It’s pretty quiet around the fair grounds this morning. 

A two day storm with high, gusty winds moved in early yesterday morning, and more rain & high winds this morning are making for a difficult day so far. 

Yesterday we were lucky enough to have a break in the weather for the livestock show, 

but found out just before it started that our 4-H agent had lost part of the roof on her home. 

And where was she? Sitting in the front row of the metal bleachers, sporting her great big Bobbie grin, doing what she always does….giving herself 100% to the program & these kids. 

Because we live in a community that shares its burdens, a crew was quickly assembled, & a makeshift roof was in place before the skies opened up later in the day. 

I’ll fess right up & tell you that I told the Prairie Kids if it had been me, I’m not sure Id have made it to the sale. 

When I asked this morning how they fared overnight with all the wind & rain, our agent told me it was only dripping in now, not pouring, & that nothing had been ruined that couldn’t be replaced. 

So I’ll fess up again & tell you, that you’re never too old to be taught a lesson about dedication & perseverance from your 4-H agent!

This morning, 4-H families spent the early part of the morning working together to muck out the animal barn where all the steers are. Flooding in there last night had all the stalls wet and needing fresh straw. 

Then we all headed around the corner to help the traveling tattoo parlor pack up their camp & displays, as the wind started to really howl. 

At the moment, the name of the game is moving exhibits around in the 4-H building to dodge leaks & keep everything dry. 

Meanwhile, the Farmer & Prairie Girl are helping patch leaks to keep water out of food booths, while others are building up a makeshift dike to keep water out of the steer barn, and others are helping move equipment to the roping barn & set up a makeshift stage for the scheduled night show tonight. 

The petting zoo animals have been moved into an empty barn, the carnival closed, and the food vendors who braved the weather…many of them volunteers, helping raise money for one community group or another, have secured their awnings & are dodging strategically placed drip buckets. 

All of this, while many of these families can only wonder how much crop loss they’ll have at home from the rain, damaging wind & hail when this is all over. 

We plant our seeds & pray for rain…& it’s not our job to question the Divine plan, or the timing of it, but still….we wonder. 
Even in the wondering though, we’re thankful. Grateful that the loses are simply material.  Blessed by the small moments of friendship & community created by diversity….coffee & doughnuts over a stack of straw bales in the 4-H barn, laughter on the food court as you’re invited to eat at the swim team booth, but only if you have your swim gear. (Thanks for that one, Betsy!) 

It’s days like these that bring out the best in rural communities & small towns all across America. 

And as I sit here in the 4-H building, it occurs to be that all this can really be summed up in the 4-H pledge. 

I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, & my health to better living. For my club, my community, my Country, & my World. 

Can I get an Amen?!