Oh my goodness, today was incredible. Okay, at first it was pretty typical (big plans in the morning, sucked into Netflix by 11, big plans lose their draw, the usual), but I let the typical happen because I knew we would be going to the fair later.
And I like fairs.
Before going downtown to meet Joshua at work, I thought I would attempt something productive, so I went to The Book Eddy on Chapman Highway. Funky place. I only saw about 5 books published in the last 15 years. So, if you like old books, you'll like this place. It even smells like old books.
Joshua and I got to the fair at about 4:30, and stayed till almost 9:30. We pet some goats (a must when the opportunity presents itself) and saw a "Zonkey." Yes. It's a zebra crossed with a donkey, and it made me pretty sad. Then I got to pet baby ducks and super-soft bunnies. Made me miss the cat.
We drank Orange Juliuses (surprisingly filling) and ate this mysterious yet tasty sour rope candy. I choked on a piece and coughed all over somebody's 165-lb. watermelon. We saw a lot of prize-winning food we couldn't eat, but I wasn't too hungry right then because my throat tasted like Orange Julius and regurgitated cherry sugar.
Then we went to the circus. For a 45-minute fair show, it was awesome. Except for the clown bit. Why does there always have to be a clown bit?
I wanted to ride at least one ride, but we never got around to it because Joshua got distracted by that wild instinct to win a stuffed animal for his woman. I mean, it's necessary, right? So he popped like 12 balloons, and I got this:
I had no idea about Domo until my husband won one for me at the Tennessee Valley Fair. Granted, it's stuffed with paper, but I <3 it, anyway. I've also just discovered that things like this exist, as well:
I love Japan. Don't you? I would have posted one of the videos, but it wasn't working for some reason.
So, now that I had my Domo monster, we needed some dinner. How's this for fair food: A bowl of beans, a cornbread muffin, and a basket of fried pickles with barbecue sauce. I'm still thirsty from all that salt, even though I stopped eating the batter a quarter of the way through. For dessert, Joshua had a root beer float and I fulfilled my duty as a true Arrested Development fan and got a frozen banana. And it was delicious, even if some crass jerk made an off-color comment when I posed for a picture with it. People are idiots. If only he'd watched AD, he could have said something more tactful and humorous, like, "There's always money in the banana stand!" and then we could have high-fived or something. Oh well. His loss.
By the time we got to the Ferris Wheel, the line was so long that we decided to skip the rides altogether and go home. We had had a great time, and definitely didn't need to spend any more money. Especially since we knew we still had books to buy. Yeah. Book Eddy is super cool, but if you're looking for something from this century that isn't The Lovely Bones or The Road? You might not have too much luck.
We got to Borders with 15 minutes left before closing. Joshua bought The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories, by Leo Tolstoy (which he could have easily found at the Eddy), and I bought the whole stinking Hunger Games Trilogy Box Set. You can see how our literary inclinations differ from time to time. I also got a cup of water.
At home after a long evening (and here's where the story gets good), we sat down to read our new books/half watch TV/Joshua fall asleep on the couch, just like most nights, when, Raaahw, raahw! Meeaaahr! I shot up. "Did you hear that?" I yelled. Joshua looked up from the other couch all groggy faced. "Hear what?" Before he could finish, the cat fight noise started again, and I said, "That!" and rushed to the door.
I don't know. Maybe after all these weeks of hoping that whatever noise I heard could somehow, magically, be Adelaide, I had finally given in to despair. I honestly did not expect to see her there on our porch. Or maybe I knew it was her, this time. Who knows. Maybe both, somehow. I threw open the door to scare the fighting cats away, but recognized Adelaide (who bolted into the bushes) and started screaming, "Joshua it's Adelaide! Joshua it's Adelaide! ADELAIDE! JOSHUA, GET THE FOOD!" I absolutely flipped. I think I started crying. I walked around our front yard shaking the food bag and calling her name through giddy almost-tears. Joshua got a headlamp and we found her purring by the picket fence. I picked her up in my arms and all the stress I had accumulated over the last three weeks just fell away. No more dreams about finding her swimming in a lake or at my parents' house or in a mall somewhere, and then waking up to find it wasn't real.
So there you have it. We didn't have to put up posters, after all. She probably never even got too far from home. Three whole weeks. Dang. We had said, pretty much from the beginning, that if God wanted her to come back to us, she would. And I am so glad he did.