New Castle News

August 19, 2013

Lisa Madras: Strike up the band — and the garbage fries — I’m now marching to a different beat

Lisa Madras
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — I have to tell you that I have a love/hate relationship with county fairs.

I'll drive pretty far to get to one. That's love. But it kills me to have to remortgage the house to pay for it. That, obviously, is hate.

My son had his first marching band performance (go, Wildcats!) at the Lawrence County fair last night (that's last week, as you're reading this) so I had no choice but to go even though I was trying to save money by skipping the fairs this summer.

It was a Tuesday night, and pretty cool out, so it was awesome that the crowd was thin and the weather was ideal, but still, there's the whole money issue.  

Anyhow, several admission tickets, a few orders of garbage fries, a steak sandwich, and a couple of sno-cones later, we all gathered around the barn for the marching band performance.

And I have to tell you, I've been pretty darned proud of both of my kids for various things throughout their lives, but there was just something about that performance that just about brought me to my knees. The people around me may have been a teeny bit scared of all my clapping and whooping and bouncing and the tears of joy running down my face, but I literally went over the mommy deep end at that moment.

That band was phenomenal, and right there, right in the middle, was my boy, playing his no-so-little-anymore heart out.  I knew right then that you can't put a price limit on that kind of bliss. And also, that I would spare no expense in the future for just a tiny taste of it yet again.

We were all so high on life, in fact, that I, my kids, and our friends spent the rest of the evening riding rides we wouldn't normally ride — things that make you spin and walk sideways and possibly even lose those two orders of garbage fries into a garbage can.

The ride home was no less enthusiastic, with blaring music and laughter and a few deep-fried waffles for good measure.

Yes, our visit to the fair taught me a very, very important lesson. It's all well and fine to be frugal. But life moves pretty fast, as Ferris Bueller says, and if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

I don't care if I have to sell a kidney to afford it. (It would probably just get crushed on the Matterhorn anyway.)

I'm never missing out on life again.