This & That

Making Memories at the State Fair

mississippi state fair

The coming of fall means more than pumpkins and cooler weather; it's also the season of carnivals and fairs across the South. Memories of "The Fair" fill my childhood, and I was really excited to share some of those same memories with Micah last weekend at her very first trip to the Mississippi State Fair.

It's always comforting to know that some things remain the same, and going to the fair was like visiting with an old friend. We ate the same taffy, looked at the same displays in the Trade Center, and even saw the same games on the Midway. I'm so glad that I get to share a part of my childhood with my own children, and I hope a trip to the fair is a tradition we won't neglect.

We started in the Trade Center, which is always filled with the best of the best when it comes to crafts and canning. We checked out the jams and jellies that garnered first place in the state, then we meandered through the arts and crafts section, where this delicately crocheted blanket and pretty little button tree caught my eye.

By the time we made it outside, we were all hungry, so we headed to the Midway to search for some lunch. I knew what I wanted before we ever arrived at the fair, and it didn't take long to find what I was looking for: chicken on a stick from Penn's. Dennis' mom ordered some fried pickles, and we found a shady spot to enjoy our meal.

After satisfying our appetites, we headed to the petting zoo so Micah could check out all the animals, but she wasn't a fan. After a goat stuck its head out of the fence at her, she clung to her daddy and looked on from arms length. She wasn't into the petting part of the petting zoo, but she's a curious girl, and there was a lot to look at in that little tent.

As soon as we left the petting zoo, the carousel caught our eyes, and since Micah LOVED the carousel at Dollywood this summer, we snatched up a few tickets and Gran hopped on with her. We should have watched the carousel for one round before we threw her on a horse. The horse that she's on looked crazy for a reason. That was seriously the fastest carousel I've ever seen, and Micah wanted off immediately, but there was no stopping that crazy ride yet. She gladly dismounted when the ride finally stopped, and I vowed to never do that again. From now on I will watch a ride before I put Micah on it. Lesson learned.

After the carousel adventure, we strolled through the livestock barns to check out the cattle show. In case you didn't know, my husband is a country boy, and he grew up in those barns {showing sheep, not cattle}. My family, on the other hand, may have stepped into the barns on occasion, but it was not the main part of our fair experience. Our fair experience revolved around food and rides. Dennis' fair experience revolved around animals. We are so. different.

And then, it was time to go home, but we had one last stop to make before leaving the fair. Dennis and I may have had very different childhood experiences at the fair, but there is one thing that we both share: Malone's Taffy. The fair is not the fair without Malone's taffy. It is, by far, the best thing about the fair. Prices are a little steeper than they used to be, but a box of the sticky sweetness is more than worth the $9 price tag. Yum. We'll be savoring that taffy for a while. If you're lucky, we might share a piece with you.

But only if you're lucky :)

If you live near Jackson and you haven't yet made it to the fair, it's not too late. You have until Sunday night to get out there and enjoy all that the fair has to offer. After that, you'll just have to wait until next year.

Until next time, grace and peace.

Telling Nashville's Story

I never know what to say when people ask me where I'm from. A part of me wants to answer, "I'm a Mississippi girl," because the truth is that I've spent the vast majority of my life in the Magnolia State. But another part of me wants to answer, "Nashville," because that's where my parents live. It's where I learned to drive. Where I went to high school. Where I spent a summer working. Where I was baptized {again}. Where I accepted a call to ministry. Where I spend holidays. It's the place I go when I go home.

So you can imagine how absolutely horrifying it is to see pictures of a submerged Music City in facebook pictures and on youtube. It breaks my heart to see the city that I love so much under water.

nashvilleflood

photo courtesy of Rachael Moore

It's shocking to view pictures of the Opryland Hotel literally filled with water.

I never took Micah there.

Just a week and a half ago, we spent the weekend in Nashville visiting with the fam, and we spent a day at Opry Mills. Stacy {my sister} mentioned going to the Hotel so we could take a few pictures. But by the time we finished shopping, Micah was cranky, we were all tired, and we piled into the van and went home.

It's something I regret now.

Because the Hotel's gorgeous atrium is now a swamp.

opryland-hotel-atrium

Photo courtesy of Stephen Lee

And what fan of country music wouldn't be dismayed to see this image from the Opry house?

opry-door

Photo courtesy of The Grand Ole Opry

Billions of dollars worth of damage. Dozens of lives lost. Thousands of lives changed. An entire city devastated by the monumental amount of rain that deluged the city over the weekend.

Let's not forget all the people who are going to need help recovering from this disaster. Let's not ignore the devastation of a 1,000-year flood. Let's not pretend that nothing happened.

Let's remember.

And let's do something about it.

Let's tell Nashville's story.

Let's give our money.

Let's give our time.

Let's give our attention.

Let's give our love.

Let's give our prayers.

Until next time, grace and peace.

How High's the Water, Mama?

How high's the water, mama?Five feet high and risin' How high's the water, papa? Five feet high and risin'

Well, the rails are washed out north of town We gotta head for higher ground We can't come back till the water comes down, Five feet high and risin'

Well, it's five feet high and risin'

{Johnny Cash: Five Feet High and Risin'}

Unless you've been stuck under a rock for the past few days, you know that it's a little...soggy...down here in the southeast. It's not so bad here in North Mississippi, although we did get stuck in Corinth yesterday when we were trying to get home from Starkville. Water flooded the main thoroughfare, and we were hardpressed to get through. We finally made it home, but only after we backtracked out of Corinth, drove south to Rienzi and turned east again.

I don't guess I'll be going to Kroger to do my grocery shopping this week. Or anytime soon.

It's wet down here. And at home. Home is Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville.

Don't worry, my parents haven't floated away yet.

But that's only because they live at the top of a hill.

Seriously, though. Downtown Nashville is a mess. It's strange to see images of home flash across the news. It's going to be a long time before life is back to normal up there.

The buckets of rain that God poured on us over the weekend washed away most of our plans to watch Mississippi State play baseball, but we were able to get in some good eating at some of our favorite Starkville restaurants. We played with our niece and nephew and visited with the family. It was nice.

But I'm glad to be home. And I'm thankful that our house is nice, and safe and dry. No more travels for a while. Next time, people are coming to us.

That means that I should probably clean the bathrooms this week.

Just wanted to let you know that we're high and dry here in Iuka.

Until next time, grace and peace.