Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lessons from Very Small Towns

Yesterday we loaded our van with gas, a family (ours) and a few snacks and headed North...or was it South? It didn't really matter where...we were looking for small towns in Saskatchewan, which are everywhere, just stay on any given road for a few minutes and poof, there is a small town. Just like magic shows when I was a kid, only a little longer. We toured at least 7 towns, all of which held something fun or interesting. Here are a few things we enjoyed finding...
1. A brick plant that used to be in operation. Now it has tours etc., but not when we were there. Good thing there were no tours when we came by because we likely would have stopped and enjoyed the tour and missed out on many other great activities which we enjoyed on that trip.
2. Some very old houses that were abandoned and falling over. Strange how interesting it is to see a leaning building.
3. Cows. No flying cows on this trip. We often see flying cows, but no one mentioned them, so I am guessing no one saw any. However, my wife did see a version of my Mexican cow. The "Mexican cow" (named by me) is a special kind of cow I have seen on several family trips in Saskatchewan but no one else in my family has seen. It was nice to finally be vindicated and have someone else see the Mexican Cow and verify it really does exist here.
4. A nicely kept church in a very small town that brought up a few questions. Who looks after it? Does anyone ever attend? If so, who? Mexican Cows? Not likely.
5. An old dilapidated church in a very small town that brought up a few questions. Why did it get so neglected? Does anyone own it? Was there ever any life/joy/power of God there? I tried to imagine a vibrant church in that building but had a hard time. My imagination took me instead to sad church politics, traditions and legalism, kids tortured by long sermons on hot summer days... am I too negative? I don't know enough about church history in small town Saskatchewan to know.
6. Some barking dogs that seemed to almost get run over as we drove into some house yard areas.
7. Corner Gas movie set.
8. A playground that our kids had a blast at. Definitely their favorite part of the trip. Gave me a chance to read about Toyota (the company) and about Psalms (I always bring books on a trip, never know when there will be a good chance to read). We ate lunch at the playground with food bought at a local grocery store.
9. A football field painted on main street in support of the Riders. Only in Saskatchewan!
10. A lot of bugs. Wow, there were really a lot of bugs. Also, some cool fields and crops (our youngest son decided that every field that had any yellow at all in it (even if it was weeds) was a Canola crop. Maybe. He calls them "Canoly Crops", which definitely has a better ring to it.
11. A lot of photo opp's. My wife really likes taking pictures. I really like to learn to be an awesome, participating, loving husband and father. I tried really hard. I stayed in the van for most of them but I did happily stop whenever there were photo opp's (sp?).
12. Some really old looking stuff like an old gas pump, an old Coke sign and rocks.

So, what lessons can be learned from all this?  I am sure there are other lessons, but the biggest lesson that I learned was that some stuff doesn't really need to have a lesson attached to it to be great, some things should just be enjoyed.