Tag Archives: Small Towns

Kiss this Blessed Ground

“I bet,” he told me “If you took a group of people from here over there they would just kiss the ground when they got back. We are just so blessed in this country.”

“Really,” I thought “What is so blessed about this place?’ but I answered with a lame “Well every place has its pros and cons. I guess it was hard not to feel cynical. I was watching an eleven year old girl I had spent the last two years mentoring ride a carnival ride with the daughter of the man who struck up a conversation with me.

My little friend was leaving in the morning. Her mom was sending her off for the school year to live with a friend who lived seven hours away. I guess working, going to school, and having a baby with her live in boyfriend had become more important than raising the daughter she already had. What was so blessed about that?

No single riders this particular ride said. Never one to meet a stranger, my little friend found a riding partner and was high in the air while I watched from the ground. “Does she go to such and such a school?’ the dad asked me. “No,” I replied giving him the name of the school she had been attending. “Oh do you know so and so he preceded. After answering no to two different names I apologized saying I hadn’t lived in the area very long.

This, of course, brought on the where are you from question. I told him my parents were missionaries and that I had grown up in Zaire now Congo. He then mentioned something about the Ivory Cost was it near there? I said no Congo is more in the middle of Africa. He then proceeded to talk about how blessed America is. I bit my tongue and waited for the carnival ride to end.

Blessed? last week there was an obituary in the paper of a women who killed her self. Talk on the street said she’d tried before. Last week she succeeded. Last week I was talking to a parent whose son was raped by another boy. The police said nothing could be done because the perpetrator was under the age of 13. The victim’s mother felt that nothing being done had more to do with the fact that one of the boy’s relatives works at the police station. According to the boy’s mother, there are currently six open cases connected with her son’s rapist. She said she just wants to see the boy get some counseling.

I live in a small town tucked in the middle of America’s heartland. People say it is blessed. People say it is so much safer than the city, but I see a lot of hurt and heartache being swept  into a cold dark corner. A blessed country would protect its children. A blessed country would provide a safe place for people to heal.

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Filed under Contemplations, Travel

Pageants, Parades, and Tractor pulls

What’s the point really? I find myself stopping so many times through out a typical week asking this question. Maybe I over analyze. In fact, I know that I do. I think it’s part of being a writer, but when I’m driving by myself and honestly stop to take a look at life, this question always comes up.

Writing for a newspaper in a town of about 800 people I often find myself writing about parades, pageants, and tractor pulls not the type of events that grab my interest. Please don’t get me wrong. I really enjoy my job. People in the community have been so supportive, and I have met so many interesting people like the lady I interviewed today who makes amazing cheese cakes.

But, at the end of the day I often feel restless. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up observing Deer Day and going on hay rides. Maybe it’s because for a long time my dream has been to work with orphans or refugees in Africa. But the truth is, I’m here not there and because of that, I often lose my sense of purpose.

Then there are those moments when it hits me. On a Wednesday night while working with a group of “Sparkies” at church. A kindergartener, whose dad is in jail, interrupts the lesson yelling, “I know something. I know something.”

“What’s that?” the leader asks. “Jesus ‘woves’ us,” he responds hugging himself.

Then there’s my little buddy Hailey who stops by the newspaper office with her bike. “Can you give me a ride home?”

“Sure, just give me a minute to finish some things up here.” She usually types on the antique typewriter in the office while she waits. Then I drive her and her bike up the hill.

“Your like my big sister,” she told me the other day. “I always wanted a big sister.”

Purpose— sometimes it’s not in the things you expect it to be in, but it’s there. Just look in a child’s eyes. That always gets me back on track.

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Filed under Contemplations