ok with the talking and she asked some good questions, until she asked if I'd accepted the Lord Jesus into my life.

Ok, that kind of thing makes us squeamish, and we left then within ten minutes, but BEFORE that it had been a pretty good conversation where we talked about things at the fair and it gave us a chance to talk about our fishyman.

The last thing I really wanted to say was how nice an event this actually was ... again I preface because it was probably one of the biggest concerns, but it was a very nice thing to do on our own.  I think if we had the chance it would be probably more preferable to do it again like this than any other way.  Because we were by ourselves and had the mobility to go slow OR fast ... we really zoomed around a LOT IN any which direction we felt at that second with no one to second guess us.  Because we had the computer too, we felt fine with just settling down a bit to write when we needed a break.  I have to remember to tell Rich too, that I didn't order it, but they had things "on a stick" like porch chops, steak, and even cheesecake!  Hehehe you just don't think of that kind of thing very often :)

Ahh Linda is back ... she says she just got back from breakfast with her husband :)  Nice way to do a weekend!

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