Even though The Puyallup Fair comes every September and stays for a couple of weeks, I always feel the same.
The fair? Already?
Well, alrighty then.
Only this year we went in shorts and on everyone’s own two feet–no strollers, no wagons, no nothin’.
And because summer showed up two weeks ago, we didn’t even consider cramming jackets in a backpack. This was the lightest we’d ever come.
And the lightest we’d ever leave.
In years past we’ve always bought something.
Like our Vita-mix. And our Kitchen Craft cookware. Our mop. Our pillows. Knives. Gadgets. Whatever.
But the agenda was different this year. We didn’t need a thing.
Which was when, over our out-of-the-backpack peanut butter sandwiches and our kids’ bulging eyes, we considered the rides.
And did some math.
The thing about the fair is that it’s easy to drop a chunk of change on the rides. Or a Visa.
The woman buying tickets ahead of me was spending $80 for a 160 tickets. I gulped for her.
I was buying ten and already gasping that they’d be used on one ride. For one kid.
We’d decided at our spot in the shade that we’d spend $20 on rides. Forty tickets. Twenty per kid.
Which meant that each kid could experience a ride–maybe three–but they’d have to be choosy.
Which was when we walked the tread down on our shoes from the Blue gate to Sillyville. And from Sillyville back. Some rides were six tickets. Some nine. What to do.
We watched as our daughter speculated how many rides she could have. Nine tickets + six + five = twenty.
Only there weren’t any five-ticket rides.
So we kept walking. And adding. And looking for shade.
Until she decided on Vertigo. Which was how I ended up at the ticket booth for ten tickets.
She went alone. Too excited to care that no one sat beside her.
And she soared…
stories above the rest of the fair…
until her seat came to rest…
and she ran out past the garbage can breathing, “it was worth it!”
Our son realized in mid-measurement that some rides would have to wait ’til next year.
But not the pink motorcycle.
This six-ticket ride was what he came for.
And what he vrrooomed about as we left.
Ah…there’s something for everyone at the fair. But for us it was…
The rides. The math. The sun. The heat. The smell of waffle cones we did not eat.
We done did ourselves “the Puyallup.”