|The ride down was beautiful.|
Fryeburg FairThe 44th Blue Ribbon Classic is the largest Fair in the state of Maine. It is the last fair in Maine and is the end of "Fair Season."
Fryeburg is close to the border between Maine and New Hampshire. Whenever I go I see folks from all over: from all over the nation, from different towns and oftentimes tourists from foreign countries.
|Signage inside the fairgrounds.|
PatronsThe best part throughout the week is the sweet, smiling faces of all the children who enjoyed the ponies so much! There are usually at least a few special needs children that ride the ponies. There was one girl who rode one of our two larger ponies who was completely blind. Another little girl was a heart Warrior- doing well and happy as can be; but, still healing from open heart surgery. Her grandmother had asked to be the one to put her up on the ponies explaining the predicament. I told her I could see her scar peaking through the top of her shirt and understood. My nephew is a heart warrior, too.
Of course, the hardest part was being away from home, from my Husband and fast-growing Kindergartner.
|R being silly wearing Po Panda Ears (Kung Foo Panda)|
|Mike being a goofball with R's Minnie Mouse Ears!|
|Our spot, almost setup for the week.|
Directly next to us was a man, Timothy who fired up numerous chainsaws throughout the day while making chainsaw art he sold to the public. Surprisingly, the noise from the chainsaws definitely got to us and customers rather than the ponies. I really liked his Bears. He made other carvings of the front end of a horse, some owls, turtles and even a wooden wood stove! It was entertaining watching him carve the log, guessing what it would become as it took form.
|Pictured is some of Timothy's Chainsaw Art: a horse, a beaver chewing on a log, owls, and large fish.|
How ironic is a wood wood stove?!
|A wooden wood stove: made out of two pieces of wood. Perhaps he will put it in a gallery.|
Families and ChildrenFor me it's all about the kids and the ponies. I love animals... and who can resist that spark in a child's eye, a real giggle or genuine smile?! I find their peace and joy in particular very rewarding. It helps make my time away from home a little easier and that much more worth-while knowing I could bring happiness to children and their families.
|From left to right: Dan, Dixie, Moonshine, Pocahontas, (Bruno's in the back) and Jake. Maybeline our medium sized black pony is not pictured (behind Jake, the appaloosa).|
The Price of Doing BusinessThere are always certain rules you have to follow. Standard Operating Procedures, Protocol Rules, Guidelines and what have you; and they are all in place for good reason- primarily safety.
Like in any business, you cannot please everyone- no matter what you do! It can be trying at times. I was accused of stealing by one woman. I gave her the correct amount of change. After the ride was finished she complained that she had come with 3 twenty dollar bills and now only had 2 $20 bills, a $10 and 3 $1 bills. Yet she insisted that I stole $20 from her, when in fact the cost was $7 leaving her with the change! Some people cannot be reasoned with and try to cheat and steal. I am definitely not that type of person.
Another woman just couldn't be pleased and wanted everything her way, despite the safety risks. She kept saying "Boy, do I want your number!" and asked to talk to my supervisor in front of her own grandchild and other families who were patiently waiting their turn. I felt bad for the child with her. She didn't like it; but, she didn't get her way either. I apologized to the people who were patiently waiting their turn and we returned to business as usual.