Saturday, September 3, 2016


This month began here with three days that were 10-15 degrees cooler than August. The humidity was down, there was a healthy breeze, it was sunny and just downright pleasant. The only thing questionable was that the breeze has been consistently from the east, usually a sign of bad weather on its way. I’ve learned, though, that doesn’t necessarily hold true when tropical storms and hurricanes have things all stirred up. And so, though we need some rain, we haven’t gotten a drop in my neighborhood. Today, the breeze was mostly gone and the humidity was up. It was a nice enough day, just not as pleasant as the last three. The coming week is supposed to be August revisited, though.

The county across the river, in enemy territory, is having their fair this weekend. We used to go every year but, like most small fairs, the price keeps going up and the fair keeps shrinking. They didn’t even book a musical performer this year. I think it was $6 a person the last time we went, and we didn’t feel that we got our money’s worth then. This year, it’s $9. That’s probably small change to most of you, but it’s really more than we can afford on our budget, especially when you add gasoline, parking and eats. It USED to be free, years ago, and they had big-name entertainers that performed there. “Time changes things,” my great aunt used to tell me.

I think that a lot of the problem is that farmers make up such a small percentage of the population anymore that the fairs just don’t draw the crowds that they once did. Of course they charge businesses for their booth space, too, so merchants aren’t showing up like they used to either, since the prices they have to pay keep going up just like ticket prices. The entry price includes at least some, and maybe all, of the carnival rides, so I guess it’s a good deal for those who ride them. Still, it means that folks like my wife and I are subsidizing the folks who DO ride. Then again, if you have kids, and can afford it, I suppose it’s a good enough deal. Kids under five get in free, but they can’t ride most of the rides. Naturally, poor families are pretty-much priced out of attending.

Incidentally, in case anyone thinks I’m just picking on that particular fair, I’m not. We used to enjoy going to the Wood County and 4-H Fair nearby, but it moved across the road and changed its name to “The West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition.” It’s still just a small town fair and isn’t nearly as nice as when they held it at the 4-H grounds back across the road, plus it now costs more. I joke about it being “the $5 fair with the $50 name.” It probably costs more than $5 now, though.

Now that I’ve got all that out of my system, I will return to the original subject—September. The pooch and I enjoyed several good porch sits in the first three days of the month. She lay at my feet, her ears perking at any unusual sound and her little nose constantly vibrating with use. There’s been a tailless off-white cat hanging around lately and I’m sure she was scenting it a lot of the time. I think it belongs to the neighbor.

Just as the woods floor slowly disappeared from view as spring went on, it’s beginning to be revealed again, little by little. The walnuts are starting to shed a few leaves, as is much of the underbrush. Also, the greenbriers along the north edge of the lawn are losing their leaves and becoming “transparent.” A small maple is turning red beyond the back yard and any buckeyes to be seen are starting to do the same thing. I think it’s happening a bit earlier this year, due to the dry summer’s end. Fall’s a’ comin’! © 2016


Chickenmom said...

We didn't go to the County Fair this year either, Gorges. It was just so darn hot, and too darn expensive. The 4-H kids look forward to it though because it's farm country up here. Signs of fall are in the air. It was in the 40's this morning and some leaves are turning already.

Pumice said...

The LA County Fair is one of the big ones and we were priced out of it years ago. We missed the raising prices for years because my daughter was breeding and entering rabbits. That gave us free parking and admission for several days. When she stopped and we got hit by sticker shock we found that it was not worth the price, just as you. Another thing about the LA fair is that it is now run by a business that has nothing to do with the county or the farmers.

It has become one of those memories. I am old enough to remember when Knott's Berry Farm had free admission too.

Grace and peace.

Gorges Smythe said...

I miss the old-fashioned fairs, Cm, but at least I can still afford to enjoy the fall!

Pumice, we had a big art, craft and "traditions" fair in our state that was taken over by what must be a for-profit group and the formerly wonderful fair is a mere shadow of what it used to be. Sometimes old memories aren't such a blessing, because they let you see the present all too clearly. said...

I felt it this morning, for sure. I woke up and thought we might need to build a fire. With no wood and no wood stove (yet), it was only a thought. Fall is on the way, for sure.

Gail said...

Fairs and carnivals are fun but those prices are why many children never get to have the experience.

With this heat, I am glad Lizzy has embraced the water. I bet she is too.

Gorges Smythe said...

I suspect you'll have the heat situation solved soon, Mike.

I think that's a shame, too, Gail. I'm sure Lizzy will be a water dog from now on!

Joy said...

I liked your observations about the porch sits, I had to chuckle. The older I get the less it takes to entertain me and keep me content, and I am so fine with that! You mentioned the walnut trees, do you pick any up? I'd love to find a walnut tree for the free nuts, they are so expensive to purchase.

Gorges Smythe said...

The squirrels always get them before I do, Joy!