A lot of emails come across my computer screen during the course of a day, but there was one last week that caused me to take a brief break from the task of removing the spam from the save-for-later and take-care-of-this-now piles.
The email contained a little snippet on the five best and worst smells emanating from the Minnesota State Fair. As a frequent fair-goer, I just had to click the bait.
Now, I will preface by saying this was one man’s personal opinion. In his Top 5 best smells: First morning of the fair, Sweet Martha’s (fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies for those of you not in the know), pork chop on a stick, mini donuts and leaving any barn.
Then I looked at his list of the five worst smells: Hot bathrooms, all barns except Miracle of Birth, stale beer after Day 5, inside the haunted house and overflowing garbage cans.
As a farm girl, I take objection with the barns being one of the worst smells on the fairgrounds. Who doesn’t like the smell of silage and hay when walking into a dairy barn? And who doesn’t like the aroma in a horse barn — the mixture of alfalfa and scented beauty products used to make horses shimmer for the show ring warrant taking a big whiff, at least in my opinion.
I will agree that some barns are better than others. For instance, I am not much of a fan of the pig barn. For an animal that doesn’t sweat, a pig sure can smell — and not in a good way. I’m pretty sure it was Dad who first told me that was the smell of money. Now I know enough to reply that it depends on the year.
Anyway, it must be kismet that Nephew Reece and Niece Alayna opted to show hogs in 4-H. One surefire way to make Aunt Julie sit in the hog barn for hours on end is to win trips to the Minnesota State Fair — both of them.
This proud aunt couldn’t be more excited for the kids — proud enough to sit on the bleachers, surrounded by snorting pigs (the sawdust bedding smells pretty good though, right?). If I need a break, I can always walk across the barn to visit the goats!
Those adorable, full-of-personality animals with their floppy ears, short ears or perky ears have an incessant desire to nibble on anything they can reach, and they are just so friendly. And you know what? They don’t smell — at least not like a pig. Back in the days when I raised goats, they didn’t smell like money either!
Oh, and my favorite Minnesota State Fair smells are: any morning at the fair, walking past the About-A-Foot-Long hotdog stand when the onions are frying, inhaling the chocolatey-filled, calorie-free air at the fresh-baked brownie stand, breathing in the cinnamon scent from the cinnamon-roasted nut stand, and walking into the livestock barns where the smell of silage and alfalfa are present.
Best of luck to all of the 4-H and FFA members headed to the Minnesota State Fair in the next couple of weeks. I’m sure I’ll find some of you in the barns!