This is my son. He is four. Yesterday at dinner, the first dinner I'd been home for since Tuesday, he told me, "Mama, I had lots of fun at Fair Hill. But I am still really angry at it."
He doesn't want to hear about Fair Hill any more. Fair Hill that has taken his mom away from him for a week. Fair Hill that kept his mom in front of a computer even when she was home. Fair Hill that kept his mom up late and made her grumpier than usual. His sister is one. She was a little more resilient, but I think she will be happy to have Mama home all the time, too.
My husband doesn't volunteer AT Fair Hill. But does he volunteer FOR Fair Hill? You betcha. He's been a single dad all week. He took vacation time to stay home with the kids, while I went to "work" at my "job" at Fair Hill. Air quotes added by him, because I got a 100% raise this year, from zero dollars to zero dollars.
Head of Security Brian says he rarely takes vacation from his job. But he takes vacation the entire week of Fair Hill so he can work his butt off doing anything and everything that needs to be done. Including staying all night to watch the Fair Hill Club tent and the Country Shops tent and keep them safe.
Office Manager Sandy was expressing her appreciation to her husband and her daughter, who took care of the cooking and the cleaning at home this week so she could just focus on herself. She went in early and got home late. And this is just the beginning of her Fair Hill, as she still has plenty of wrap-up work to do. "It takes a village," she says.
For every volunteer at Fair Hill, and there's an army of them, there's a family member holding down the fort at home. Or maybe a dog. Or a horse.
For every competitor at Fair Hill, there's a small army of others who groom, feed, bathe, support, remind to breathe, cheer, photograph.
And for every competitor at Fair Hill, there's someone at home. Holding down the fort. Feeding the dogs. Mowing the lawn. Cleaning up the dog poop. Cleaning the stalls. Supporting. Cheering.
So why do we do it?
Well, this helps:
|Rupert took this photo of sunrise over the Fair Hill Club tent on Saturday|
|Andrea took this shot of CCI3* winner Jan Byyne hugging Inmidair after her winning stadium round.|
|Andrea took this shot of Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda on the CCI3* Cross Country course|
|Warm-up ring stewards on Saturday|
|Electricians Roger and Vickie Hucker dance with Silly Goose and Val|
|Executive Director Charlie Colgan and his wife Audrey enjoy the live music|
|A volunteer Outrider and her very large volunteer Outrider horse|
|Fence decorator Sue, who gets roped in to doing this because she is a student of Judy Thayer.|
|Kathie Troutman's decorating crew. I am positive Katie will be calling every single one of you to help again next year - the decorating was PHENOMENAL this fall!|
|Judy and her fence decorators. Yes, ladies, you'll get a call next year, too. Anyone who will wade in to the middle of a water jump to attach a banner to a fence gets a call next fall.|
|Sharon, Brian, and Ruth. If you think we're letting these awesome folks do anything else next fall, you're crazy.|