By Saturday I was wiped out. I’d been running full out for a week, I’d been with people I loved but who were all new to me, I’d played at the fair, the beach, a family reunion (not my family), I’d had relationship issues and business issues and I hadn’t blogged that whole time. Michelle had to work, so I took the opportunity to spend the day with my head down at the computer, catching up on life in general and my blog in specific. Even after Michelle got home, I stayed at it, editing photos and words and words and photos and trying to just get ‘er done while keeping stressful issues at bay. Carlo made a fantastic dinner for us, and finally I pulled my head up and came back to the present. But, of course, I hadn’t done One New Thing. Michelle came up with one idea, and I took it: she’d take me up the road to the neighbor’s house, and show me the hummingbird nest that had been built under their eaves. Considering the condition I was in, that was just about my speed. Perfect.
Michelle is a lovely, friendly person, and we stopped to talk to this neighbor and that as we made our way up the hill. By the time we got to the hummingbird nest, we could barely see it. Plus, we’re short and it was strung up high. But with a lot of reach and some help from the flashlight app on her phone, we managed to get a few pics. I’m not really sure what that thing is that it’s built on. Maybe just a decorative wind-catcher thingy?
After another visit with another neighbor, we headed back down the hill. Halfway down, Michelle stopped and raised her nose like a coon hound on a scent. Then she walked right up onto a neighbor’s yard, over the grass, to a big ol’ bush. It was an Angel Trumpet plant, and the huge white blossoms filled the night with their perfume. Plus they were really pretty, too. Out came our two phones – one for the light, one for the pictures. I think we did a pretty good job.
See the spider?
Sunday, Day 222, Michelle and Carlo and I headed back to Ventura for the last day of the fair. Gosh, I’d got so many wonderful new friends by that time! And this was it; after the Alameda Fair
, I’d had Ventura to look forward to, but this was my last fair this year. For so many reasons, I felt like crying. But I didn’t. There was still a lot of fun left to enjoy! We were headed for the rodeo! I’d never been to one before, and I was looking forward to it. After all, I’d been a little horse
; I figured I could relate!
In order to beat the traffic, we’d gotten there way too early for the rodeo. So I did what I do: I wandered around, nabbing hugs and taking advantage of photo ops. I also went back to the mineral exhibit so I could write down the various places in California where geodes and other exciting minerals were collected (do I see another potential One New Thing trip in my future?), and dallied for the first time in the fine arts exhibit. Gorgeous stuff! Michelle and Carlo and I returned to the photography exhibit and spent even more time examining every single picture than we did the last time through.
Okay, so this was my first rodeo. I admit to being a bit surprised when the first thing out of the shoot was little kids clinging onto the backs of sheep who’d been sheered close all except for a big ruff around their shoulders. That’s what the kids were supposed to hang onto, I guess. They weren’t too good at it. Most of them didn’t make it far at all before a dirt snack.
Next thing they announce is four groups of riders. The gig is that the riders bunch up outside the chute. At the yell, the chutes fly open and out bolt horses. Each of the groups has to catch their horse, saddle it, get a rider on it who has to ride it around a barrel . . . I’m not sure what was supposed to happen after that. Up goes the yell, and out come the horses, bucking like crazy while four men run at each horse like crazies. And my gut starts to tighten. These guys are chasing and roping and pulling and dragging on the horses, and the horses are bucking like crazy all over the place. I don’t pretend to know the mind of a horse, but it suddenly occurred to me that these horses didn’t sign up for this job. The cowboys, well, yeah, they chose this. But the horses had no choice. My gut is knotting up as I’m watching the debacle down below. Now let me be clear; the horses were winning big time. But still. And when two of the horses twisted around each other and a loose rein looked like it was going to get wrapped around one horse’s leg, I’d suddenly watched all I could. I excused myself to Michelle and Carlo and made my escape, my heart banging uncomfortably above my locked up tummy.
I didn’t anticipate that reaction. I’d expected to spend the afternoon hootin’ and hollerin’ and havin’ fun just like the thousands of other rodeo fans in the stands, but I couldn’t do it. Hours later when my friends caught up to me, they said it got a lot better after I left, but I couldn’t feel sorry I hadn’t stayed to watch. It was simply not my thing. I tracked down one of the little horses, who had also spent time in a big saddle, and asked him about it. He said that the horses love it and live a great life, only having to work a rodeo for a few weeks out of the year, and being babied and pampered the rest of the time. And I tried really hard to believe it. But my gut wouldn’t let me off the hook.
I did have some more fun with the little horses, though I didn’t get to be one again.
In fact, everyone seemed to be having fun with everyone.
There was at least one wonder left in this very special day. Sunday August 10 was the night of the supermoon
, and we were in the perfect place to watch it – Ventura Beach. We didn’t just get a fabulous moon, either; we got a beautiful beach sunset to go with it.
As if we hadn’t had enough fun, we got to go back in for some more great music, and at last, the final fireworks of this 2014 Ventura County Fair, brightened by the most amazing supermoon.
Huge thanks to Jason and Jason, who got us tickets and parking and backstage passes and hosted us like we were royalty. It wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun without you! Thanks also to all the other fair folk who made us feel welcome and goofed off with us like we were part of the family. And special thanks to Carlo, who took some of the pictures of the sunset and fireworks, and all of the pictures of the supermoon.
Have you done something new today?