Saturday, September 11, 2010

Going To Town

Most every Saturday, unless we already have set plans, the teenagers and I "go to town". When you live in the country like we do, you can say things like "going to town". (Even if you are less than ten minutes away from civilization, if you are surrounded by nothing but cornfields, you still have the right to say the phrase "going to town".) We usually go to town to get groceries (we are Wal-Mart kind of people. Don't judge. They sell more for less), maybe stop by the bank, and sometimes we even get a treat (think large vanilla coke from Sonic!). I like going to town with the girls because they are usually pleasant company and then I also have help carrying the groceries inside when I return home. They like going to town because then they get to spend their allowance money and pretend they are normal teenagers for the afternoon. You see? It is a win, win situation.

I have fond memories of going to town as a child. My family lived in the suburbs of a very large city, so we could not say things like "going to town". We lived in town. But every summer we would visit my Dad's parents (also known as Dick and Granny), and they lived in the country. In fact, I think my love of living in the country originated from loving visiting them as a child. They had a huge front yard, and it always felt like their house was a very long way from the main road. In reality, it was not very far from the main road at all, but as a child used to suburban life, it sure felt like it. I have many fond memories of visiting Granny's house. Orange plastic drinking glasses filled with sweet tea, homemade tea cakes, playing on their acreage, catching stray cats and begging my parents to let me keep them (they always said no), taking "dog" walks down the lane, eating watermelon in the back of the pick up truck, playing croquet in the front yard, eating Church's chicken after Sunday worship, and last, but certainly not least, "going to town". Every time we would visit, at least once we would go in to town to Wal-Mart. Every single time my Granny would give each of us kids a ten dollar bill to buy a treat. I usually spent mine on everything Barbie. For some reason that memory has stuck with me. "Going to town" for me means so much more than accomplishing the task of getting groceries. It means togetherness. It means wandering the aisles of the store and choosing the treats that you want the very most. It means going back in time to when things were simpler and less rushed.

Our culture is so busy. Not many families make it a priority to stay at home and just be together. There are always social gatherings to attend, lessons and practices to go to, eating out, and running constant errands. We are continuously on the go, and I am guilty of all of these things myself. My family eats fast food way more often than we should. I run to the store whenever I need things, instead of planning one big trip. If my little girls are bored we hop in the car and go to the mall play place instead of creating our own fun at home. Go, go, go. Sometimes our homeschool feels more like "van" school. Things like "going to town" are no longer special, because we literally go into town every single day. It's crazy. So, this winter I plan to make a change in our family. More days spent playing together at home making our own fun. More meals served around our big family table. Less activities being said "yes" to. I want to try and take my family and those that live with us back to a simpler time and way of life. I want "going to town" to hold as special a place in their hearts as it does in mine. It's going to be a new season here in the Zickafoose Zoo. I'll let you know how it goes.

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