I had invited a dear old friend of mine, Nancy, to come stay for a whole month after her husband Ray, another dear old friend, died. Brilliant Ray had been stricken with dementia, and Nancy cared for him during his final eight years. We all first met as 21-year-olds, at Harvard, where Ray and my then husband Patrick were classmates in the MA in Architecture program.
So Nancy arrived nearly two weeks ago, and will remain until mid-July. We’ve been having fun, doing things I would not normally do. For example, going to the Monroe County Fair, yesterday afternoon.
I figured Nancy and I would both get a taste of rural Indiana that way, very different than academic Bloomington. And yes, we did. Everybody very friendly and kind.
Nancy took 87 pictures!
Of course we started with the animal barns: chicken, ducks, geese . . .
bunnies . . .
swine, cattle, goats . . .
I noticed that Nancy didn’t take any pictures of cattle! She thinks cattle should be banished from this earth . . . I won’t go into the politics of this opinion. Let’s just say we disagree.
But she sure had fun photographing pigs!
And horses, of course! Save the best for last. Sometimes, there would be educational exhibits on the fronts of the horses stalls.
Next we checked out the tractor barns. Here’s a vintage tractor, one of many proudly displayed. Then of course, the 4-H exhibit halls.
Afterwards, we walked around the carnival, all the scary rides designed to lurch one off balance without damage, while deciding what kind of food we wanted to order before the rodeo which started at 7 pm.
Nancy got two hot dogs and a diet coke. I got a pulled pork sandwich with cheesy fries. Since I’m gluten free, I ate the pulled pork without the bun. I wonder now, could we have asked for plastic forks? Because my already dirty fingers got quite a work out over that meal, chewed while watching cowboys getting bucked off wide-eyed horses.
While sitting there eating and viewing, we both noticed a particularly beautiful multigenerational family sitting nearby. The grandparents told Nancy they divided their farm so that all of their children could buy a piece of it. That way they all live in community! Nine grandchildren. Here’s one of their youngest, with ribbons that she and her siblings and cousins got in the horse events.
Sitting next to me, a nine-day old baby!
P.S. We both managed to stay away from sugar and ice cream. After six hours, the sun finally set and we went home.