Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 7:24 (NKJV)
The County Fair started last night and several times today, someone who went to the fair asked me if I had been and hinted that I had won a prize. So, tonight, we bundled up and all of us went to eat and see the exhibits. We had BBQ from the Manatee County Cattleman’s booth and corn dogs from the Kiwanis booth. I got my annual fair apple dumpling but it was too cold to have ice cream on top of it. The kids indulged in candy apples, elephant ears, fried pickles and fried Oreos. I’ll be handing out Tums shortly. Afterwards, we went to see the rabbits and the chickens. I loved a big white rooster called a White Rock. He reminded me of Foghorn Leghorn. There were silky chickens that looked like they were wearing fur coats and shiny Rhode Island Reds. The rabbits were cute, some with long ears, some with fuzzy coats, all with twitchy noses and bright kind eyes. Youngest son’s girlfriend and I started reading the judging slips on the cages and whoever had judged the rabbits was not at all gentle. “Poor head. Short ears. Poor wool. Mismarked coat.” I did not see any nice things at all. I felt really sorry for the children whose adored pet rabbit was judged and found lacking. In the cattle barn, there was also judging going on, but in that case, at the end of each class, the judge not only thanked all exhibitors, but explained what she was looking for and why she had chosen each winner. Then, it was time to go and see how my entries faired. Despite the hints of my friends, I half expected to see “Poor construction. Mismatched colors.” We started with photography which is always the largest competition at the fair. I didn’t do too badly, but the photo of the blue chair taken at McClay Gardens in Tallahassee that I think quite artistic only got a red ribbon. The one of Vicki’s driveway in Asheville got a blue. Several of my glass pieces, Miranda’s Dragonflies, the blue and green basket weave, the green hummingbirds and the blue pixie sticks bowl all got blue ribbons, too. But, ribbons are not what I aspire for. What really counts are the rosettes, the big ribbons with the ruffled center. Four of my glass pieces got blue rosettes. They were all lined up in a glass case with lights shining on them to bring out their colors. The garnet bowl, the Christmas Spirit vase, the holly berry vase and the crane made from stained glass found at a yard sale. There were so many beautiful items entered this year, like imaginative painted gourds, colorful quilts, clever knitted hats, carved wooden boxes, intricate cross stitch, crocheted lace and beaded necklaces. I feel blessed that I did so well against such stiff competition. And I am really glad I didn’t enter a rabbit. I’m not sure I could have taken the criticism!