Can you believe it’s September already! I cannot, where did the summer go? I swear it was just July but now suddenly the kiddos are back in school.
Lots of things are signaling its fall and back to school season. A big one being the August 20th flip. When I moved to the valley full time my great uncle told me about August 20th. My great grandmother had told him, her father had told her, it’s a little trick you learn from living here to track the seasons. I’ll be honest, when I first heard it I called shenanigans. I thought they were funning me. No way it happens on the same date every year right? Welp, so far every year I’ve been here it’s been right. It’s subtle. But you notice it. The morning is crisper on the 20th, it seems like the sun takes forever to rise, the critters are suddenly starting to prepare for winter. The last of the garden starts giving its harvest, everyone is wearing a light sweater, and it really starts to put the idea of pumpkins in your head.
Don’t get me wrong, daily highs are still between 90 and 105 for a bit before declining, so it’s still the dog days of summer, but you can tell something is coming. Your carefree summer days are in limited supply.
But there’s still plenty to do before summer ends, especially for the kiddos in the family, or the kiddos at heart.
We recently hosted an outdoor movie night in the backyard as a way to celebrate the end of summer and the start of a new school year (admittedly, I was always a little down at the end of summer, but my cousins are all amazing little weirdos who love school). We themed the whole thing like a 50’s or 60s beach party and watched Beach Blanket Bingo. It was a huge fun success, even if most of the kiddos fell asleep before the end of the movie haha. We had a little windstorm issue but the homemade screen held up nicely for the most part, we had super minimal tech issues, and lots of food. Hot dogs, candy and an obscene amount of popcorn. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it and we are already planning the next one, granted I think we are going to wait until the sun sets a little earlier and the high for the day isn’t 107.
I even got my hands on some drive-in movie style hot dog baskets and some theater style popcorn bags to make it feel really authentic and we settled out all kinds of beach towels and blankets and pillows under the tree! I found some old school movie adverts (think the drive in during Grease, with the flipping hotdog), and compiled an oldies playlist so we were professional, ya know? That said, we are also tentatively planning a trip to the drive-in near-ish by, when they show more kid friendly movies again.
We also got to go to the fair! My mom loves going to the fair, she has since she was little, and she definitely passed that on to me! It’s kinda fun, because I have such fond memories from my state fairs growing up, both as a little fair goer and during my 4H years, but the fair I went to as a kiddo has grown up and is very commercialized. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that but I miss the dirt walkways and slightly grungy animal barns, the possibly questionable food stalls and the weird, random, amazing exhibits. The fair near me definitely still has that small fair charm, while still having enough to do to feel busy. We went on a Sunday, it wasn’t terribly busy, but there were lots of folks around to make it feel full. We got to see the quilt exhibit, lots of animals, and even caught a couple shows.
We got to see Loop Rawlins, a guy who throws a pretty mean lasso, and lit a bull whip on fire. I tried to get y’all some video but lots of people were walking in and out and I am short. Got a photo though. Apparently he’s been on America’s Got Talent, I’m not super familiar with how that show works but it sounded impressive. We also got to see the K9 Flying Dogs, which was basically just a guy who was having lots of fun with his working breed dogs chasing Frisbees and showing off. So much fun, he had a role for all his critters, young and old, and you could feel the love.
I ate so much good fair food, my favorite of which is always the Elephant Ear, and we got to see many of the 4H and FFA exhibits. We got to see the flocks: turkeys, chickens, geese, ducks, and on and on. I got to say hi to Stanley as he was out meeting and greeting with his adoring public. We also got to see the llamas and alpacas which is always my mom’s absolute favorite. Don’t be surprised if one day you tune in and we are suddenly an alpaca farm. It’s truly just a matter of time.
My favorite, of course, was the mule show, for very obvious reasons, and the antique tractors. I love old machinery and the history of farming, and it’s even more fun when it comes to life.
But, I also picked up a pretty solid sunburn, so I am going to leave this here to go find some aloe.
Until we chat again, my friends!