Here's a photo showing my hometown of Trempealeau, Wisconsin, from the mid 1960's, when I was a wee young girl. Not much has changed since then. Ok, a few things have - later this week I'll get a photo from the same spot for comparison. But one of the reasons I've stayed here all my life is that although there are better places, this one is pretty darned good. So when you start out someplace good to begin with, maybe the urge to roam isn't so strong. My Mom moved here from the bustling city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1952 when she married my Dad. I often asked her if she regretted leaving city life for "the sticks", and she never did. Sure there were some surprises and some disappointments, but she enjoyed the small town life, and raised me to have the same appreciation.
Why is this blogworthy? Today I took a walk around town, something I used to do almost daily, and need to get back to doing. I walked from my house at one end of town, to my brother's house at the other end. A half mile, through the "heart" of the village. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, a tranquil summer day.
On my return trip, I saw a family playing volleyball in their backyard. Further along, I walked through Central Park, and another family was there, having a picnic. There was laundry out on someone's clothesline; dozens of baby rompers. In another yard, a woman was picking flowers from her garden. Climbing the steps up the church hill, I wondered if the town could be any more Norman Rockwell than that. So like Lake Wobegon. I think this especially hit home because I realized at that moment that in a few days we would observe the 5th anniversary of 9-11. It shook us all, but five years later, at least in this little village, the appearance of life as usual was ever present.
That's something very precious to me. I know our town has changed in some ways. It will continue to grow, as the whole region is growing. But it's a comfort to know that on a warm summer afternoon, a walk through town is pretty much the same as it was 40-some years ago.