Celebrating National 4-H Week

My mom has a lot of good ideas. She's good with crafting, good with sewing, good with cooking, good with listening.
{Admittedly, she was not good in discerning what a tragedy it would be to put me in a tumbling class in the fourth grade, but that is neither here nor there.}

One of her good ideas was putting the three of us girls in 4-H. Of course, none of us realized that at the time.
At the time, I was too busy trying to bake Martha Stewart's rugalas to a golden brown perfection; pricking my fingers every twelve seconds while quilting a wall hanging with lines that were supposed to be, as my mentor drilled me, "straight with the world;" and modeling in the county fair fashion show without tripping over my feet, which the rest of my body hadn't yet grown into.
This, I might note, was not my idea of "good."


My sisters and I completed our fair entries with a minimal amount of grace, were coherent enough in our answers to fool the judges into blue ribbons and generally whined and moaned and sweated our way through the sweltering weeks of July that led up to and included the fair.
To top it off, every 4-Her was required to complete a record book, a gigantic listing of forms and pictures and papers that detailed your goals for your projects and how you completed them and what challenges you ran into and what you'd do better next time.
But rather than working out these details months in advance, while we were actually completing our projects and could remember what our challenges were and why we came up with these ideas in the first place, and then sitting pretty the night before the county fair judging, the Dorr girls inevitably waited until the evening before the fair started.
Usually right around 10:00 p.m.
When we were hungry.
And tired.
And disorganized.
I think it was in those moments that my mom wondered if this whole 4-H thing really was a good idea after all.
But it turns out it was.
Kellee's cookie decorating business undoubtedly stemmed from her state fair, award-winning baking prowess.
Lauren's diaconal capacity certainly grew from being crowned Miss Congeniality in the fair queen contest.
And I, uh, well, I sewed a button on Chris's shirt a couple weeks ago. That's probably from, uh, well, let's keep moving.
My mom has lots of good ideas, and 4-H, it turns out, was actually one of them. And as for me? I can't wait for the day when I can keep my kids up until midnight the night before the county fair, canning smelly vinegary pickles and picking out the best-looking three cookies to enter on a plastic plate, while they're tired and cranky.
Just so, you know, one day they too can look back on 4-H (and me) as "good."

1 comment:

  1. Oh those were the days.... Thank you for taking me back to those long nights before a big 4-H event! And I'm glad to know my siblings and I were not the only ones who did that!

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