Deferred, Now Fulfilled

It’s a photo of me. 

I was about three years old and standing on my bed.  How about the matching curtains and bedspread?  Seeing it now, it looks kinda creepy.

My bed is a trundle bed—so cool for sleepovers.  When I was in junior high my dad stripped off the white paint and refinished it.  It got passed down to The Kid.  We did get new mattresses for it, though.

Some other badass women I admire…

I keep that photo of little debbie on the corkboard on my desk for inspiration. She expected me to be a badass woman, and I try to live up to her expectations.

I was very lucky because when I was a child, my parents always told me that I could be whatever I wanted.

Look at that photo; she’s a pirate in a flannel nightgown.  Hands balled up, tucked, and ready.

That fierce little thing knew she could do anything.

She was the best bee and firefly catcher in the neighborhood, with a mayo jar and lid always close by.  There may have been a measure of sugar and spice, but she was not afraid to mix it up, little boys did not mess with this little girl.

This little girl taught herself to swim by watching a kid at the pool.  She never had any fear of water and often thought she might be part mermaid.

She had a freakish ability to catch.  Footballs thrown from any distance and any speed were plucked out of the air into her little hands.              

This gift turned her into her big brother’s cash cow as he placed bets with kids who hadn’t seen this unexpected, preternatural ability firsthand.

The little girl had tons of plans for the future.  Why not, when her parents frequently told her there were no limits to her possibilities?

This little girl wanted to be a go-go dancer because she loved the boots and liked to dance.

This little girl wanted to be a performer and had plans to be in the Elvis Presley movies her mom loved so much and tour as a singer with the Partridge Family on their Mondrian-painted school bus.    

This little girl loved horses and puppies and wanted to become a veterinarian to make sick animals all better.

This little girl wanted to have a job driving huge construction vehicles because they looked like “giant Tonka trucks”.

As the years passed, the little girl grew up.  The fierceness remained, but the girl began to have small, quick feathers of experiences and lessons that came from all around.  Feathers that by themselves weren’t weighty but multiplied by tens of thousands they acquire the ability to choke the spirit.   

In high school, she learned that there were limits.  Girls couldn’t try out for football, no matter how amazing their reception skills were.  And some colleges were off-limits.

As an adult, the woman learned that many think women weren’t quite a fully formed human and needed to know their place.

Years passed; girls could play football, most colleges admitted women, and all occupations had trailblazing women working in them.

All except for one job.

And although over the years, women got tantalizingly close, there were just too many people who, unlike the woman’s parents, didn’t think that women belonged in that ultimate position, or adjacent to it.

The same year our little girl was born, another little girl was born.  And this little girl remained convinced that she really could do anything.

That little girl grew up to be the very first female Vice President of the United States.  And the other woman, this woman, is so proud and excited that we can tell girls that they can accomplish anything.

And really mean it.

Thanks for your time.

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It Takes All Kinds

As I write this it is Sunday night, closing day of the State Fair.  I’m a little sad it will be a year until the next one.  But I truly believe I wrung every bit of fun, food, and fellowship from the fair that was humanly possible.

I fulfilled that promise I made to myself to purchase and devour three of the dinner plate sized doughnuts from Peachey’s; one for each day of my attendance.Image may contain: food

fair donut

Image may contain: food and indoor

So, these doughnuts…

The Kid and I judged in three specialty contests under the genial supervision of Lisa Prince, her sister Michele, and the rest of the State Fair staff that make each occasion a sort of quasi-family reunion of judges and staff.  During the SPAM contest yesterday, I was one of four Debbie’s in the room.  That multiple moniker situation was a snapshot of every class of mine in elementary school.I wonder if any of those other Debbie’s thought those snack cakes had been made just for them?

And, I indulged in one of my favorite state fair activities.  It’s a pastime that Petey introduced me to years ago.People watching.

The North Carolina State Fair is a parade of the entire range of humanity from NC.  If you sit still long enough (not the easiest of feats for me), you will see every single one of them.

The first thing I notice is the candy-coated shell of each human:The (usually young) (usually) female dressed in a symphony of inappropriate clothing; short, tight skirt or dress and gravity-defying shoes that would be uncomfortable to stand in, let alone walk miles in on varying terrain.

The fall enthusiast that is rushing the cooler weather in enough, too-heavy layers of clothing to have their third heat stroke by lunchtime.And conversely, the guy that can not, will not, admit summer is over and shows up in shorts and flip-flops no matter how frigid the temperature may be.

The city slicker dressed in their best facsimile of country cousin.  If you look carefully you’ll see the tags they forgot to remove from their spanking new, ridiculously expensive designer over-all’s.

Dontcha just wanna run him over with a John Deere?

The fascinating human interactions:

The couple on a first date.  Their desire to be easy to get along with will result in numerous moments of paralysis brought on by indecision of what to do, where to go, when and what to eat.  When exiting the fair one member of this couple is likely to be burdened with a mammoth stuffed animal that is three-quarters the size of the bearer.tiredThe family consisting of two ferociously exhausted parents and their brood of multiple children under the age of five.  Each child will want to go somewhere and eat something different and they want it, NOW!  Mom and Dad would just like a nap.

The farmer or rancher that has finished his business at the fair and is ready to go home.  And, his wife who hasn’t been on a date since last year’s fair and won’t be ready to leave until at least next Tuesday.That kid with that noise-making toy that sounds like all of the cats on the planet are screaming at once with a couple of faulty bag pipes thrown in.  If the toy is silenced, the sound is immediately replaced by the unearthly shrieking of a furious, empty-handed toddler.

Petey is the pooch, the kitten is the rest of the world.

Petey has a patient soul and could sit for days studying the humans that populate this earth.  I, on the other hand, have always hated to slow down long enough to take notice of my fellow man.

But the older these aging bones get, the more attractive sitting and looking become. Thanks for your time.