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July 29, 2012
Bernice Volkens , Reinbeck Courier

The summer is going so fast it's hard for me to realize fair time is here. Some are already over. County Fairs are full of traditions and good feelings and it is always a good feeling to enjoy a few hours there. When it comes to local traditions, few are so enduring as a 4-H fair. For children and adults active in the programs the fairs have been life-shaping. Participants are able to gain certain skills and have developed a work ethic that has helped them all through life.

The last few weeks 4-H have been very busy, grooming their livestock, finishing their clothing projects, baking and tending their gardens. The new 4-H has changed through the years allowing urban children the chance to participate in the programs. Because of the diversity thousands of young people ages 8 to 18 the opportunity to show off their talents to the public. 4-H is not about winning a ribbon. It's about doing your best, setting goals and improving on yourself from last year.

In a way I'm glad those days are fast when we spent several days at the fair and all the preparations that went before. However, even some of those days were the most hectic we've ever gone through, for kids, I know it is a lot of fun, but as parents we knew there would be that last minute rush to have projects ready. I know when my grandkids were in 4-H I know secretly I had to smile when they wondered why kids took the last minute route getting things done. 4-H claims to be designed to bring parents and children closer together, but I do remember forcing pens in their hands to "PLEASE, finish your Record Books." I know they thought of me as a slave driver. I know I look back on 4-H and I'm grateful for what I and my children learned. I know there were times when the parents were much more involved than they should have been, but when they talk about those days they learned something from it. They learned to win, but they also learned everyone can't be a winner.

To all you young people at the fair, have a good time and good luck.

If your cooking has been like mine this last week it hasn't been much, just too darn hot.


1 can cream of celery


1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons cider


8 oz. cooked cork screw

macaroni (1 pkg.)

1 (6 oz.) can tuna,


10 oz. package frozen

mixed vegetables,


Stir together first 3 ingredients. Add cooked macaroni, toss to coat well. Add tuna and vegetables. Toss gently. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."



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