This country girl got to spend part of the holiday weekend outside of the city, which was a true treat. We headed to my folks' house on Sunday and spent two days with them in Warsaw, which is the very tiny town where I grew up(actually, it isn't a town. It's a village). I love going there. Nothing really changes. That's one of the things that makes it so special.
Everything about Warsaw is nostalgic for me. I can go back and show you where the little make-shift footbridge that crossed the creek to the park used to be. I used to sneak through three back yards and over a fence to get to it and then hope I didn't fall off as the bridge bounced along under my feet. If a certain neighbor caught me, I always got scolded, but, I must admit, it didn't cause me to make a better choice. His scolding just caused me to be sneakier (is that a word?). It is no wonder to me that when the bridges were washed out by a flooding, rushing creek a decade ago, that bouncy little footbridge was never replaced.
The annual Memorial Day parade was much unchanged. It seriously lasted about 20 minutes. It was led by the National Guard. Joy Padgette, the local politician who thankfully is not part of my district, handed out little flags to anyone who wanted one. One farmer and his family rode their horses and even coaxed a colt along. Another, my science teacher for three years of high school, led a group of llamas through the parade. They were beautiful, of course. We saw them at the county fair last fall, and, if I remember correctly, one of them is named Batman. I'm guessing that his now teenaged son is really pleased with himself for naming his llama Batman when he was a young boy.
One of the favorite parts of all parades held in Coshocton County are the Canal Days Queens and Princesses who ride atop sports cars dressed in their pageant finery. There is a Canal Festival in Roscoe Village every August, and there are always pageants. Girls from preschool through high school compete for various titles according to their age, and they all wear canal era dress. The gowns are not fancy to our modern eyes, but they are beautiful and so much fun to see. There was also a little guy who was probably four years old who apparently won a title last year. We walked past him sitting on top of a convertible waiting for the parade to start. He was so very adorable and made sure we noticed him and said hello. Instead of offering the perfect royal wave during the parade, he was shouting hello to everyone, and I mean really shouting. It was so stinking cute.
The parade ended with a stream of emergency vehicles. Perched on top of the last truck was my dear friend Scott who I haven't seen in ages. His daughter is my godchild, and we were in each other's weddings. Even so, we have managed to lose touch. He and his wife mean the world to me. Isn't it crazy how sometimes we let life get in the way of some of our most important relationships? You can bet that I'll be giving them a call.
Warsaw is a quiet, safe, little village nestled in the Walhonding Valley. It is serene in so many ways and allows for nostalgia and reflection to pour over your soul. Sitting on my parents' porch watching the stars that I can't even see when I sit on my own porch in the city was simply amazing. There is something to be said about spending time in a quiet place. As I sat on their porch, it felt like God was breathing fresh life into me, speaking to me in the silence and the gentle breeze. I know that he is here in the city, but I left the countryside longing to return again soon to spend time with my Father in the gentle solitude of His creation. I know it is possible to hear Him in the midst of the noise if we are listening, but, for me, it felt amazing to be still and quiet and have the opportunity to simply hear His voice.