Friday, July 30, 2021

Fair Night

66 this morning and cloudy. The promised rain did not materialize. We had about 4 drops. Watering the gardens continues. The day turned sunny and nice. But no rain.

It's a quiet night on the ridge.

No neighbors' trucks, no cars, only one lonely four-wheeler venturing across all evening.


Because this is county fair week, and Friday and Saturday nights are the big nights--truck pulls, tractor pulls, who-knows-what-else-pulls. Biggish named bands performing. Big nights for livestock auctions. The carnival will be in full swing too, and the food vendors will be doing big business.

Which is why it's so quiet on Railey Ridge. Some local kids are in 4-H or FFA and have their animals and other projects on exhibit. For older people it's the bet opportunity to meet up with people they haven't seen in a while, especially during the pandemic.

For us, well, it's a time to enjoy the peace. The ridge is the way I remember from my earlier days here. No noise. Just us and our dogs and the quiet, quiet sky.

There are of course the night creatures' evening chorus. Tree frogs, bullfrogs, some kind of insect that's not a cicada--not our turn this year--and far off a lonesome whippoorwill. In the sky a jet blinks tiny lights, way up high, and a satellite makes it solitary way across the blackness. The moon is not up so the stars hold dominion and it's quite a show they're making of it. 

We, on the porch, sip our wine, pet the dogs, clear off the porch swing so the cat can get up there in "his" swing, and listen to the night sounds. No bands, no revving engines, no roar of carnival and equipment. 

I understand those who enjoy the fair. We used to be there every year, and every night of the fair's run, when our sons were young. We visited and cheered the pulls and exclaimed over the prices at the livestock sales and ate corn on the cob and barbecued chicken and ice cream. The boys were all over the fairgrounds, stopping now and again to ask for a few dollars and disappearing into the crowds. It was fine, back then, to let them run because it was a safe place. Or so we thought. I wonder now if it was really as safe as we thought but fortunately no harm befell our boys and they have fond memories of their days and nights during fair week.

Now, it's okay to not be there, but to be here instead. It's not that we're getting old, although we certainly are. It's more that we are more deeply appreciative of all that is right here, and that's okay too.

Although I do miss that barbecued chicken and cherry nut ice cream.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


  1. Oh the dark quiet of a country night! We could see so many stars at night when we first moved here over 30 yrs ago but there's too much light now. And constant noise 24/7. Still, after last year I do appreciate our little haven so very much. It looks & almost feels like you're in the middle of the wilderness when you sit on our porch.

    They moved our county fair to the fall this year. I've never really gone because it's just so very hot but I may try to take my grandson one day since it will be during cooler weather.

    1. That's the other reason I don't go any more, Jenny. The heat can be overwhelming this time of year. A lot has changed here too in my 45 years on this hill--used to have two neighbors, both a mile away and in opposite directions. Now there are houses across the ridge but fortunately all one family and their good neighbors. But there a lot more traffic and everyone seems to have dusk to dawn lights which I detest.

  2. We used to go to the "carnival" here back in the day when the boys were little. It was a fun week and we could catch up with people we hadn't seen in a while. Things have changed and we have too. I much prefer a quiet night at home, listening to the evening sounds. I'm with you on the dusk to dawn lights. I see no need for them in the country. After all, isn't that why we live in the woods---to get away from all that city stuff? I told David not to bother ever putting one of those lights up--I'd shoot it out for him.

  3. What a lovely, evocative account and sounding as American as our little British country fetes are!


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