The Small Easy


riding fire truck in 1957.jpg

The boys and I arrived a bit late for the Clinton Days parade. As we ran down the sidewalk trying to catch up, a fireman rolled down the firetruck window and asked if the boys would like to ride with him in the parade. I didn't know him and he didn't know my kids- but I didn't give a second thought to lifting my boys up into the fire engine. I could hear them introducing themselves as the truck continued on the parade route. I figured I'd find the boys somewhere near the end of the 1 mile parade route.

After the parade and a fine lunch at The Cabin, the fire station was set up for kids games. Again, I didn't think twice about leaving the kids there while I crossed the street for groceries. While there I mentioned to Bonnie, owner of the grocery store, that I could sure use a hot drink. She made me a cup of Fair Trade Colombian Coffee in the back of the store and we sat at the table outside on the grocery store deck- surrounded by huge pots of flowers- fire station in sight and the sounds of happy children.

Then - joy of joys- the firemen set up the fire hoses on either side of the block and groups of kids took turns trying to blast a ball back and forth at each other. My little guys each got a shot with the fire hose and got soaked. Jens- all 38 pounds of him- was shirtless and freezing from the cold well water. So it was time to go home

The day was topped off with a live band and street dance at night. The whole day is put on by the Clinton Commercial Club- the women's service club.

My memory imprint of yesterday is a relaxing sense of fun and being cared for... myself and my kids. The difference between this small town and life in St. Paul is, for me, the absence of a parental anxiety, mostly subconscious. There really is a village taking care of its children. A few weeks ago we were putting in a community garden at the Care Center in town-- one of the big Dad's yelled at my boys to behave. The group of about 30 of us chuckle when I said "Yup- it Takes a Village to yell at my children."


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Is one of those kids pictured in the firetruck your Mike?

Suggestion: Get the book "Green Earth" by Fred Manfred.

As it turns out, this little vignette of the boys getting picked up by the firetruck made it into the Northern Star newspaper (it turns out they were yelling at their Dad on Mainstreet "Hey Dad-Mike- look! It's me Lake in the firetruck." It caught someone else's mind as well as mine.

Yeah Lita- Mike is almost old enough to be in the pic! ;-)

what great childhood memories your kids will have!

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on June 6, 2010 8:07 AM.

Serenity was the previous entry in this blog.

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