As it has for 84 years now, the Mooreland Free Fair took place earlier this month. I like to call it the Mooreland World's Fair, a curiosity in this small, remote town in northeastern Henry County. Here, I'm in line for the world's best ham and beans. Don't believe me? You haven't had them, have you?
There are many wonderful things about August in Indiana.
Trouble is, they take place in August in Indiana.
It's generally so hot that that your own sweat puts a damper on the Indiana State Fair and even, on the Mooreland Free Fair.
But this is no ordinary August in Indiana. One week ago, I spent the day in jeans and a long-sleeve flannel shirt. That shirt felt right good too. We've had more rain this month than is anything close to the norm.
Generally, August grass is a yellowed beige, and so dormant that you can't imagine any green returning before the following April. But this August, the grass is emerald, and my marigolds look absolutely giddy about how things are going. They reward me with crazed vibrance. If you lean in, I'm sure you'd hear them giggle.
July ended with the glorious sendoff into retirement of our long-time pastor and wife, Keith and Delaine. My life group had a lot to do with the planning and implementing of the day, and if there was a glitch, I've yet to hear about it.
Then five days later, some church friends helped prep and serve food for the wedding of the church's student ministry director. Both events took place in the church gym, and it looked beautiful--transformed--both times.
Then onto the Mooreland Fair, where my longtime colleague, Mooreland native, and keeper of too many other community roles for me to list, here, Darrel Radford, had asked me months ago to give my heirloom program.
I shared a collection of ideas for enjoying, sorting, letting go of, and passing on heirlooms. I'll be giving the program three more times this year, and have given it a dozen times already since 2023 rolled in. We have a good time. If you need a program for something, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best thing about the Mooreland Fair is not the ham and beans (although they are exquisite), it's the feeling that you've stepped back in time as you admire the beribboned sunflowers and the tasty cookies and the garden produce, newly judged and shining their fresh, rural beauty. The old farmers sit on the benches and watch the fairgoers as kiddos swirl on the rides, and neighbors gather freebies in the commercial tent.
If not for the generally dreadful August heat, all's right with the world within those fairgrounds.
I was told I could pull into the reserved parking places on the grounds since I had a lot of props and such to carry in.
As I pulled up, three senior fellas were sitting like parade generals, side by side, in charge of who got in and who didn't. I told them who I was and my business there. "Have you got pies?" one of them asked.
I laughed! Was that the admission price?
It might sound like an odd question, and would be, if you weren't at the Mooreland Fair on an August afternoon. I said I didn't but next time I come, I''ll be sure to bring one. They laughed. I laughed and rolled onto the grounds.
Last week our small writing group, Writer Chicks Society (WCS) met. We talked a blue streak for closer to four hours than the designated three. Lots of reviewing various writing conferences we'd all been to. Our own Cathy Shouse was faculty at the Taylor University Writing Conference.
The month isn't over yet. Thursday my friend Delaine and I are going to a genealogy workshop sponsored by a Henry County-based Daughters of American Revolution Chapter. Saturday we'll celebrate Sam's birthday with brunch out.
And in a bit, I'm going to hop on the John Deere and mow. Hot or not. The heat goes on.