So St. Patrick’s Day is Saturday. I know what that means for the die-hards: even more green beer than usual! But at 44 with a toddler, it will more likely look like some March Madness on TV (if I’m lucky) and Dr. Seuss before 9 pm. However, if you’re a little less lame than I am, there are options! And I promise to get to those here in a minute, but first I’d like to do a little St. Patty’s Day reflecting. I promise it won’t hurt.
So growing up, I didn’t eat Reubens or anything involving cabbage nor did I drink beer, green or not. Needless to say, it didn’t really rank in my book as important, but if you were like me and grew up in Oakland, you know who it did matter to: the Finnegans! Specifically, our principal. Most of my St. Paddy’s Day memories involve Mr. Finnegan out of character in his green suit and a jovial mood. If you asked me to do word association with St. Patrick’s Day, I would say Finnegans probably before green! I’m not the only one, right?
Even in college, I wasn’t much of a partier. I thought it was hysterical that they held the Bud Flood on the Hill and people would get up earlier than they ever did for class to hit the bar for Kegs and Eggs. Class was usually especially fun that day with a little extra liquid courage in the classroom! But otherwise, my St. Patrick’s Days are usually about my dad heading to the Ozark Cattle Sale and hoping nothing goes wrong for my mom while he’s away!
But as any girl who loves holidays, I can’t not encourage you to celebrate the big day!
If you’re near UNI, I recommend a trip to the Hill.
If you’re in Omaha, Dubliner Pub or Brazen Head are always the places to be.
But if you’re rural Southwest Iowa folk like me, you can live the dream! You can start off the day with a Seuss-style Green Eggs and Ham in Avoca. From there, you can take your toddler to the Hancock City Park for an Easter Egg Hunt thanks to the Botna Valley Achievers 4-H Club! Woo-hoo! (No, that was not a sarcastic woo-hoo. I will be there!) And then you can find a really great babysitter and make your way to The Station in Hancock. They are having Ruebens and corned beef and cabbage all day along with the better option of $2 Domestic beers! Yes, there can be green beer in your future!
From there, you can finish off your day helping out a good cause! Head down to the Carson Community Center for Trivia Night. The Bar ‘N Grill is serving supper. Take on some tough competition, or laugh into your flask over your lack of ability, but either way, you’ll be chipping in to help out the Carson Community Park Board. Plus, if you get a good team of lads and lassies, you can dress up and win prizes, too! No team? No worries. If it were me, I’d post on Facebook I needed a team or you can simply show up and I bet they get you hooked up!
So there you have it – I have your whole day planned out for you! The luck of the Irish be with you!
And here’s to sunshine and rainbows and pots of gold for all!
So it’s probably no surprise to anyone that knows me that my “good” of the week is the East Pottawattamie County Fair. If you want to see good kids, good parents, good work ethics, good success stories, good moments, good laughs, good animals, and good times, you will want to make your way to Avoca between Wednesday and Monday. (Well, and besides, it’s your chance to see me, too. Lol.)
And if that’s not enough, today you are going to listen to me wax a little nostalgic. I was talking to a guy I met this week that had grandparents who lived in Oakland when he was a kid. He spent his summer time here, and we were laughing about the stuff you remember form your childhood. What I remember most involved the people at that county fair.
I remember being a kid and Lori’s friends putting up with me – Dave, Kirk, Jeff, Carol, and Jay even played cards with me! I remember paying to get into the fair or having to go really early so we didn’t have to pay! Lol. I remember Misch teaching me to make donuts for her presentation with these circle blocks we had. I remember seeing Robin, Kris, and Scott (yes, they know who they are, no need to add last names) laughing and I wouldn’t know why but they were always up to something! I remember seeing people get thrown in the tank back when we used tanks at the fair. You got thrown in if you were cute or if you were annoying. Looking back, those were some funny reasons! I remember the demo derbies, too, and that chicken on the Pauley’s car!
Personally, I remember being excited for the dog and cat show because they let me hand out ribbons! Crazy, huh? Once I was in 4-H, I remember my first market heifer, Jen, she was a mousy thing and I had to take her out in front of the grandstand on the track and my dad telling me that there were no fences and she’d be in the next county if I let go so not to let go! I remember sitting on the showbox with Kerri and Stacey. I remember hanging out at the campers with Brad, Perry, Jennifer, Stacey, Guthrey, and a lot of others. I remember Ryan Danker’s calf always running across the fairgrounds and him holding on still! I remember having my steer, Travis Tritt, and being bummed I didn’t win, but any cattle person will tell you that you can win everywhere else and still get beat at your county fair! I also remember Rhoten telling me he was hamburger. I remember playing cards in the barns. I remember bawling when I was a senior.
And then it came full-circle, and I remember how proud I was when Tiffany and Kyra (2 of my nieces) were crowned queens or when Bethany suffered through mono to still show sheep when it was 100 degrees.
I remember tons more, but nothing earth-shattering, just small little snippets of a childhood well-spent at the county fair. I hope you have those memories, too, if not of the East Pott Co. Fair, I hope they are of somewhere…
And I hope when you see those people that make appearances in your flashbacks of childhood, I hope you’re as happy to see them as I am to see the people who show up at the East Pott. Co. Fair every year…
Got a story I need to hear? A memory I didn’t share? A story about a different county or a 4-H story or a project you made or an animal you showed? Let’s heat it.