Today was the kids’ rodeo  hosted by the pastor of our congregation, and I had the chance to arrive there somewhat early and leave somewhat late, as everything was winding down. Being a bit hobbled still, I chose to take it easy, but there was a lot to see and plenty of people to talk to and one did not have to go very far. Anyway, although I did not move around much and therefore did not have the most exciting time, it was quite an enjoyable way to spend a few hours and I really enjoyed myself a great deal, and I think that makes it worthwhile. Being a moderately observant person despite my limited mobility, I was able to watch enough that I thought it would be an interesting task to talk about a few themes and make short observations that may give some of the flavor of the day for myself and those people I was observing.
Let us begin with the parking. (I know, this seems somewhat random.) The person in charge of parking realized there might be issues where people would want to leave but would have others in their way, and so we were told to fill out our name and cell phone information on a post it not and put it on our dash so that people would be able to call us and let us know if we needed to move our car. Towards the end of the day, when everything was winding down, one of our local elders commented that someone in a Green Hyundai was blocking his vehicle from leaving. I commented that I had a gray Kia, but that it was possible I was in his way because I was parked in the second row. And so it turned out that I was the car in his way, and it also turned out that besides not being too good at identifying either the make of a car or its color, that he had not even bothered to look for the owner of the car, which I pointed out was clearly visible through the windshield. Some people just want to complain without doing their due diligence.
The rodeo itself had been organized by the young adults of the congregation, which I have aged out of over the past couple of years or so, and they were a bit secretive about what they were doing. Indeed, there seemed to be a bit of a disorganized feel to what was going on, as some events never got off the ground–the hobby horse race, for example, and other events were dragged out because they were extremely popular–the slip and slide after lunch, or the greased pig catching, about which I will have more to say anon. Other events were decidedly low-key, like the scavenger hunt I had signed up for, but no one came to ask about anything where I had found a seat closeby the various flags. Still other events got out of hand, when two people who should know better decided to single each other out in a massive egg fight that led to both of them being soaked by multiple eggs having hit them or been crushed on top of them. It was quite off-putting, really.
Even though I gimping a bit, it was better than yesterday, despite the best interests of two people to make things a bit tough on my leg. When I first arrived, one of the young women who is visiting the congregation again for the summer, though she normally attends another one while she is studying at her university, had just finished filling up a large container of water that was to be used to fill up water guns for a target practice, and I helped her to carry it from the garage to the location of the guns, until her frequent stops gave someone an entrance to be gallant, thus depriving me of the opportunity to chat a bit, although that was one of the few conversations failures I felt during the course of the day. Later on, while I was watching some pigs get traumatized by having little children chase after them–admittedly, sometimes children can be somewhat terrifying–one of my young friends decided to play her favorite game of trying to climb me like a tree, by picking my bum right leg whose knee has been responsible for my gimp. Sometimes people have an instinctive sense for one’s vulnerabilities, I suppose.
Most of the day, at least for me, was spent trying to find shade to sit in and talk, and in that I would say I was successful. Although I spent a good four or five hours within a very small area, it was an enjoyable place to be. I saw the egg wars and was satisfied that I wanted no part of them. I saw kids running around from one activity to another looking for their siblings, looking for fun things to do like ride bikes or pet animals or get snacks or pick up their prizes, or parents look for their kids so that they could leave before everyone got sacked out, and I ended up having quite a few good conversations and even hold a squeaky little puppy that was named Squeakers by its young owner, who is happily back home again after having had a rather eventful and likely deeply unpleasant summer. All in all, the event’s focus on having a variety of activities and focusing on those that drew the biggest interest from kids (big and small) seems to have been a wise one. A good time was had by most, at least, myself included.
 See, for example: