Minnesota State Fair Plans

May 22, 2020
A Page spread from my journal in 2019 showing me working out the tools and papers I would take to the Fair. Planning for the Fair has always been a fun part of my year. But I already knew in 2019, even as I was planning, that my time at the Fair was going to change.

I don’t know if the Minnesota State Fair 2020 has been cancelled. (It takes place the 12 days before Labor Day each year.) As I write this in advance of my posting date the clock on their site reads 101 days, 11 hours, and 11 minutes to Fair.

But my personal Fair adventure this year will be cancelled.

Yes part of it is because of Covid-19.  I have asthma. I have a horrible history of getting colds that turn into long bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia.

Bit of history: In 1946 the Fair was cancelled because of the Polio Epidemic

But the reason I’m not going to the Fair this year (if they hold it) is that I don’t have the visual stamina. Last year was a real stretch for me while still learning to cope with my new eyes. I only went three days instead of five or six, but I stayed way too long each day. Eight hours or so each day.

I hadn’t built up my visual stamina since my surgeries. And I’m still working on that visual stamina. 

If the Fair happens, and the new coordinator of the MN State Fair Sketch Out decides to go ahead with the MNSFSO I will certainly post about it and let you know. And I will hope that when you post your sketches you’ll link me in some social media way so I can enjoy it all with you.

I Made an Attempt at Fair Planning This Year

Out of decades of habit I made an attempt at Fair Planning couple months ago. When we were first asked to shelter in place I came up with an idea to have a Virtual Fair—to set up a website with videos taken by me and friends, to post sketches and photos from me and friends, to even see if I could get people for interviews and performances. (I know a lot of people who are seriously attached to the Fair, and I have talked to so many people showing animals at the Fair, or working at the Fair…). But I just don’t have the computer-vision time each day to pull all that together. My eyes give out after an hour or so on the computer. 

It was sort of crushing.

I still have too much energy, but now that energy doesn’t really get to go anywhere, I thought.

Then I realized that I’m putting that energy elsewhere. I’m not sketching as much as I used to, I’m winding down teaching, but in other ways I have more energy than I have had in years.

Dick is just anxious for me to apply all that energy in positive ways. Though he has adapted to the increased levels of sarcasm bubbling up.

And for me those increased levels of sarcasm are proof that things are going to percolate and change.

I’m looking forward to that change.

I hope you keep looking forward in your life as well. Sometimes the path forward isn’t a straight one. It zigs and zags. I think that’s probably more interesting, but then I have to say that don’t I?

Plan a Project

Come on, you know you want to. Maybe you can’t get out and about like you used to. Maybe you aren’t able to fly country to country, or go to your favorite restaurant. But there is something that you can do that will be meaningful to you each day, and years later it will still be meaningful to you when you look back on it.

Find some time every day to work on your project.

It doesn’t have to matter to anyone else. It doesn’t have to be profound. Just take fifteen to thirty minutes a day and work on your project—first planning and then beginning and continuing to execute it.

Don’t think because something only has a few minutes a day to breathe that it cannot end up being a meaningful project.

Suspend judgement. Just Do.

Will it be fun and engaging for you? Then go for it.

Sometimes the greatest value of a project is not the project itself, but what the project leads us to, or trains us for. We can’t even begin to know what that is, until we create a project, work the heck out of it, and look back on it later.

Update 5.23.20

Yesterday afternoon friends started emailing me that the Fair organizers had announced the Fair would be cancelled for 2020. Given the current pandemic situation and all the work and people involved in the Fair I think that’s a sensible decision. Minnesotans will be back at the Fair celebrating together again…

    • Melissa G from Textures 2020
    • May 22, 2020

    “God’s blessings are everywhere; I just prefer the ones in Hawaii.” It’s been mantra for the past few years but I’m willing to share if it feels right for anyone else. After 20 years in healthcare, my body failed me. Went to rehabilitation 5 months and continued working but knew I was on borrowed time. “Retirement” came shortly after accompanied by a loss of purpose and identity.
    Life is full of surprises! A rich life, very different from before, was waiting. And I can still garden, just not so much with shovels and mulch sacks! Looking forward to following the adventures of RozWoundUp, reboot. Your entries about art, life changes and adapting continue to inspire. Thank you, Roz.

    1. Reply

      Melissa I’m so glad that you are able to garden and are finding life still so rich. We have to keep always looking about, that observation of what is in front of us and the richness it contains.

    • Kathleen Michael
    • May 22, 2020

    This morning’s news (on 11, I believe) had a FAIR segment and the effect the uncertainty is having on food vendors. Listening, I wondered if you would be there, and after a bit I saw your post. Even with perfect vision you’d not be there. “ When we were first asked to shelter in place I came up . . . . .” Problems arise and you (habitually, I believe) move to resolution. A really wonderful gift you have created for yourself. Already, you are thinking about ways to enjoy the fair, should it take place, without being there, Great inspiration !The Plan A Project portion was reinforcing. Thank you for sharing you.

    1. Reply

      In the afternoon I started getting emails from friends Kathleen about the announcement to cancel this year’s Fair. So it is definitely off.

      I walked out of the Fair on my third day last year and knew it would probably be the final time I went to the Fair. Dick chats about going back some day to just walk around, but I don’t know that I would enjoy that. I would feel the loss of sketching too greatly. We’ll see.

      But I do think my Virtual Fair with videos from past Fairs, and photos and sketches etc. would have been a lot of fun. I just wish I could have done it.

      I’m on now to projects I can actually make headway on.

      You are right I do habitually move to resolution when confronted with problems. It is that whole concept of “choice” so a part of me since childhood. And the fact that I was a house captain. I don’t think you ever fully shed that skin.

    • Tina Koyama
    • May 23, 2020

    I feel more fortunate and grateful than ever that I was able to participate in the Fair Sketch Out last year with you, Roz. Oh, that would be so sad if the fair were cancelled. (Not that I would go, either, if it were on… I’m staying hunkered down for a long time past whatever is the official “reopening” here.) Looking forward to seeing where all your energy goes! Though the sarcasm is entertaining, at least! 😉

    1. Reply

      I’m really glad you were able to come last year too Tina! Like you I’m still “sheltering” in place. I’m glad that I have had all these years of working on my own. I keep thinking I’ll get to downsizing my books, but find so many more pressing things to do. Maybe today?

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