By 4 PM yesterday afternoon, in little old Tecumseh, Nebraska, people began bringing their lawn chairs, coolers full of cold drinks, and their cameras. They settled themselves on the lawns and curbs along both sides of Second Street and prepared to watch the annual Johnson County Fair Parade!
We live on Second street so we were a little surprised to see people we had never met choosing our lawn for their viewing stand! We went out and got acquainted. We know people in common and the kids were the same age as my Sunday school kids so we became "BFFs"-Best Friends Forever-very quickly.
The parade was longer than we anticipated and there was far more candy thrown out than we ever imagined! Children all around us had ice cream pails FULL of tootsie rolls, suckers, and other assorted goodies! It should last them til Hallowe'en, according to my calculations!
Leading the parade as Grand Marshall was the lady Extension Office, a woman we know well. She'll be retiring soon and it was nice to see her honored. We were delighted to see my husband's brother, Glen, Glen's son, Bill and Bill's wife, Linda waving at us as they trailed along the parade route. Linda rode on a float; Glen drove his wind rower and Bill drove a baler. Everything was all slicked up-you couldn't tell by looking at that shiny equipment that Johnson County has dusty rock country roadways! One of my Sunday school kids drove a John Deere lawn tractor; his big brother was walking with a group of young people, handing out goodies to the crowd.
The amazing thing about small towns is their customs and traditions. This parade and all its accompanying rituals is no exception to that!
The only fly in the ointment was when our dear Mexican neighbors contributed to the festive mood by turning on their music. It sounded like a party and those in our driveway moved to the beat of it, enjoying every note. We saw someone pull out a cell phone...momentarily a police officer asked the neighbors to turn down the sound, so they turned it off altogether. A very wet blanket had been thrown on the party.
We asked one another what REALLY happened...we concluded that the caller, probably someone who holds prejudice, EXPECTED to hear the music and drums of the marching bands. There was a COMPARISON of one type of music to another. You and I both know that when comparisons and expectations are made it means Trouble with a capital T.
I am happy to report that the neighbors' feelings were not hurt. When the parade was history and the crowd had thinned out, they played their music again. We smiled as we heard them, their children and their guests laughing and talking and having fun. They even offered us heaping plates full of their delicious smelling food. FOOEY...I had eaten so much supper I had no room in my tummy for the fragrant spicy beef and vegetables they had cooked on their grill.
Parades. Precious neighbors. Living in small town America. Knowing about The Healing Codes. Is it any wonder I love my life?