After two weeks near the Arctic Circle, winding my way through fjords and scrambling around lava fields in many layers of long sleeves, I reentered the muggy atmosphere of home, breathing in the muddy midnight air, thick with humidity and warmth.
But there’s nothing that will reset your internal compass quicker than a visit to the county fair.
My hometown fair is Addison County Farm and Field Days, and I got home just in time for the rainy last day of the fair.
I went on my own. Adrian’s there all night tonight, doing duty with the Monkton Fire Department, but he couldn’t go with me earlier because poor Ollie got bitten again just the other day and spent Thursday under sedation, getting a new round of stitches. This time he seems to be in some pain, and he still has a drainage tube in, so Ade didn’t want to leave him alone.
So I arrived solo at the fair at the same time the thunderstorms. Mostly I just wandered around the animal barns. I could spend hours in those barns.
As a kid I remember being disappointed that my parents were educators. I really wanted to grow up on a farm. Of course, mine was a totally romantic vision of what farm life was like.
But sometimes, on weekends when I was with my dad, I would offer to muck the horse stalls and clean the chicken coop of his boss and friend, Erika. I thought she was doing me a huge favor by letting me take over these chores.
But these days, the closest I get to farm life is spending some time breathing in the hay and grain-filled air of the stalls at the fair.
I’ll take what I can get.