When Daddy and Mother were in seminary, the money was tight. So we looked for entertainment that was inexpensive and accessible.
I remember a trip when our family and another family took a trip to the Missouri State Fair in 1955.
The Missouri State Fair was quite an attraction to us with all the farm animals and competitions. Yet, it was the midway was a primary enticement for us.
Even though the carnival part was exciting, it was not the rides that caught my attention that night at the fair. While walking down the midway, I spotted a girl eating on a hefty pink clump of something attached to a cardboard tube. That immense pink blob did look so tasty. Consequently in my childlike mind I thought, “I want some of what she has.” I tugged at my mother’s sleeve and asked her what it was that the girl was eating. That’s when I heard the words from Mother, “cotton candy.”
I was intrigued by this fluffy stuff and set my sights on getting some. I insisted on Mother buying me a stick of whatever that treat was, but she tried to convince it was bad for my teeth. Yet I begged and begged. Finally mother came half way. She had set a limit of spending for the night, so she said, “Judy are you sure you want that stuff? It is not worth the money.”
I assured her that I did, so she said, “You have a nickel. If you want cotton candy you must buy it with your own money.” There was no hesitation on my part. I was sure I wouldn’t want anything else all night.
I walked up to the booth with the sign that read “Heavenly Cotton Candy — Five Cents.” I gave the lady my nickel. I stood amazed as she turned the paper tube around the edges of a big tub, picking up the delicate sugar as she worked. She gave me the pink cotton candy on a cardboard tube. I turned around and took a mouthful. In anticipation, I thought, “At last, a bite of this heavenly stuff.”
But it was all a big fiasco. I bit with the intent to chew and there was nothing; it dissolved in my mouth. I took a larger bite, and the same thing happened. After three or four bites, I understood that what I thought was so mouthwatering and attractive was actually nothing when I experienced it.
My experience as a child with cotton candy was an example of a yearning that I thought would bring me satisfaction. What I thought I had to have was short-lived satisfaction.
I am not comparing myself to Solomon in the Bible but he had the same problem. What he thought would bring satisfaction did not. When he was very old, he looked back on all he possessed and realized that the comfort and peace from possessions was short-lived. It meant nothing to him in his old age. He wrote in Ecclesiastes about spending a lifetime listening to his desires. Even with his wealth, influence and power, the satisfaction as only temporary satisfaction.
God will grant us the desires of our hearts. But that means giving our desires to him — petition him, follow him, and serve him. That is lasting satisfaction.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: