Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rooster Days and Funnel Cake Tenacity

Mother's Day was certainly different this year.  But everything is different.  That's the new normal.

But this Mother's Day was exceptionally different.   This Mother's Day, we took my dad to Rooster Days.

For those that don't know, Rooster Days is festival that began in our little small town in the early 30's.  The idea at that time was to have a place for all the poultry farmers to come and sell their roosters.  This ensured that they had more unfertilized eggs, which kept longer and were more valuable.  On the first Rooster Day, two tons of Roosters were sold!  (Now, the only question I have is if all the poultry farmers were wanting to get rid of their excess roosters, WHO was actually buying the roosters!?)

Anyway, over time, Rooster Day turned into a fair of sorts, with rides, games, arts and crafts, live music.. even a beauty pageant... Miss Chick.  And of course, food!  Rooster Days is a veritable cornucopia of fried foods planted firmly on sticks.  This year I saw CheeseCake on a stick!  However, the main draw for my family is the funnel cake!  More on the funnel cake later....

Another interesting tidbit of information, which makes our Mother's Day activities seem so ironic, is that I've always firmly held the belief that my dad hates the fair, and all other fair-like events.  Rooster Day certainly qualifies as fair-like. 

Many years ago when I was just a little girl in elementary school, my dad had made plans to come and pick me up one warm fall afternoon and take me to the County Fair.  But as I stood on the sidewalk outside of the school, it was my mom who arrived to pick me up.. not my dad.  My mom explained that Daddy had been injured playing football and had to have knee surgery.  And even as I saw the worry in her eyes (my mom had turned worrying into an art form.. but that is another post altogether) I was positive that he had injured himself on purpose so that he would not have to take me to the fair.  Yes, I truly thought the world revolved around me and I wasn't afraid to be irrational about it.

And yet, all these years later, my dad actually WANTED to go to Rooster Days.  To be fair, it is THE EVENT in this small town and he has never been.  He is a relatively recent transplant from the big city next door, so I guess before he can call himself a true citizen, he must go through this right of passage.

So we set off to Rooster Days with visions of corn dogs and lemonade dancing in our heads.  We consumed the food on a stick and then ordered the funnel cake.   We were told it would be a few minutes because they make it fresh to order.  Daddy went and found a table near the bandstand and I waited on the funnel cake.

It was a lovely day!  It wasn't too crowded, lines weren't terribly long and the music was pretty good!  And the funnel cake..  Oh, my!  It was delightful!

And it was at this point that I made a realization...

Eating a hot, fresh out of the oil. funnel cake requires quite a bit of tenacity.  There is no waiting until the cake cools off..  that would be silly.  There is searing pain as you  burn off your fingerprints grabbing the powder dusted confection!  There is the awkward face as you simultaneously chew while opening your mouth attempting to let the heat escape.  And it's not just pain..  there is mess too!  Powdered sugar is everywhere.  Shirt, pants, chin, hair, the lady at the next table.  Between wincing in pain as you pinch a piece of cake, to chewing, mouth all agape attempting to blow on your food in reverse, to being covered with a fine white powder..  all appearances are thrown out the window.  You don't care what you look like.. you are singularly focused on enjoying your funnel cake and you will never give up.. you will never surrender.

If only I had that same tenacity about, oh I don't know... cleaning, or dieting, or even on some days.. just getting out of bed.  The past few months have shown me how painful life can be.. and how messy it can be.  And all too often, it just gets too hard.  But if I could only approach it as I did that funnel cake.  Pain - No Matter!  Mess - Who cares!  There is something greater than the pain and the mess, something better on the other side of the pain and mess.

Admittedly, the funnel cake has an immediate payoff, so there's that.  Sometimes, the reason for enduring pain and mess isn't so obvious, but I know it's there.

This is the kind of thing I used to talk to mom about.  I would find life lessons in random objects and she would listen to me, saying "I never thought of it that way before."    But she certainly lived this one.  Pain and Mess.  She endured with such grace, and her payoff is that now she is with her Healer.

And I can't help but wonder if there is funnel cake in Heaven.

Of this I am certain.. there are no lines.


  1. Well, well, Melanie . . . as your Mom would say, "I never thought of it that way."

    My, what a beautiful "life lesson" you have taught me; I love it . . . and I have to admit, "I needed that!"

    Love you,
    Aunt Joyce

  2. Yep. On several levels. xoxo

    1. Yes, Jim . . . at the least, that would be 3. :(

  3. I do miss hearing more of those life lessons you always find...