This week my wanderings took me back to my home town for a long weekend. Joice is truly smalltown Iowa – less than 250 people. You will only find curb and gutter along Main Street – same for any stop sign (and no, there are no stop lights). The rest of the roads are blacktop, and you don’t have to travel very far before the roads turn to gravel.
The above photo is of the sunset on Friday night – taken from a farm driveway out east of town. If you look closely, you can see the silhouette of the Joice elevator just to the left of the center, and then a silhouette of a windmill on the far right.
The photo below is of the sunrise on Monday morning.
Living in a big(ger) city brings plenty of conveniences – just minutes to the grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants or most types of shopping. But sometimes the simplicity of a small town helps to slow everything down.
The sounds, the smells, the broken sidewalks, the gravel alley on each block, the trees (many of which we climbed as kids), etc. – so many little things that are now the big things – and were most of my childhood.
I really love living in Des Moines, but I am so grateful for growing up in a really small town. Everyone knew everyone else, and neighbors really did stop by to borrow a cup of sugar or a couple eggs. As kids, we played outside most of our evenings, weekends and summer vacations. It was easy to find us, as there was always a big pile of bikes wherever we were playing, and we knew we had to be home for supper (not dinner) when the whistle blew at 6pm. We’d usually eat as fast as we could so we could go back out and play with our friends until the streetlights came on. We really had the best time growing up in Joice.
I love technology and think it is absolutely amazing – I really do. But I also wish I could take it all away (even for a moment) to show today’s kids how much fun can be had without smartphone, tablet, computer, DVD player in a car, etc. We wore holes in the grass where our swing set sat. We camped in a tent in our backyard and it was always an adventure.
I think my small town roots inspire my photo adventures and make me enjoy the peace of the Iowa countryside so much. I hope you have your ways to slow down and enjoy the small things found in the beautiful world we live in.
Where are you headed on your wanderings this week?
Have a beautiful day!