Friday, August 21, 2015

Wrist Warmers and the County Fair

Falling for Fall, Thing the First: wrist warmers. In my neighborhood here in the North, there is no need for these things past, say, mid-October, because temperatures will plummet and fingertips must be covered, but until then, they make me really happy. Picture me snuggled up in a long woolly scarf, maybe also with a cute denim jacket and tall boots, rosy-cheeked and red-nosed, sitting on a log next to a bonfire and wearing these, hands wrapped around a big mug of hot cider. There's singing, and spooky stories. Guitars and sparklers. Yes, I see it! Autumn, you are not horrible! I don't have a denim jacket, must go thrifting...
These are pretty easy to make, just start knitting a mitten but quit before it's done. Embroider a big yarny flower on it, with a clump of french knots in the center. Use fall colors. Nice.

My girl came home for a visit, and we went to the County Fair, which might have been Thing the Second if the weather hadn't been very hot and not at all Fall-like. How is the Fair where you live? Our Fair is a very rural affair, mostly animals, which all give you a suspicious side-eye as you approach, and the cows are all aimed business-end out, so I feel an extra need for vigilance in the beef and dairy barn. They are all raised by wholesome-looking teenagers who listen to country music and do crossword puzzles or sleep in the hay in the next stall while their animals are on exhibit. Outside are fried pickles and Oreos, NASCAR trading card booths, 4-H macaroni projects. Bucket-sized cups of fresh lemonade. We got all rhapsodic over the vegetable exhibits; the idea of someone curating their six most perfect cherry tomatoes, carefully delivering them to the Fairgrounds on exhibition day, hoping for a blue ribbon and the accompanying cash prize of 75 cents, it just seems so beautiful. Imagine the farmer's wife in her calico apron, picking that one most exemplary leaf of kale, maybe wrapping it in a damp paper towel and holding it on her lap in the truck until it could be laid carefully on a paper plate for judging. She is famous for her kale. She wins every year. Nobody can touch her for kale perfection. My friend Al bought most of a cake for eight dollars--one piece was missing, the piece tasted by the Home Arts judges. Can you imagine a better cake than one bought at the County Fair; a perfect, buttery, careful cake, someone's very best effort, missing one telltale piece?