It's the last day of the fair. I always find this day involves a mix of emotion.
The first emotion is relief and a sense of survival. Yes it is a fun week, but it is also a brutally tiring week. The hours spent at the fair are long and then add in hours spent at work and there are an abundance of 18 hour days. But it is so worth it. I love working with the 4-Her's. There are so many wonderful youth in the program and spending time listening to them demonstrate their knowledge on things that they love and watching them proudly display what they have worked on over the course of the year gives me hope that there will be a good future. I also have loved catching up with friends that I only see during fair week. Then of course there is the fair food......this year there is the new addition of Greek salads, gyro's and baklava from a new church food both down by the goat barn. Yum! The Greek salads at dinner help offset the grilled cheese sandwiches and ice cream at lunch. So far I have avoided the lure of funnel cakes.
The second emotion is a sadness which will descend around 8:00 tonight when I realize that there are only a few hours left to the 2010 County Fair and that I won't see these friends and have the fun times the fair brings for another year. When the sun goes down and the lights come on the realization that it is almost over begins. This year I think could be especially sad because I have no idea where I will be or what I might be doing come fair week 2011. This could be the last year that I am this involved in the fair.
I've been volunteering with the Montgomery County Fair for over 20 years now. Wow! That even amazes me. I am within reach of logging in 1000 hours of official volunteer service. I say official because in actuality I am well over that mark. The hours I put in being on the Ag Center Board of Directors for three years don't get recorded as official volunteer hours. Not sure why as they are volunteer time but they aren't or at least weren't when I was a board member. Plus in the first few years volunteering all our family hours got recorded on Jerry's volunteer account. If I don't officially hit the 1000 hour mark after tomorrows clean up I will only be a couple of hours short. If that is the case I guess I will need to figure out a way to be here for at least part of the 2011 fair for sure!
Not only am I a volunteer at the fair I am also an exhibitor. It has been a good year for me as an exhibitor as well. I enter items in both the Home Arts and the Arts and Crafts buildings. I haven't made a formal count of my ribbons but I do know there are numerous blues (1st place), several reds (2nd place) and so on. I think of the approximately 35 entries I put in only 3 or 4 did not receive a ribbon of some sort. Also I had a phone message yesterday from Home Arts asking me to be at their award ceremony tonight since one of the awards given had my name on it. I don't have any clue what the award might be, but I guess I will find out at 7 tonight.
Despite the long hours of this week I have had some time to do a bit of thinking and reflecting. I now have a better understanding of why it is said to take at least 12 months to recover from a relationship that has ended. I think this is so because you must experience a full year of activities outside the parameters of the lost relationship. Each holiday, special event, or reoccurring milestone over the course of the first year comes with memories of the past year. It is natural to experience all over again the feelings of sadness and loss as you remember how it was the previous year. There it is in your face once again the memory of how things used to be. The things once shared that now are being done alone. Even if they were imperfectly shared, they were shared now you are doing them totally alone. It takes going through the whole 12 month cycle to get past these memories. Not that the memories of the good times, the shared times, will ever go away. After the first 12 month cycle, however, as you go into the next cycle of reoccurring events those memories are buffered by the first year of doing them alone.
So enough introspection for one day. It is time to get on with the days activities and experiencing the fullness of the last day of the 2010 Montgomery County Fair!