Wednesday, January 28

The County Fair

Lyssa Rothrock, and her animal .. in motion sorry about poor pic

Da Boyz

Lacey Waters' tri-color Hummingbird cake

On Sunday, we packed up the boys and headed to Bartow to the Polk County Youth Fair. A long time family tradition, I can still remember the days that I too was a participant of the PCYF! My sister and I were fortunate enough to miss school for a whole week, and it seemed as though we endured the yelling father and nagging of "feed your animals", "walk you steer", and on and on - all year, just so we could have that glorious week with our friends at the Youth Fair. And yes Dad, I guess we learned a little something about responsibility, etc. along the way. My sister and I are my dad's YF legacy and still love to hear the fun stories about the days when he and my Uncle Ned, showed their own animals at the PCYF.

I could blog all day about my experiences each year and the investment of time and money required to complete such a project (thanks mom and dad!!). A few of the highlights include, the time when I was completely trompled (and mortified) by my own steer in the show ring, the time the art classes I'd taken from my Uncle Ned and gorgeous landscape painting didn't win. Mainly because we learned (the day we took it to show for entry) that there is no painting or art catagory. Or how I always looked forward to the hair, make up and shopping for the perfect show outfit necessary to complete that special moment! (my sister's PCYF experience would include a different set of memories and traditions!).

But one common denomantor, for us both, was the pride we felt each year donning the Waters name on the back of our FFA jackets (hypethetically at least, I refused to wear mine). My father and father's father (and Nana Waters too of course!) left us so much to be proud of. Their reputation for integrity, pride of showmanship, perseverence, honesty, ambition, and what it means to be true to who you are is certainly the very foundation for my own parenting aspirations. We also shared the ironic and endless sobbing while draped over our red-striped steers at the end of each fair. The beasts had just made my life hell for 10 months, why in world did I love him so much now... but we certainly did.

I was prideful again on Sunday when I saw my cousin Lyssa with her animal and my cousin Lacey's tricolor ribbon Hummingbird Cake. This was the first day of the Fair, and it is sure to be an excited week for the over 1200 students who have worked very hard all year in preparation for this day. Polk County is very unique in its animal and cow show. Our roots run deep here in the South! "OMG - did I just say that?"

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