Hey ya’ll!! Can you tell I just got back from the deep south? You will all be glad to know I survived gator country, in fact I didn’t even see one, so cheers to that. I survived Louisiana, what a wonderful time it was. For a brief synopsis: great food, friendly people, and air conditioning pretty much made me happy. Although, I thought I was never going to make it out of Atlanta, GA due to storms I finally arrived around 11:30pm on Thursday. Friday I helped with check-in and was also honored to be the photographer for the Queen’s Luncheon where I met a lovely bunch of young ladies and got to bond with the adorable Miss Keegan Cassady…For some reason Keegan’s father didn’t want to attend the Queen’s luncheon so she came with me. Following that we jumped right into Opening Ceremonies and making class breaks for the Showmanship Contest. I got the job of serving as announcer for showmanship, my Midwestern voice struggled with the Louisiana towns and names, but no one yelled at me, TOO BAD that is!! (Needless, to say by the end of the week I was very tired of being called “Yankee”!!) And I think I gave some people a few laughs! Friday was the Bred and Owned show where I lined up classes and then we held the Cajun Relay Races, where I served as judge for the junior division and got to be the guinea pig and demonstrate the obstacle course. Saturday was the Owned Female show and once again I served as announcer, still struggling with names and cities I made it through! All in all it was a wonderful weekend and I tried several new types of delicious foods and met many wonderful people!!
The real purpose to this blog however, is the lessons I learn as I go..While in Louisiana I was reminded of a very important aspect of being toward the end of my years as a junior, and what I love most about being on the junior board. What is that? Well that is serving the never ending role of serving as a mentor and a role model for youth across the nation. I think too many times we don’t realize or easily forget how many individuals look up to us and want to be just like us. Especially, when you are a junior board member!! During the Cajun relay races I watched as myself and the junior board members interacted with the kids and how much more enthusiastic they were as we too got more excited. It amazes me how many times I hear parents come up and say our kids adore you and I hardly even know them. But them I remember how much I looked up to those in the then maroon, now red jackets and how much they influenced me to participate and one day walk in their shoes. The thing they may not realize is that I still look up to many of those young adults today as they are carving their paths in the business world and beginning families and I still look to see if I am making them proud.
It reminds me of this little blonde haired girl back home who adores my sister and I. Until about a year ago she was the only girl in her family and loved when my sister and I played with her at the cattle shows. I remember one day in particular when we were coloring at a county fair on a summer day and she turned to me and said “Will you be my big sister?” It almost brought me to tears. Just by taking the time to interact with her, tell her hi, and give her a smile, I had made a major footprint in her life. I never knew she even remembered who I was all the time because I mostly only see her in the summer. This May, I was visiting with her mom, when she informed me that her daughter always talks about my sister and I and how she must wear makeup and look cute because Emily and Sarah do. It is things like that make you stop and think…Am I presenting myself in a manner that I would have approved of as a little girl and would I allow my children to be around me?
Well I am getting wordy and I HAVE SOOOOOOOO MUCH ON MY PLATE!!!! Surely you will here more from me soon!!!
Hopefully, I won’t need a boat to get home this weekend!!