August 7, 2009

The County Fair

I absolutely love my in-laws, but there's one thing that I've never really understood about them: they love to go to the county fair. When Rex first suggested that we all head to the county fair with his parents I was like, "Why?! What do you do there?"
Well, we did exactly what I thought we'd do there. We looked at rows and rows and rows of caged animals, enjoyed the displays of fruit preserves, and became targets for salespeople.

Then this year my neighbor called and asked if I'd be in charge of a community booth to represent our small town.  I said "yes" without thinking it through.  Suddenly I found myself staring at an 8'x8' space without a clue of what to do.  I had rounded up numerous decorative items from my parents' home and had made a movie, but I didn't know where to put anything.  It suddenly hit me:  I don't know how to decorate!!  That's why my house looks so bad and that's why I had to raid my parents' house in the first place.

I looked around in desperation and noticed a pot-bellied man clad in overalls hanging one poster board in his allotted space and that cheered me.  I thought at least my will be better than that guy's!  I put my kids to work and said, "Just put things anywhere, but try to make it look like it wasn't decorated by children."

In our haste to get done in the allotted time frame, a painting was knocked over, an antique chest was damaged, and my son was injured.

Then I realized I needed a table and sent Rex to his sister's to "borrow/steal" one.  While he was gone, I found out that the TV I borrowed didn't connect to the VCR we brought from home.  Since my cell phone was dead, I had to borrow one from a stranger.  Then after I had asked her twice and she hesitatingly allowed me to use it, I asked another stranger and got last minute details ironed out with my errand boy, Rex.

We finally got the display done and headed out, but I was still confused about a conversation I'd had with the lady in the booth next to mine.  My theme was patriotism and I'd made a movie of patriotic pictures of townspeople.  The lady asked if my TV and VCR were set up to show The Wizard of OZ.  Looking at my patriotic arrangements, I jokingly said, "Yeah!  I'm totally going to show the Wizard of Oz."  Then she was serious when she said, "That's a great idea.  I was going to do that too, but I couldn't make it work.  The kids are going to love your booth."

When I was telling the kids what the lady had said, Rachel offered the idea that maybe Wizard of Oz was the theme of the fair.   It suddenly hit me.  I thought about all the ruby slippers and yellow brick roads I had seen while I was setting up and I realized that I had set up a huge monument to th U.S.A. in the middle of the Land of Oz.


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