hometown proud

20130530-154917.jpgSometimes it’s truly terrific to live in a small town. The first weekend of June is one of those times — always big doings in the North Country. It seems that half the county turns out for Dairy Princess festivities. This year’s parade will be especially sweet as Oliver will make his debut, courtesy of his great-aunt, riding on a dairy-themed float. So much North Country fun-ness!

There will tractors and fire trucks and motorcycles and people of all ages from every walk of life creating all kinds of commotion.for a day or two, we tend to forget that the population density of dairy cows outweighs people in the North Country. But you never know what will happen at the parade. A couple years ago, an annoyingly loud truck with oversized tires broke down and had to be towed. The burly boy-driver made it clear that he was not nearly so amused as I!

Oliver is too little yet for the Big Wheel race in the park but some of his second-cousins and pals, Emma and Malachi, will compete. We may drop by the John Deere block party Friday night; everyone else will be there. I love the old cars on display; they remind me of my Dad. It all wraps up with a bang! pop! bang! in fireworks at the high school Saturday night.

20130530-155216.jpgAnd that’s just about when our weekend really gets rolling. On Saturday evening we’re hosting a baby shower spring training. These head coaches are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their Little Rookie!

It’s been fun to plan around a vintage baseball theme. I discovered some great finds on Etsy and eBay to help set it up, including a 1971 Adirondack wooden baseball bat, vintage felt youth Yankees cap (looks like something a Little Rascal might have worn), and Wrong Way Howie Learns to Slide children’s classic. (All overpriced, no doubt, but fun to collect.) My favorite purchase, by far, is a little beanie for newborn Henry, hand knit to look like a baseball. Sweetness.

Our menu couldn’t be simpler or less health-concious: ball park franks and sausage, slow cooked baked beans, potato salad, and a variety of brews. I’m going to attempt to replicate a hot dog topping the guys raved about at the Toronto ballpark (baked beans, bacon, cheese, and onions). The Hubs cautioned me not to buy whole grain buns. “Guys want to eat the cheap kind,” he said. Got it. We’re introducing a signature drink, Henry’s Sangria Slider. The concession stand is loaded with peanuts, popcorn, candy bars, and sunflower seeds, too. Gear up!

We spent all of Memorial Day weekend polishing the “stadium” and pruning the home field for this event. I about wore myself out, working inside and out. I am sure the Hubs is feeling it, too. But it’s all for a great cause: Henry James! Three weeks and counting and our roster grows again.

20130530-160249.jpgAnd if all of that weren’t enough for one weekend, on Sunday Oliver Lloyd will be dedicated! Not long ago I had my wedding gown converted to dedication/baptism outfits for our grandbabes. I hope Ollie is big enough to wear it Sunday! Regardless, I am so proud of his mommy and daddy for making a public commitment to raise him in the faith. And what a blessing to be present, to commit to being supportive of this endeavor. This is exactly why the Hubs and I have put down roots in this small country church.

Such are the bits and pieces and goodness of small town life. It doesn’t seem like much, really. But it doesn’t get much better, I think.

~ René Morley

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