It’s fair time where I live. I love the State Fair and have ever since I was little however in some years past the State Fair has been overshadowed by some um other unpleasant events/times in my life. For instance:
2009: State fair – the week after I admitted to Laureate
2010: State fair – the week after I admitted to CFC
2011: I was released from the Pysch. Ward at noon the same day the fair started.
Luckily, last year’s fair improved. Benny had been with me less than a month and together we ventured to the State Fair and for the first time in many years I was able to enjoy it and have a great time. Here’s one of my favorite memories from last year:
This year I’ve ventured up twice so far with Shona and once with Benny (quick note: Benny is slowly making his way out of retirement but that’s a post for another date). Shona has handled the fair like a pro and it’s obvious to me that after the fair we will be doing her Public Access Test and she will be ready to graduate from service dog in-training to full service dog. It’s been hot (103* today) so I don’t stay long as I’m lucky enough to live in the same town as the fair and can go for short periods of time. However, I’ve loved going up and seeing the people, walking through the buildings and getting some yummy fair food (so far I’ve sampled frozen smores – only so, so and a carmel apple Sundae – that was delicious).
It’s amazing to me how things are different. I can navigate crowds and sample foods where in the past I shrunk away from the people and turned away from the smells of the food as if the scent itself could make me gain weight. Before going to Laureate and CFC I remember both times going once or twice and only going a little ways in and having to sit down from being too weak to walk any further.
Both those days are behind me. These days I’m walking around free of light headedness, braving the crowds and searching for the yummiest food I can find. And I can do this 1) because I am so blessed to have two wonderful service dogs in my life and 2) because of a LOT of hard work, dedication by professions who refused to give up on me until I learned that I wouldn’t give up on me either.
For me fall is traditionally a hard time of year. It brings back painful memories but as the State Fair shows it is also a time for reflection of how far I’ve come and to be proud of the process I’ve made.
And now I’ll leave you with this picture from one of the first days of the fair.