Monday, April 5, 2010

I love my small town...

I have often told Byron that this little town of Huxley is all the "town" I can handle, since I grew up loving every moment of living in the country. I was surrounded by gravel roads, cow pastures, and fishing ponds. I rode horses with friends for fun, and as I got older I drove the old 4x4 ford truck on the back roads to get to friend's houses. I may or may not have had my driver's license yet.

I have learned to love "town" life with sidewalks, neighbors, and the school and park nearby; something I didn't have growing up. I love the size of our town and the people who live here, and I have no desire to move anywhere else.  I will admit that living between Ames and Des Moines gives me the best of both worlds.

Last week my son Ryan and I got to reap some benefits of our small town life, and the wonderful people who live in towns like ours.

Here is the story...

Ryan is homeschooled, but goes to band at the public school in the next town east.  Some days he rides the bus home after band, which requires changing busses midway through the trip. (Our district has schools in 3 neighboring towns.)  Since the weather was super warm last week, he asked to walk home from the location where he would normally change busses--the high school in our town.  He was hoping to get home a little sooner, rather than ride around town with multiple stops. I said yes and sent him with a note for the bus driver. 

Ryan got off the bus at the high school and headed home on foot, with his clarinet case and band folder/music in hand.  It was a very windy day. Before he'd made it one block, he dropped his folder and the band music became airborne.  As he attempted to gather up all the sheet music that was blowing in the wind, a senior boy who is a friend of our family drove by and witnessed the scene.  Devin pulled over in his car and said, "Dude, you want a ride."  Ryan grabbed all his stuff and got in the car, then Devin dropped him at our house. 

Ryan called me to give me a report, because I was gone to a nearby "big" town with Meggan buying sports equipment for three of the kid's sports this spring, including the shin guards for Ryan's practice that would start in 2 hours.  He was pretty charged emotionally and I could hear the stress in his voice. He told me the terrible story of his music blowing everywhere...right when school was letting out, and that he hadn't made it home with his band lesson book.  Being the sympathetic mother that I am, I ordered him to get on his bike and ride back up to the "scene of the incident" and find the lesson book.  He then screamed into the phone, "Mom, you don't understaaaand! It is sooo windy! My book blew away!" He was dangerously close to a melt down.

I wasn't sure what to do.  I really wanted him to find his band lesson book, but I felt terrible for him. And I wasn't there to help.  I decided to call Devin for an accurate report on the wind conditions and his assessment of whether or not there was any hope of Ryan finding the book.  Devin offered to check his car for the book and then drive back up to the "scene" and look. I was so grateful!  He called me back within a few minutes to say that the book was nowhere to be found.  I called the bus barn and they checked the bus he had been on--still no band book.

Meanwhile, I raced through sporting goods store, raced through the grocery store, raced home and got Ryan into his soccer gear and raced out the door to take him to his first practice.  We couldn't believe our eyes: his band lesson book was on our front door step!  His name was written on the cover, so someone who knew us had found it. We were very happy!  Throughout the weekend, we wondered if we would ever know who the kind person was who delivered Ryan's book.

This Monday morning, my ninth grade daughter sent me a text from school.  One of her classmates, who lives a couple of blocks away from us, asked her if Ryan found his band book on our steps.  While she walked home from school, she had found it and happened to know where we live. 

I love this small town-- a town where people will go out of their way to help others.

We even had someone offer to bring Ryan home after soccer practice (it was in another small town nearby), which helped me out on a very hectic afternoon/evening.

Just call me a small town girl. : )

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