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Friday, July 15, 2005

My home town

Hula Seventy's recent post about her trip to see her parents (back to a small town in Illinois) got me thinking about my hometown, Walla Walla, Washington. Numerous people have posted on her blog about the draw back to the small towns we've once lived in, the clean air, the simplicity of life, and I have to agree. Like some of the others, I couldnt wait to get as far from there as possible (I ended up in Georgia for Pete's sake) but I find myself often longing for those days again, when life was less complicated and every face seemed familiar. Half the draw is probably due to the fact that I was young and had so few responsibilities, and I associate all of that with Walla Walla. But even now when I visit there is a part of me that is rekindled, and the memories of easier, well, at least different, days come rushing back to me.

Some of my fondest memories I have realized after the fact--years later as I look back on what a great hometown I had. For instance each Spring welcomed the Walla Walla Hot Air Balloon Stampede and Balloon enthusiasts from around the nation (well, from around the Northwest at least) would come celebrate for a weekend. I think my favorite part of the weekend was the Night Glow. Just around dusk all of the hot air balloons would blow up to standing position around the huge field, and then light up like huge fire flies in the sky. Then the next morning the race would begin at the crack of dawn, and folks jump in their cars to follow the balloons thru the sky. It was so exciting to see a low flying balloon, and just follow it around hoping to see it land.

The 4th of July was also a huge event at Pioneer Park. The day started with an arts and crafts festival complete with singing and dancing from local talent, and ended with a huge fireworks display that caused a terrific traffic jam at it's conclusion each year. My favorite celebration had to be the Southeastern Washington Fair, however. Beginning the Thursday before Labor Day weekend it was the place to be and to be seen. If you entered any competition (animals, baking, etc.) and won a ribbon of any sort you were given free admission the whole weekend. Each year they would host a crash up derby, a rodeo, and some famous country singers. As a kid the carnival was the greatest thing. You could blow a month's allowance on rides, cotton candy, caramel apples and games. All the sights and smells come rushing back to me just thinking about it. Those were great times.

But I think what I miss most are the little things. The last days of summer when harvest was in full swing and the dust would blow thru the windows of the house and the harvest moon would shine so big in the sky at night. Going thru the Ice Berg drive thru to get one of the best hamburgers around, or stopping in to Abby's Pizza to stand and watch your pizza being made thru the big window out front. High school football games at Borleski stadium late in the fall, getting so cold you could barely stand to sit there, but sipping on a hot chocolate with the rest of the crowd to support our local heroes. These are the things that set my hometown apart from the rest. These are the things that make life a little simpler to me. Is my town so different than other small towns? Probably not. Can any city call a person home the way a small town can? Maybe. But Im so thankful I got to experience it, and hopefully in some way my children can too.


Blogger andrea said...

I think that you and I have been blessed to have had the experience of both city and small town life. and I am just now feeling like I can recognize the true advantages and disadvantages of both.

lovely words here, lulu. the hot air balloon event sounds amazing...

4:54 PM

Blogger joy madison said...

oooooooooooh! Sounds lovely. like some of the small town stuff that would happen in Indiana.

10:48 PM


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