When I was a little girl, I enjoyed going to the fair, and I’ll bet many of you have similar memories. There probably isn’t much difference between the fairs today, and the fairs I went to as a child, but I saw everything through the wide eyes of a little girl. It was all new, and all amazing.
There were many rides at the fair, and we always went on the Ferris Wheel. That great wheel always seemed to stop right when I was at the top. It seemed an awfully long way down to the ground. I sat perfectly stiff because I thought that the chair might swing and tip me out.
Then there was another ride called The Whip. It was a big, round platform with lots of curved chairs. When the music started, the platform started to go around in circles and the chairs whipped back and forth. The speed at which the chairs flew around made our heads jerk back. We screamed and held on to the bar which crossed our laps. The rides were never long enough.
There were tents filled with all kinds of displays. One had quilts, another showed all kinds of crafts like painting and fancy needlework. At another place the tables were filled with jars of jams, fruits and vegetables, and pickles. We did a lot of canning at our house, but here were vegetables lined up carefully inside the jar – real works of art! I would stare at them, trying to figure out how the people got them so perfectly packed. And then there were the racks and racks of beautiful clothes ladies had sewn. All of these items were beautiful, but they were not for sale. Judges were inspecting everything so they could give a prize to the best designs and stitches in each category. People were awarded a blue ribbon for first prize, a red for second prize, and white for third.
My father liked to take us to the tents where the animals were being shown off. I had never seen such fat pigs, or such clean ones. The owners had scrubbed them until they nearly sparkled! Men were measuring the cows and inspecting the sheep. Of all the animals there, I liked the rabbits best.
There were also stalls to buy food. There was so much food, and so many choices. My favorites were cotton candy and hot dogs.
In the afternoon we would watch the horse races. My father knew so much about those horses. He could tell me their names, and what breeds they were. I didn’t understand why it was important to him, but if it was important to my father, it was important to me. It was hot and I was thirsty, but no one could convince my dad that it was time to leave. The thought of walking around the fair grounds by myself never entered my mind. I would have gotten lost in the crowd for sure.
Sitting in the stands watching the horses run did have its own fun. I’d ask my dad “Which one are you cheering for?” When he described and pointed out his favorite I’d say “I’m going to cheer for him, too.” My dad’s choice was good enough for me.
Perhaps there is a spiritual lesson here. I knew my father was smart and wise about horses, and many other things as well. I knew I could trust his judgment, so I followed his guidance. Shouldn’t we also be quick to ask our Heavenly Father’s advice, and then be just as quick to fall in line with His plan? It seems to me many people’s lives would be simpler and better if they would do just that.