I'm ready for the fair.
I lived in Gwinnett for years and never went to the county fair. I don't really know why. It was just something I never did until I went with my wife a few years ago. I think she was just my girlfriend at the time. She took her kids every year and she insisted I go along.
Boy, am I glad she did. It sure is fun. And Lord knows we can use all the fun we can get these days.
I won't be going until next weekend because that's when everyone in our family can make it, but I guess it's just as well since about the only thing it seems you'll be able to ride this weekend is a boat. But I'm still ready.
I'm ready to see the excitement on the kids' faces as we park and walk up to the gate at the fairgrounds.
I'm ready for that hand stamp.
I'm ready to see the lights and to hear the music and screams of delight from the midway.
I'm ready for the aroma of roasting corn and cotton candy. I'm even ready for the smells of nature at the livestock show.
I'm ready for the look of wide-eyed wonderment on my daughter's face as she rides that ride where you fly like Superman.
I'm ready to see my stepson grin as he flies around on that gizmo that looks like an upside-down eggbeater.
I'm ready to ride the Gravitron, that big spaceship that spins around and gives you the illusion of blasting off into space. It's as close as I figure I'll ever get.
I'm ready to take my mama (whose birthday is Sunday - Happy Birthday, Mama) on the Ferris Wheel, her favorite ride.
I'm ready to spend way too much money trying to win cheap prizes playing nearly impossible games. And Lord, please let the sideshow with the "World's Smallest Woman" be there this year, even if her stature as world's smallest is, shall we say, questionable.
I'm ready to throw diabetic caution to the wind and eat giant, sugar-coated funnel cakes and drink fresh-squeezed lemonade. And chicken on a stick. Can't forget the chicken on a stick.
I'm ready to walk through the building where all the companies try to get you to sign up for this giveaway or that. (I'll never forget the look on one guy's face who tried to get me to enter a raffle for $50,000. I didn't feel like giving my personal information to this particular company, so I told him "I've got all the money I need," and kept walking. I bet he's still slack-jawed.)
I'm ready to see who won the blue ribbon for the best homemade goodies, to see kids' drawings and old ladies' quilts and most of all, to see who grew the biggest and best vegetables. And to wonder how I can get my garden to do that.
I'm ready to run into people I haven't seen in awhile.
I'm ready to have a good time with my family.
I'm ready to take one day and not think about politics or work or money or bills or taxes or any of the other stresses of adult life, because most of all, I think I'm ready to be a kid again, even if it is just for one day.
Yep. I'm ready.
E-mail Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays.