This past summer (can you tell that the school year has been a bit busy for me? Trying to learn how to help kids manage homework has really kept my mind occupied – but I am tired of having it steal all of my time, so I am sneaking in a little blogging time) my family and I went to the “Great Minnesota Get Together.”
We love the Minnesota State Fair – amazingly yummy things to eat, farm animals having babies, the midway for the guys, and the wild animals at the DNR building for us girls, with a stop by the horse barn for good measure. This year I had the good fortune of talking with a good friend before going, and she clued me into some tasty Scotch eggs that I had not realized were hiding on a side street we don’t often venture down. My rule for myself is that I don’t eat anything that I can easily eat somewhere else. So I never eat hamburgers, hot dogs or pizza at the fair, though I usually do indulge in a corn dog, since I don’t make those at home.
This year we had promised my mom that we would pick up a poster for her at the fair. It was the special artwork done for that year, and it had a huge rooster painted on it. She has gotten into chickens in the last few years since she and my dad started going to Kauai for the winter. There are a lot of beautifully colored wild chickens that roam that island. Go figure!
We realized that we would need to get to the other side of the fair quickly to be able to pick up the poster before the sales booth closed, so we decided to take the “Sky Ride,” which is gondola that transports people from one end of the fair to the other. It is a family favorite. We got into what looked like a reasonably short line – little did we know that it wrapped back and forth on itself on the backside of the ride entrance!
I started to stress out about whether or not we would make it across the fairgrounds in time – should we ask for a refund and start hoofing it? Then realized that I could always come back to the fair another day to pick it up – the $11 entrance fee was still significantly less than the $40 they would charge my mom to have it shipped to her – my parents usually attend the fair, several times some years. But my dad’s foot was bothering him at the time, so they ended up missing this year. I think it may be only the second year he hasn’t made it to the fair since he started taking us before I can remember.
As I was mulling this over, my husband was doing his favorite thing at the fair, people-watching. Suddenly he turns to me and says, “look just a few people behind us.” Wouldn’t you know, but there was Garrison Keillor and his daughter! To be at the state fair with Garrison Keillor – you can’t get much more Minnesotan than that!
We were able to get my mom’s print; too bad Mr. Keillor couldn’t have signed it. But we didn’t want to impinge upon his time with his child. That is the only way we could have had a more Minnesotan day.