Sunday, August 02, 2009


This first weekend of August every year is reserved for River City Days. Remember, we only live about a 45 minute drive away from my hometown, but this is the one weekend a year I actually spend time out and about, mingling with people. Most of our visits are spent with family and followed by quick exits.

OhCountess and I both spent time growing up here and we both have family that still lives here. So there are roots, but where we live now has really grown to feel much more like home. I guess this is what happens with time.

According to my mom, for the last 24 years, she's been the coordinator for the River City Days Arts and Crafts Festival. Of those 24 years, I've helped some number smaller then 24 but larger 10. I don't have any idea when I started helping out, but I know that for most of that time, OhCountess has been right there, ready to go. She only missed one year since we got together, the year OhPrincess1 was born. There's just no way to convince a very pregnant woman that spending a weekend at a park, walking around, is a good idea.

This year is no different, we are here again. One of the weird things about this is I have no idea what really goes on anywhere else in this festival. We spend all weekend hanging out at the craft show, talking to vendors and answering questions. This year, I've had a harder time then ever, answering the questions about my hometown. Sure, I'm pretty good with the history, but when it comes to "where do I buy this?" and "what restaurants are there?" I'm having a much harder time. One guy asked me a question, that 15 years ago I could have rattled off a long list with sale prices, "where's the liquor store nearest here?" Um. I haven't bought booze here in a VERY long time.

So far, the reunions have been very rare. I met one person I graduated with. Granted, I graduated from a class of 204 people, but still. I'm hoping to up that number today. I'm also quite sure I walked right past someone. As much as I'd like to be paying attention to the people, I'm usually focused on the inner workings of the show.

Facebook has really opened my eyes back up to the people of my past. Years ago, I moved on from looking to the past. I was enjoying my own path through life and rarely took time to look into the rear view mirror, but lately, it's been pretty cool seeing the lives of the people that made up the first half of mine.

Much like Las Vegas, a few days here is plenty for me. I'm beginning to long for home. I'd still like to come here and spend some time with my camera, the good one, not the one on my phone. This town is so beautiful. It's an old river town, along the banks of the northern Mississippi. There's history and stories that I'd love to capture. I also figure that seeing things through the eyes of my memories might also make for some interesting pictures.

If only there was time. It's been a lot of fun, sharing these weekends with the kids. Even OhPrincess2 is having fun. She's the only member of our household that wasn't born here. OhPrincess1 was born here, but I don't think she really remembers too much about it. She was around 3 when we left and by then, we were spending a lot time in our new hometown.

I suspect it's time to get back to work. A few more hours of the show today and our duty is done for another year. OhCountess hasn't quite spent what we get paid yet either. Sunday is the day she traditionally finds the things that give back to the show what we make.

Maybe I'll see you here sometime.


The Father of Five said...

I think my parents are going to be down there... They sell concrete rhubarb leaf castings that they make in their backyard.

Be sure to say hello to them if you see 'em!

Kim said...

I enjoy FB for just that rear view reason.. looks like a good time.. love the face art!!

seashore subjects said...

I think OhCountess has a wonderful plan there - earning the extra money to spend on the fair. What a great idea! Looks like it was beautiful weather too.

OhCaptain said...

FoF: I didn't see anyone selling concrete rhubarb leaf castings in our park. Unfortunately, I got to see nothing that wasn't in our park.

Kim: FB is definitely changing things, ain't it.

Seashore Subjects: It was an almost perfect weekend, weather wise. Outside of it being in the low 50's on Saturday morning, it was beautiful. And yes, the 50's are cold for MN on August 1.

WeaselMomma said...

As far as the liquor stores nearby, I'm sure iPhone must have an app for that.
Your hometown is now your now, enjoy it as such, but going back is always fun.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. In my case people usually grow fonder of my absence =)

Tom said...

We're about 11 hours from my home town, and every time I go back, I see the changes and try to recapture the memories... but it's like trying to grasp smoke. They're safely tucked away in the past, and that's where they'll stay. Nice to have memories.

surprised mom said...

It looks like a beautiful town and festival. It's definitely a place where I'd like to vacation. Maybe I'll see you at the festival one year.

As for hometowns, I know what you mean. It's great to go back for a visit, but your hometown is the one you built your family in.

I've lived in one city all my life, but different neighborhoods. The house I'm living in with my family is my home. The house I grew up in is my home of the past and I still walk through that house in my mind. It's all tucked away in my memory.

Nap Warden said...

See that's kinda my fear with FB. I don't know if I want to revisit folks who have been in the past for so long now...

Love the face painting;)