Freshly shorn sheep’s wool at the Fair waxed my fingers in lanolin and teased my fingerprint whorls with texture. Summer is fair season: 4-H and FFA project completion, record book completion, open class competitions, livestock sales, and skill-building for a lifetime (plus the rides and fair food of course).
Some say that my June (Gemini) birthday is the driver of my many project interests and intense curiosity, alongside a voracious appetite for learning. I’ll say that 4-H, along with parents who loved, supported, encouraged, provide for, and cheered us created these things in me. While 2018 didn’t have me entering projects at the fair, I have spent months in the yard and garden. After 18 years in my home, I finally feel like the garden and yard are mine. Years of pruning, tree-cutting due to overgrowth, planting bulbs and seeds were rewarded this year with great enjoyment, hummingbirds, butterflies and flowers.
Speaking of projects and many interests…owning an education business for 25 years (and still going), authoring seven books in seven languages, ghostwriting award-winning books for others, enjoying gardening, and raising a child have added a passion for connections through nesting. At home, nesting lets me love where I live and enjoy inviting others to visit. Nesting in the community includes building friendships and volunteering time and talents.
As the Minnesota 4-H Pledge says: “I pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service, and my Health to better living for home, my club, my community, my country, and my world.” Making the best better, one person, project, or place at a time is the work of a lifetime. Happy Fair season!
Note: This Jana Kemp post first appeared online August 29, 2018.