My husband, Greg, is in the profession of audio-visual production and one of the jobs his company does is provide video for the grandstand events during the Iowa State Fair. It's fair time, so last weekend my niece, Emily, and I made our annual (third time now) trip to Iowa for the weekend to see Greg and to enjoy the sites.
If you've followed this blog for very long, you've probably picked up by now that I enjoy a good road trip because "real life happens on the road trip."
On Saturday morning, we checked out the Des Moines Farmer's Market, which is like a mini state fair in itself (it stretches for 5 blocks)
In the afternoon, we visited family. (Emily is pictured here with my cousin Sandy).
My Aunt (Wanda) and Uncle (Arnie), pictured above, celebrated 50 years of marriage the day before we arrived, and we were able to drop in on a little family summer birthday/anniversary celebration taking place at a cousin's home.
These are my identical twin aunts, Brenda and Wanda (they married my mom's two brothers Walter and Arnie). Still two peas in a pod after all these years.
My cousin Brenda and my aunt Brenda
What's a day with a teenager without a little shopping at the local mall?
Our visit to the Iowa State Fair started out with a bang. We parked in a lot that was quite a long distance from the fairgrounds. As we started walking toward the fair, a pirate clown in a golf cart stopped and asked us if we would like a ride, which we did. As we were making our way toward the the fairgrounds, several other clowns in golf carts passed us. I felt streams of water hit my arm a few times on the ride, and at one point, our driver handed me a squirt gun and said, "If you see another clown, shoot them" , which we did. (Emily thought the clown/golf cart thing was hilarious. I found it pretty amusing myself).
The fair is not the fair without a ride on the sky ride (and eating a corn dog). Last year, Emily didn't feel brave enough to ride on the sky ride by herself, so Greg had to ride in a chair by himself and she and I were together in a chair. This year, she was ever so eager to taste the feedom of being one chair ahead of her aunt and uncle, all by herself. Ohh, what a difference a year can make.
It's always fun to see where Greg works and to get an idea of just how hard and long he works to provide for our family.
At the end of the day, we were exhausted!
(Emily said, "Do you have to take that picture of me sleeping on the air mattress every year?" Yes. Yes, I do.)
Home again, home again jiggity jig.
As I mentioned above, real life happens on the road trip, and I'm grateful to God for those moments. As you interact in real life situations, there is much opportunity to work out your own Christian theology, put it into practice, and try to lend a little guidance to a 13-year-old girl who is working through who she is, why she's here, who God is, and what that means. It makes an Aunt ever so grateful for the Sovereign God of the universe who holds all things in his hands, including the road trip.