The County Fair
Dave and I were out and about earlier this week, and I saw the county fair was all set up. I knew it was usually the last week of July, but had kind of forgotten about it; the last few years, it has been scorchingly hot during fair week and we stopped going. I hadn’t been since before I went deaf.
It’s been unseasonably cool the past few days (exactly the kind of weather I like) so on Thursday morning I suggested to Dave that we head over to the fair. We aren’t usually spur-of-the-moment people, so I kind of had to talk him into it: The weather was great; we weren’t doing anything else that day; it was a pretty cheap way to get a few hours of entertainment; and, if nothing else, we’d get some exercise.
As we walked around, I kept pointing out things we’d done with the kids in years past. “There’s where Paige milked the fake cow!” “Remember the year Eric was in full goth regalia and the people at that Christian booth gave him a Jesus comic book?” “There’s where Paige got a stagecoach ride!” etc. etc.
This was the first time we’d ever gone to the county fair without the kids. Actually, I had never gone to the county fair at ALL until I met Dave. It was just not something my family ever did. We weren’t in 4-H (I never knew of any kids in 4-H, to be honest) and we lived smack dab in the suburbs, nowhere near farms. I didn’t know anyone that ever went to the fair, showed animals, or even entered a pie into the baking contest.
It was a perfect day for walking around; sunny and just a little bit too warm for me, but not so hot that I wanted to leave. We skipped the carnival rides and fair food, choosing instead to visit the animals, exhibits and entries into the various competitions. Dave explained how some of the older farm equipment was used; he knew every tractor and planter on display. (I just asked him, “What was that thing called? A seed spreader?” and he laughed and laughed, then told me it was called a planter. Who knew?!)
We spent a lot of time with the goats, Dave’s favorite animal. If they were near the edge of the pen, not sleeping or busy eating in a corner, they got their ears and neck rubbed while Dave crooned to them. I almost had more fun watching him with the goats than the goats themselves.
When we stopped in to see the chickens, roosters, ducks, turkey, geese and rabbits, I seriously thought there were little kids in there imitating roosters. It was happening so often, though, that I started to doubt myself…and sure enough, I happened to be looking right at a rooster when he started crowing. It was the real thing! Obviously I don’t hear a lot of roosters crowing here in the suburbs of Chicago, so I got a big kick out of that.
After we’d seen everything there was to see, we realized it was the perfect time to head over and watch the pig races, something we’d done in the past with the kids and really enjoyed. The show was smaller than we remembered, but still a lot of fun. We were in the middle of the bleachers and the whole area was packed; both sets of bleachers were full and the area around the race track was packed three-deep with people.
I felt some kicking and nudging on my back; I kind of turned to see what was going on, but couldn’t tell without completely turning around in my seat. I decided to ignore it. Just before the show ended, though, I felt a sharp tug on my hair, near one of my CI magnets. I resisted the urge to whip around, figuring it was probably a toddler or baby behind me. Sure enough, the show ended and people started to get up and leave…and there was a lady with a baby girl, probably six or seven months old, sitting behind me.
We were waiting for the bleachers to clear out since we were in the middle, and Dave asked me how things sounded since this was my first time at the fair with my cochlear implants. I thought about it, then said, “I couldn’t understand anything the guy (at the pig races) was saying; between the microphone and loud volume, I got maybe one word here and there. In that aspect, the CIs were pretty much just like my hearing aids used to be.” Even with lip reading, I couldn’t really catch what the guy said. He was talking too fast, there was music playing; it was all just loud noise.
Then I told Dave about the yank on my hair. He was flabbergasted until I explained it was a baby; I had suspected by the way the hair tug felt (it brought back memories of my own kids pulling my hair). I realized, as I was telling him the story, that she was probably attracted by the colorful magnets on the back of my head. I have bright blue color caps on the magnets and they sit pretty much on top of my hair, so they probably attracted her attention. I’m glad all she got was hair when she grabbed; having my CI fly off my ear would’ve gotten a whole different reaction from me!
Posted on July 28, 2013, in Cochlear Implants & Hearing Loss, Family, Observations and tagged Cochlear Implants & Hearing Loss, deafness, DuPage County Fair, goats, pig races, visiting the fair. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.