This time of year makes me think of two things: elephant ears and school.
Elephant ears (the food, not the body part) are delicious confections often found at fairs, particularly the North Idaho Fair and Rodeo the third week of August every summer. They consist of a sweet dough rolled out, deep fried, and covered in cinnamon and sugar. Oh, and they're as big as the platters you use for the Thanksgiving turkey. My extended family has run an elephant ear booth at the NI Fair since time immemorial... or maybe just 30-something years. Long enough to become an institution and a landmark with loyal customers the world over. The profits from the booth go into a family fund of sorts and are applied towards things like helping send cousins on missions for our church.
This is my first year missing the fair. Ever. It's really weird. It's always a party in the booth--a big, close, hot, sweaty, greasy, sugary, loud party. I don't miss the greasy, hot, sweaty, sugary part, but I do miss seeing all the cousins and eating my fair share of EE's and chocolate milk. I miss everyone ordering everyone around, complaining if someone doesn't roll/cook/sugar/mix the way they like it done (roll 'em nice and big, no holes, cooked blonde, and evenly coated please!). I miss getting into the fair free, going to the rodeo after the Friday afternoon shift, bartering for MICA burgers, and watching the summer climax and creep to an end.
And then comes school. Or not! This is the first fall I will not start a new year of school in 19 years. That's a long time. It's like, 83% of my life. I should feel weirded out, right? But I don't. I thought I might, but I'm over school for reals. I guess I have a talent for appreciating things while they last, then moving on when the time is right. If I dwell on the past, I miss the exciting things coming up ahead. I'm really so over and done it would feel weirder if I had to go back.
I still have the urge to buy new clothes and school supplies.
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