Sunday, July 6, 2014

I Found a Simpler Time

I recently went to a place where it felt like I'd stepped back in time, or found my way into an old-time movie scene.

On the 3rd of July, we went to see the fireworks in town. I'm a 'close the place down, love the crowds' kind of girl. My husband is a 'let's get out of here and beat the traffic,' and 'I hate crowds' kind of guy. So we left the show before the grand finale to beat traffic.

On the 4th hubby was doing homework all day, so I went online to see what there was to do. There was a town that was a bit of a hike away, but they had all day events for the kids, and fireworks. I talked to my husband, who said he'd be happy to have the house in peace to study...and we were on our way to go close down the festivities.

A main place in town (the garage) where people congregated to work/visit.
When we got there, I noticed the buildings were old. That's not unusual or unpleasant in Michigan, but this was like we'd been transported into a scene right out of an old book. The town auto shop was right in the center of the action. The doors were open, and cars being worked on visible. There were two big dogs roaming around without leashes. The men my age and older were perched on fold-out lawn chairs facing the park where all the action was going on. The younger men, heads wrapped in scarves, bandanas hanging from their jeans, were walking back to their houses, presumably to get cleaned up and joined w/their families who were already out and about enjoying the holiday.


The next thing I noticed is we did not have to get there as early as we did to secure a parking spot. There were a line of cars at the park, but the majority of folks there were coming in on their golf carts, 4-wheelers, and what have you. We're talking whole families piled up on the carts, including little babies in mama's arms, driving down the road to get in on the action.


And it wasn't just for the day either, you could tell it was a normal thing because they got real creative with their vehicle designs. One guy had a machine with four kiddie cars rolling behind him; another had a big box w/seats for the family attached (painted to match the 4-wheeler), and he took up a real parking spot (most of the others just parked in the grass).

We're not talking one or two people doing this, we're talking a TON of people. Even kids (5, 6, 7 yrs. old and on up) were on 4-wheelers driving right along the main street, mingled with the real traffic.

2 little boys riding a 4-wheeler downtown (see both of their little ball caps?)
A family coming into town on the right.

Then I started to notice other things too. Like the whole town had turned out to watch the kids' talent show, and boy oh boy were they cheering (it was nice!). A school teacher everyone knew was MC'ing the show.

Loving the 'new to him' park
And the park was FULL of kids, including mine, all of whom were having a great time.  The little kids were playing, the bigger kids kind of hanging together, with the boys teasing the girls, and the girls smacking those boys and chasing after them full speed to distribute retribution (the boys laughing, of course!).

Teens visiting in a group on the left.
Families on the right.  No one had smart phones out & that was true for the entire time we were there!!

Then it dawned on me, I was the only one taking pictures. What?  Then I noticed it, not one person had a smart phone out!

Families were engaged with one another, talking, visiting, eating, playing Uno on blankets, etc. Teens were talking to one another. Kids were playing.

Everyone was engaged in 'doing something.'
Teen boys took turns playing on the court all day long.
The basketball court was full all day long, with groups of boys taking turns playing games. They were playing hard too, but not a nary curse word was heard when we were around.

And when nighttime fell, I really, really noticed the men were being so considerate and kind to their women.  Whether young and presumably dating, older and married, or even elderly, men in every direction around us were heard saying things like, "I'll run back to the house and get you a blanket, babe," or "I'll go to the car and get you a jacket." One guy offered to get his gal her favorite elephant ear (the line was long!) by the time he got back, he had just one, for her, and he snuggled up behind her while she contentedly ate.  It was amazing, and definitely 'other wordly.'  No one was griping or bickering (such a nice change), no one was heard yelling at their kids (I hate when that happens, so that was a nice change too), and everyone was just content.

It was unheard of... unseen. I can't remember ever coming across anything like it in my life. It's probably the only time we'll ever visit that town, but I'm real glad that we did.

54 comments:

  1. What a wonderful place. I wish more communities were like this - it would make a better world!

    www.lululovesfilms.wordpress.com

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  2. You happened to find the best thing around! I would have loved that!! I think it is cool the way ppl went in all kinds of vehicles. And your hubby got to study!

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  3. What a wonderful place to visit. Very nice of the men to be so gentlemanly.

    Have a fabulous Sunday. :)

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  4. It sounds lovely! I love watching kids play together.

    I often times wish that families and neighbors were more united. We tend to go our own way in today's time. Going your own way is sometimes is needed. People need their privacy. At the same time I'd love to go back to the way things were with helping one another, and letting kids roam and play with one another.

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  5. It looks so good. For some reason it reminds me of Keywest.
    Hapy belated 4th of July
    xoxo

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  6. This is one of the things I love about Michigan. So many of the towns are older and still vibrant. It's like something out of a novel.

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  7. Sounds like a great place! Wish I could find something similar where I live.

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  8. Gosh, sounds like old times to me. Wow, if we could only get back to what we once had in this world...when cell phones didn't exists. So glad you found this place and shared it with us!

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  9. ha. sounds like a really cool time...and would have been cool to see the talent show as well...we had a huge family field day at the place we stayed this weekend...and was cool to see all the families out playing together...

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  10. Sounded quite perfect to me and glad you got to experience this ;)

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  11. That sounds like an amazing time. Love the photos! Amber N

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  12. What an amazing day. A simpler time, a kinder time...

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  13. The neighborhood that I grew up in was much like that. All of the neighborhood kids were close and our parents were always doing things together. It's not really like that anymore because many people have moved, etc, but it made for some amazing memories when I was younger.

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  14. I love small town 4th of July celebrations...and making memories with little ones. So sweet! :)

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  15. This reminds me of Fife Lake's 4th of July (in Michigan). They claim theirs is the "best fourth in the north!"

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  16. What a great place, everyone looks like they're having such a great time.

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  17. This sounds like you had a really amazing time... I think we all need this kind of experience from time to time to remind us there were simpler times :)

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  18. Sounds like an awesome time! Our town is kind of like that, which is why I'm so happy to live where we do!

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  19. That is wonderful and amazing! Did you say no one had phones out? Oh my this is lovely!
    Wow. I can only say wow and in a good way.

    Glad you found such a place and had a wonderful adventure with your little one!

    Now I want to move there and own a little bookstore :)

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  20. What a great place.... sure sounds wonderful; wish we had more places like this here in Florida.. we either have to drive 45min to get somewhere to play or the kids play in the driveway alone... thanks for sharing, soo jealous now

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  21. This looks like such a great community. It takes a village to raise a child and it looks like this is a perfect fit.

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  22. It's funny how different life can be in a small, quite town.

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  23. Sounds like the perfect spot to get away from it all

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  24. Looks like a fun community and a great day! Hope it was wonderful.

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  25. No phones out? Damn, that is like a rare once in a life occurence now a days haha doesn't sound like a bad spot to visit or live.

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  26. a lovely town in deed. So happy you shred with us. xo

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  27. I am more like your hubby, the hermit content to have the entire house to themself and tend to avoid crowds like the plague! But you give me hope that nice communities still exist! I wouldn't quite call my neighborhood a community! I am surprised you were the only taking pictures. Usually in my experience whenever there is a celebration someone has a camera and is taking pictures! I guess for your community it's going to be YOU! :-)

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

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  28. I live in a very small farming community much like the one you visited. It is amazing how supportive and family oriented the majority of people are. Our small school has 100 kids from grades K4 - 8th grade. Teacher teach double grades...but when it comes to state test stats it is one of the highest in the state and in one Pancake Breakfast we raise over $13,000 for extra activities for the school. Small town USA!!

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  29. This reminds me of my dad (and grandma's) hometown. They have the best Fourth of July festivities, complete with a blueberry festival. We've been up there once since we were married, and I hope we can take my son one year.

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  30. Aww that sounds like such an awesome place, I just love that. We recently moved to a nice place that has a great sense of community. Not quite like what you found, but it's definitely a slice of refreshing goodness for a change.

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  31. That looks like a great place to spend the 4th with the kids.

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  32. Where is this magical place? Maybe you took a turn into Pleasantville:) I love having experiences like that!

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  33. That sounds like fun! My husband sounds a lot like yours. I like closing things down too! We should hang out together.

    Next weekend there is a little festival in the town I live in. The golf carts and gators all come out. I think half the town own them and they are out pretty often, but when the festival is on, they all bring them out for the weekend. We even have a shop that sells them in this little town of 2000 people. I think they rent them for the festival weekend. I laughed when you talked about the golf carts!

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  34. It sounds like everyone had a great time. We live in an area with some towns that are similar to that, but I still always see cell phones out. I actually live in one of those towns where many of the kids are allowed to roam around and go where ever they want, and they are safe. I don't let Elliott do that, so most of the neighbor kids end up at my house. Haha. It's not uncommon for half a dozen kids to be playing in my yard at any one time (and remember I have an only child). The kids will range in age from 5 (she's there with her big sisters) to 11 or 12, and for the most part, they get along great.

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  35. Now that sounds like a town I would feel right at home. It is the way things used to be and should still be!

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  36. This looks like a beautiful little town. It must have been nice to enjoy a simpler time in such a quaint small town!

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  37. It's like you went in a time machine to a simpler, gentler time! Sounds divine!

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  38. What a great sounding time, sometimes I wish things were just back in a much simpler time, things seem to progress so quickly these days. Love that you didn't have to fight for a parking space as well :) x

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  39. It sounds like my hometown growing up. I wish towns were more like that now.

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  40. Sounds like a great place. I love my hometown. It's like Pleasantville.

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  41. wow. that is so nice and unusual in todays world. i know yall had a great time

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  42. Looks like a great small town in the South like a grew up in. Glad you all had a great time.

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  43. That's a lovely place for you and the kids to visit. You should go back every 4th! :p

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

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  44. beautiful place and I love when you see parks full of kids, it makes you feel like it's a safe town.

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  45. It sounds like the people in that town have it right. It seems like they have the sense of community down. I wish we could all still have that Mayberry town where everyone is happy to enjoy the company of their neighbors. My husband is a big city kind of guy, but my dream is to move to a sleepy town where, really, everybody knows your name.

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  46. Stepping back in time! I love how the guys was nice to their ladies a very nice twist in todays world.

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  47. Sounds like a great time. More people need to visit areas that are still like this and learn a thing or two.

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  48. Families without cell phones for a whole day?! That's crazy! Well, I'm glad you at least got to spend some nice time with your own fam :)

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  49. What a nice town, Rosey! It sounds so pleasant and like the perfect place to live! :-)

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    1. I wanted to clarify that I know it's not where you live...just sounds like a nice place :-)

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  50. Haha was this a dream or for real? To have a wonderful town like that is amazing.

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  51. We were in Michigan a couple of years ago just bee bopping around, would have been nice to happen on something like this. What a fun day.

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  52. This place sounds like my dream neighbourhood. This is exactly how I want to live. Tobago is quite similar to this. A very laid back, easy going...simple place. Perfect for me. :)

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