This massive four-day event happens thrice a year, and we don't miss a one--we're there so much, we even ended up in their commercial! It's bigger than ever now, this time I even saw a tour bus pulling in! All thanks to our appearance, I'm sure.
Vendors come from miles away to hawk their goods, and buyers flock to the event to scour through booths filled with everything from hens to Harleys, and apple presses to emus.
My plan was to grab the bull by the horns...correction: grab the bull horn, and make it back home in time for church. My husband had looked at me skeptically when I announced this plan, but he kept his mouth shut. That's why I love him.
Drat! Foiled again!
Not really. Will simply shrugged his shoulders, turned to the next booth, and promptly bought something else equally cool. Kids are great.
And then I turned around and spotted something even cooler. Something I'd been coveting for ages--a Toulouse Goose. It's the quintessential fairytale french goose pictured in European storybooks and nursery rhyme illustrations, and it just happened to be sitting right in front of me.
Oh boy! Literally. It really was a boy--or a gander, in goose terms. And I wanted him. Yet the clock was ticking and time was running out. His owner must have noticed me noticing because he said, "I'll sell you that gander for $15."
And that's when it all went south for the winter. I was almost late for church, yet I knew in my heart that I couldn't pass him up, especially at that price. My only question was, "How on earth would I get him home?".
The goose guy was undeterred by my question and quickly produced a big box and a roll of duct tape. So, I fished $15 out of my pocket and bought a goose.
We got quite a few sideways glances as we packed him to the car, and I'm pretty sure I heard chuckling from bystanders as we crammed him in the backseat. We just smiled and waved...
And then I pealed out of the parking lot and put the pedal to the metal. I figured God would overlook my speeding, since the road I was on was paved with good intentions. Wait, I think that's the wrong road. Never-the-less, I could hear the church bells ringing as we screeched to a halt at the churchyard with seconds to spare. We scrambled out of the car and scurried in the back door as quiet as church mice (if the church mice were smothering giggles) as the congregation sang Amazing Grace.
We did our best to act normal, even though we were well aware that we'd left a goose taped in a cardboard box sitting in the backseat of our car. Of course, my husband suspected something was up. He gave us the once over from the pulpit as we sneaked into the empty back pew--did I mention he's the pastor? But thankfully he's a laid-back one, because the look he shot our way was one of amusement. At least as amused as you can look while leading a group of church-goers in the final verse of that beautiful bittersweet hymn!
As the dust settled on our adventure, we settled in for a good sermon. And afterwards, we took our new goose home, turned him loose in the yard, and thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon.
It was much calmer than our morning!