Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ice Cream and Emus

Going to the California State Fair is one of my favorite summer activities. I can’t explain it but am pretty sure my love affair with the State Fair began when my daughter was just two years old. We would go on “kid’s day” so admission was manageable (free) and we would bring in our own food (oops, did I say that out loud?! Isn’t that against the rules? What is the statute of limitations on that?).

Daughter and I would meet friends and see all of the animals – petting zoo, livestock, baby animals, horses and elephants (my now grown, college-age, Animal Science major loved animals even back then). We would sometimes drag my Mom with us who, after a couple of years of walking around in 110 degree temps at our hyper-speed pace, was suddenly “busy” with “other plans” during every single day of the State Fair. What are the odds?

This year, Hubby and I attended the fair with Robert. A few things have changed since Daughter was little and Grandma trekked through the fair with us – the weather was milder, I signed a petition to remove the live births from future fairs and, in my own version of a protest, refrained from seeing the baby animals (but, I confess, couldn’t stay away from the kangaroos and emus).

I’m happy we didn’t skip the emu because Robert was fascinated with this creature! Every time the emu ventured over to us, Robert would say, “hello” in such a way I expected the emu to respond back!

Robert normally uses a walker to get around but I thought he might enjoy more of the fair if we used Hubby’s transport chair (yes, Hubby has his own transport chair). For those wondering about the difference between a wheelchair and a transport chair, the transport chair is easier to lug around! Robert didn’t mind using the chair much to my relief. I was a little worried he may not agree to sit in it because he can be a little stubborn. (He must get that from my Hubby).

Since I’ve never mentioned Hubby needing a transport chair before, I should explain that he has a debilitating back injury from a car accident long before we met. His pain has increased through the years (starting early in our marriage – coincidence?) but it is now managed with an intrathecal pain pump and a few oral meds. Walking for hours isn’t good for him or the rest of the family for that matter (hey, pain makes a person a bit cranky) so we have a transport chair to use when we go places that will require a lot of walking. Like the State Fair.

Eat fast!
This year, Hubby and I pushed and walked and walked and pushed and Robert was the one using the chair. We saw the giant bug exhibit and a dance group and the emu – don’t forget the emu! – and watched people spin around upside down on rides I would never in a million years go on. We ate lunch early in the day and then stopped for ice cream at the end of the afternoon, finding a shady spot to enjoy it before it melted down our arms.

The State Fair was definitely different for me this year. The weather was so much better, the prices were a little steeper and I didn’t get to see the newborn animals but the biggest change had to be seeing my Hubby pushing Robert in his chair. I wasn’t pushing Hubby. Not this year. Hubby and I were pushing Robert and even though Hubby’s back was pretty sore for a few days after our adventure with Robert and the emu and the ice cream, he didn’t complain once about the reason for it.

Of course, this doesn’t mean Hubby is cured or he will never need the transport chair. He does and he will. He has a really awful back problem that is not going away but so many times when we help others, we help ourselves.

That is just one more reason why I love the California State Fair!


Fiona Stolze said...

Trish, this a like a lovely breath of fresh air. After reading about the trials you have been working through, it was refreshing to hear that you've all had a chance to really chill out together and have a great time. These moments help to balance everything out and bring back a sense of perspective. I can just see the 3 of your eating icecream in the shade. Lovely. We so deserve these joyful times. Time to breathe out and fill your tank.

Fiona Stolze
Inspired Art and Living

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Fiona, You are so right that these times help restore balance. Sometimes my bucket gets a little empty and I need some ice cream and emus (and fun family times) to refill it. :-)

Julie Labes said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful day. i like emu's too, they make me smile. it's so true that when we take the attention off ourselves and focus on someone else, we sometimes forget about our own aches and pains...if only for a little while

Julie Labes: The Fun-Loving, Feisty, Fearless, Frisky, Fierce Over 50 Traveler

Heidi Alberti & Atticus Uncensored said...

I'm so happy that hubby was able to handle the fair on his feet and Robert was amenable to the chair --- all good!

and, even better, you signed the petition to stop live-births at the fair!! you know that's been a sore subject for this pup.

dad (mama's dad) worked his county booth at the fair for years. He was so busy with work & career but he Loved his time manning the Placer County booth and always made time to do it. (plus he was a pillar of the community -- school superintendent --- & that's always good to have a public face in the booth. (secretly, I think he most loved sneaking off for corn dogs & funnel cakes)

You all certainly deserved this break in routine. and who doesn't love emus?!?

Heidi & Atticus
"commentary to give you paws..."

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Atticus, Your mama's dad was a smart man -- who doesn't love a good funnel cake? :-) It was a great day for all of us and I'm sure we'll go back next year. Heck, maybe we'll go to the county fair too!

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Julie, Isn't funny how emus make people smile? I wonder why that is but it's so true! I'm all for pain relief for my Hubby and helping others really seems to take the focus off of that bad back of his.

Franziska San Pedro said...

Oh wow! Sounds like you had a great day :-)
Very happy you all got to enjoy this day altogether and your hubby walking. I love emus, too, maybe because of their adorable, over-sized, big, dark eyes or their eye-lashes?

Franziska San Pedro
The Abstract Impressionist Artress

Unknown said...

his is the second blog I have read by you and I already feel like I am getting to know you. I love the way you write. Your openness is impressive. I'm joining your site. Don't want to miss out on anything you choose to share.

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Franziska, I love how the artist (you) figured out what makes emus so darn cute! :-)

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Bill, Thank you so much for joining the site! I hope you continue to enjoy the blog. I look forward to reading yours as well (and feel free to post a link to your blog when you leave comments). I love to have people share!