Circles in the Air

IMG_2111At the Washington State Fair I gave Dubsie her first-ever sip of Coca-Cola. She raised her eyebrows. “Spicy!” she exclaimed. “Could I have some more?”

If the straw wandered anywhere near her mouth, it was sucked upon until forcefully withdrawn. I also fed her French fries and the breaded crust of a corn dog. This was a wild departure from her usual healthy regimen of oatmeal, veggies, and sensible low-fat meats like chicken and turkey. “My stomach feels so yummy!” she yelled as we hurried toward the Ferris wheel.

Yes, the Ferris wheel. “Your namesake!” I told Dubsie. (Though no genealogical research has yet linked us to George Washington Ferris, the man who invented the Ferris wheel for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Since it was a fair, however, we can be sure there was junk food.) Dubsie had been reading a book from the library called Mr. Ferris and His Wheel, so when I pointed at the steel circle looming overhead and told her what it was, she was thrilled.

She and I were the first people to board, so we got to spend the most time in the air, jolting higher, higher, a little higher, after every subsequent car boarded. Dubsie grasped the back of her bench and stared at the lights of the mechanical octopus and of the roller coaster and at the barns where earlier in the day she had met her first piglet, her first downy yellow chicks and her first Angora rabbit.

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