Monday, May 23, 2011


There is a certain magic that comes from living in a small town that can't really be explained to someone who has spent their entire lives in the hustle and bustle of a big city. A small town is like the first lung filling gasp of breath you take when you've stayed underwater just a little too long. It's the last comforting ray of sunshine warming your shoulders at the end of a ridiculously good day. And while I'm sure living among the cornfields of the Midwest isn't for everyone, to me this small town is home, and home is where we kick our shoes off and stay a while.

I'm not sure if we would love our family walks quite as much if it weren't for the scenic backdrop we get the privilege to experience every time we walk through the nooks and crannies of our tiny town. There is something unexplainable in the air here that sparks our conversations and keeps us saying, "One more block...let's just go one more block." We walked a lot of blocks this weekend.

Red and white striped tents lined the Red Bud skyline this weekend for Moonlight Madness...I honestly have no clue what the point of Moonlight Madness is...but it's one of those Stars Hollow like festivals that I can't resist taking a peek at, if only because we can't attend a small town event without experiencing a high school class reunion. We like to hit our town's festivals early...before the crazies come out. Haha.

We detoured our Cadillac stroller to stop in for a bite to eat. The Office food stand had some yummy chicken kabobs, which Evelyn wholeheartedly approved of. We spread out our blanket, and for the FIRST TIME daddy was there to hop aboard. We're sending him to work this week with a little sparkly adventure dust to keep him going. You can't fly our magic carpet and not have withdrawals....

Grace couldn't eat the chicken, but she sure was enjoying herself. I think I've found a cure for all things that ail Gracie...take the girl OUTSIDE. She is instantly happy. :)

Children can roam free within the confines of a tight knit community, as seen here by turned-over bicycles abandoned for bounce houses and root beers. I couldn't stop looking back at this scene as we packed up our picnic dinner and headed towards the sunset. Home.

The Jaycee ball diamonds run right beside our normal walking route, and the parking lots were PACKED on this particular evening. I managed to snap just one picture as we were walking away from this middle America movie scene. The high-pitched clink of metal baseball bats...the cheers...the children running around unattended. Classic.

And just around the bend in the path, we get to see this every evening.

And I just want to pinch myself. This is my home.

And it makes me want to grab a bamboo cane pole and go fishing. :) Because of course, a regular rod and reel is not quite as quaint as a cane pole. (I have never fished with a cane pole for the record, but it sounds very Tom Sawyerish, wouldn't you say? I must try it sometime.)

I always get a giggle out of the local boy scout troop's "squirrel box." :D

Eventually we leave the beautiful greenery of the tucked away golf course paths and find our feet hitting pavement once again. Evelyn discovered recently that she can stand up in the stroller, and every time she remembers her new trick, she HAS to stand for the entire rest of our walk.

We were just crossing Main Street into the third leg of our regular tour, when we heard voices calling out, "Adrien! Eric!"

Well, looky there. My family. Sitting on my Aunt Merry's front porch right on Main Street, enjoying the evening air. Does it get any more small town than that? :) Front porch family. Now this...this is really home.

We stopped in for a nice chat, staying until the sun was almost completely set, before we loaded the girls back in for our trek home. I don't think any of us had a hard time sleeping that night.

We woke up on Sunday morning and readied ourselves for church. It was our week to watch the littles in the nursery - a fun time to love on other kids that aren't our own. I don't feel complete when we have to miss church for one reason or another, like we did after Tyler's accident last week. Missing church feels like skipping an annual summer visit to grandma and grandpa's house. It just shouldn't happen. Jesus was from a small town too, ya know. :)

That evening we joined a group of friends for a semi-last minute softball game and hotdog dinner. It was good times with good people. Most of whom were those small town church people I love so much. I wish I could've taken a bazillion pictures, but Evelyn was too busy learning how to go down the big girl slide all by herself and discovering uncharted playground territories.

I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy going down the slide a time or two myself, haha. "Evie...wanna do it again??" Children are a nice cover up for our own cheap thrills sometimes. :) The winds began to pick up as the evening progressed, and the skies looked like they could open up and pour down rain at any moment. Since we had walked to the softball game (of course) we had to scoot out of there just in case.

Once again, I couldn't help but look back as we rolled back down the dusty rock trail towards home. No matter how distracted I am by chasing after my kids or trying to keep our belongings from blowing away, just being surrounded by familiar people, laughing and having fun, is enough to make the heart swell four times it's normal size. I'm not sure I could get these same feelings just anywhere. Because there's something special about being surrounded by friends your age, who you went to Sunday School with since you were in training pants, chasing after their own kids and smiling at yours. No. You can't get that just anywhere.

And knowing that the blessings I have on this earth are only a part of my temporary home blows me away. If it's this good here...I cannot even wrap my brain around eternity. Do you think there's a Main Street in Heaven? And walking trails? And hot dogs? And twisty slides? I hope so. :)


Sara said...

I love this post! You are so right, when we spend a day away, coming back to our little town is so comforting and safe. People open doors for one another here, and say excuse me, please, and thank you. People recognize you and ask about your children. You don't just get that anywhere. We are so blessed!

Heather Rahn said...

Awww...such a cute post. Where was the picnic held this year? Looks like it was some place completely different.

Adrien said...

Moonlight Madness was at Lincoln Park this year...and I'm not sure, but I do think it was the first year they had it there. I REALLY can't wait for the Fireman's Picnic at the end of June. :) Evie can ride the rides this time! And I think that one will be at the same place, haha.

Danielle0418 said...

I am now missing Red Bud like crazy! It's an adorable little town like no other! Thank goodness we can come home so Brinley knows more than sidewalks and stoplights!

Emily said...

When is the Fireman's Picnic this year? I am coming home at the end of June, so I might actually be able to pop in to that... as long as Clara allows me to that is. :)


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