Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tell me 'bout the good ole days

My Grandpa M passed away at the end of last month at the age of 93.  Although he had been living in a nursing home, and unable to drive, since he was 90, he had very much been active and present in our lives. 

At Easter he enjoyed watching the great grandkids shoot their new b-b guns.


This spring he came, at L's request, to cast his approval on her new horse.



He made an appearance in the traditional 4th of July parade.


And this summer he enjoyed the kids when we visited him before guitar lessons...and they enjoyed him.


As I think about my grandpa, I think about the things he experienced, the things he saw, and the changes that came in his 93 years.

I am sure many changes were for the better.

I am sure many changes were not.

When I really think about this, my mind can not even comprehend it all.  However, when I start dissecting it, I realize all the changes that I, too, have seen in my 36 years.

VCR's.  DVD's. Cordless phones.  Cell phones.  TV remotes.  Computers.
Trends.

Wars.

The list goes on and on.

Although these changes make me appreciate what luxuries I do have, I think I appreciate even more deeply the things in my life that haven't changed.

It was during our town's annual Community Days that I felt myself appreciating my small town with more vigor.  Pushed to the background was the old, deteriorating houses and evidence of old businesses that have been long gone that can be found littered throughout town and, instead, brought to the forefront was the people and beliefs that make this town what it is. 

A community.

Although many things have changed in 36 years, many things about this town, and this tradition, have stayed the same.

There is still a parade.


It still starts in the same place.  And, as it was when I was a kid, the majority of the parade is made up of farm kids and farm equipment.


In fact, kids in general make up the majority of the parade. The community places a real importance on that...and kids are not only welcomed, but encouraged.




Enthusiasm on the kids' part is not hard to find.  Of course, feeling like a celebrity fosters that, and cheers and hollers of recognition is as close to being a celebrity that most of us get.



It is always a family affair.....

And relatives are met on almost every corner....


Another tradition of Community Days?  The turtle race.   In my mind it serves as a reminder of a time before video games, ipods, and constant stimulation.  A simpler time.

Personally, I think we could all stand for times to be more simple.  And if the crowd at the turtle race is evidence, I am not the only one.



When a previous all time high of 60 turtles had been recorded, this year's record of 107 spoke for itself.  107 kids, and turtles, that enjoyed good old fashioned fun.



Ok.  Maybe the turtles didn't enjoy it as much as the kids....


The kids might have also enjoyed the $1 they received to participate, but I maintain that the excitement was primarily over the simplicity of the day, and the event....



And the excitement was most definitely not over the prospect of winning $5 more, if your turtle won the heat race. 

No.  The excitement was about:

Simplicity.
Traditions.
Fun.
And how some things never change. 

Oh how I hope some 'things' never do.....