Some of my best childhood memories surround the Westmoreland Fair. I entered handmade items every year from around age 6 until age 14. For several years, I also participated in 4-H entomology, and I raised monarch butterflies several times with my family.
But then I became chronically ill at age 14 in May of 2015. I entered in the fair one final time that August, never imagining that I would be too sick to enter again until I was 21, and yet that is exactly how the future unfolded. If you're a longtime reader of my blog, you know my story, but if you're new, you can read more of what happened here. The short story is that for years I became too disabled to do almost anything but lay in bed, eat, and use the restroom as a result of chronic Babesia odocoilei and Bartonella infections and complications. Both infections are spread by ticks and Bartonella by cat scratches also.
There was a time I thought I'd never enter in the fair again, but this year, I made a comeback. After being too sick to participate for 7 years, this year I entered 23 handmade items and purple cone flowers! I received 18 ribbons, 6 of which were 1st place, 2 of which were 2nd place, 5 of which were 3rd place, 3 of which were 4th place, and 2 of which were 5th place. Below are photos of my winning entries.
The entry that was most meaningful to me was my monarch butterfly wall hanging, and I was excited that it took 1st place. Praise the Lord that little by little I am emerging from my chrysalis and am beginning to spread my wings.
The Westmoreland Fair continues until this Saturday, August 27th. If you're local, I hope you'll visit and enjoy the many handmade items, floral arrangements, produce, animals, and more!
Me with my new friend. Maybe I will have my own goat someday. :)