Going 'Home' isn't a rare thing. Hubby is from the same town and we go back with semi-regularity to visit friends. But this will be a busy visit, with many people coming home to join in the celebration. This weekend whispers promises of reunions, catching up with old friends, a real hometown parade like everyone remembers with plastic flower floats, candy scrambles and children on decorated bicycles, and of course dancing, eating and laughter.
My hometown is a special one. With an average population of 3000 people, give or take through the years, we were just the right size. The center of a larger, rural area that included so many small farming communities, we were a busy little place. Weekends found an influx of people in town to shop. On Wednesdays, cattlemen from all over would gather to buy and sell, visit and connect with community at the livestock auction. Our schools had enough students to be competitive in many sports and other activities like drama and debate. We grew up blessed, making many friends, and a few friendly rivals, from the nearby communities.
In our town, we knew each other. Really knew each other. Sometimes this could be an annoyance, but when sorrow struck our people, our town... we were family. As a community, we would pull together and support each other and share meals and gather together and lift each other up. Together, we would make it through.
Not all small towns are like this. I've lived in many and some are family but more and more, the family of the community is being lost. It's a sad thing. To not know your neighbor, to not trust your people... it's not right.
In Assiniboia, I know the family still resides. I see it when I go home. I see it in the easy conversations that pop up between residents everywhere you go. I see how the community comes together when it is wronged, or grieving, or even when, like this weekend, it celebrates. I see it in the children of old friends, children now (almost) adults themselves, sharing in the community family. I see it still, in the faces and lives of friends who chose to remain in Assiniboia.
Someday, it would be nice to return and live with the family again in Assiniboia.
Until then I am thankful for weekends like this one. Weekends we can share laughter and 'remember when' and make more remember whens with old friends.
Here is a video about my home town (with permission, thanks Shawn), made by another Assiniboia resident of days gone by.
(I couldn't leave you without music on Flash Mob Friday)
Shawn did a great job capturing our town. If you're ever in the Southern part of Saskatchewan, stop by and take a look around. Have a meal in the community, check out the museum, talk to the people and do a cruise up and down Center Street once or twice.
Have a great weekend, friends.
After-weekend update: Whispered reunion promises fulfilled, an excellent parade and so much laughing and fun. Everyone arrived looking forward to the weekend and it created a great atmosphere to visit old friends. It really was a fantastic weekend.