It's good for the soul to practice being grateful for what we have. Some days that is easier than others. But living near Clinton, MN gives me many opportunities to enjoy the gifts of family, community, and plain old fashioned fun.
Like dancing a polka on mainstreet on my way with my kids to the grocery store.
Most days of the week there's an interesting sound track playing from the outdoor stereo system on the old bank (compliments of and to Dave). Some days I'll just stop in my tracks as a haunting old Johnny Cash song plays on. Yesterday, it was a great set of polka.
Note to self: don't polka while recording video
The people here invest in the children- as a whole more than any one individual. Maybe that's the way it is all over. But it is so very clear how much all of these kids mean to the community. They close the streets for a kiddie parade.
The firemen set up the hoses and on a hot summer day and the kids get to play in the middle of the street for an afternoon of summertime fun.
Followed by a root beer float chaser and a carnival put on by the Civic Club.
And then it is Fair time. With 4-H stands and animal barns. And a tractor pull for the younger kids. For some seriously wonderful pictures of kids at the fair, click here to see Becky Red Barn's professional photos of the Big Stone County Fair. A must see.
If you let yourself, it's like falling in love over and over again. Small places are a blessing... a rooted foundation of much that is good in the world and life. I didn't know that's what I'd be giving my children when we moved here. Mike remembers the frustration of getting in trouble in town at the end of the school day and his mother already waiting angrily at home when the bus pulled up--someone having called to rat him out in those few miles of bus ride. So it can go both ways- the embrace and the sanction. For the time being, I'll just hang with the embrace.