Growing up one of my favorite places, the Topsfield Fair, was the highlight of this season. This place became even more special to me as an adult. This year I was able to go with my family (sans my sister’s husband) and my cousin and friend. We were a crew! We had a great time together at the fair, and since it was Columbus Day and a monday (our day off) we were able to also spend the evening together buying my dad a new car and ordering our favorite Lynnfield House of Pizza for dinner. I was just glad to get some decent photo’s in too… you know me! Need it!
In true New England style we took our Dunks coffee (personally, yuck!) with us to the fair and strolled around all day visiting the different animals, farm stands, shows, and trade house booths. Kendra and my cousin Jonathan were the only dare devils who ventured to get on a ride this year… a new ride! It was like a million feet high and cost $12 to ride… they just had to! My sister was infamously a little bit wild as as youngster and sometimes it’s good to see where it’s carried over into adulthood. This wasn’t nearly as crazy as teenage Ken, but her personality is definitely fun!
The weather has been unseasonably warm so I was able to wear a cute outfit rather than my usual layers including a big poofy brown goose-down jacket. Clark insisted on wearing his big poofy vest though. Mmhmm.
One of the most important parts of the fair is the food! I admit this is where my family indulges the most… we have to have it all! Maybe this is something I have inherited from my dad, because he basically eats his way through the fair every year. Not a bad way to do it. We had fried dough (of course), lemonade, roasted cinnamon almonds, pulled pork sandwich, steak kabobs, hot chocolate, my dad had a big cheeseburger, and Becky had the traditional carmel apple! The only thing I missed was the baked potato loaded with cheese, broccoli, sour cream… mmm!!! Delicious!!! There’s only so much money set aside for these types of holidays though, and we spent our allotment on our entry ticket… and FOOD! Fair food is the bomb.
I am a sucker for steak. I love steaks!!!! As a child I hated meat… like… all meat. Weird. Then I had a rarely cooked fillet mignon at a fancy restaurant (I was NOT paying…) and I was sold. Then when I married my husband he cooked this chicken that I’m absolutely in love with! I would marry this chicken dish if I could. It’s SO GOOD… my husband is Haitian and it’s a chicken his mom has cooked his whole life. I can’t believe there are people who have gone through life without ever eating this chicken dish. Anyways… I about to go down a rabbit trail… back to the fair!
The fair is one of those places that has become a part of me and who I am. The Fair means Fall is really here and I absolutely adore the Fall weather and clothes and warm cider! Although, now I finally realize that it’s also been the people I go to the fair with that has made it what it is. The Fair also means family time and being with the few friends who are just as close. One of my favorite Fair memories was the year I was a freshman in college all the way down in Florida. I decided to fly home and surprise everyone – plus how could I miss the Fair?! Little did I know how important it was for me to take that trip. It was one of the last times I saw Felipe before he was taken from us. He was so happy to see me, a great feeling! It’s surely one of my favorite moments throughout my entire life! I surprised him right near the entrance inside the Fair grounds… at the Topsfield Fair.
There’s something about this season that reminds me how important it is to keep people around you that are right. People who mutually know, love, and understand you – real friends. Maybe it’s the poetic fall of the leaves off the summer trees that urges me to shake off what is already dead too. If that means having less leaves, I’m okay with that. Autumn means a beautiful stripping of what is no longer healthy to carry. You may appear barren to some, but you don’t FEEL barren. You feel a new lightness and it’s refreshing! This is a season of my life that may require some “weeds to be picked” as my husband says. I guess this is just another thing I’m learning to breathe…