Have you seen Meet Me in St. Louis? The story of a mother, a father, a grandfather, and four daughters, all of whom almost move from St. Louis to New York City, but do not actually leave their hometown?
It is a pretty weird movie, but I love it. Judy Garland. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Homemade ketchup. Magnificent millinery. The horrifying antics of Margaret O’Brien. It’s all there, people.
Mike and I often quote the final lines of the movie to one another, because that’s just the kind of wild and crazy pair that we are. Here’s what happens: The family has made it through another year–they’ve escaped the move to New York City, Judy Garland and Margaret Bremer have found love, the homemade ketchup has the right amount of sugar in it, and everyone emerges from the house wearing fabulous flowered and feathered hats. They’re off to the World’s Fair!
As the whole impressively-hatted bunch takes in the wonder of the fair, Margaret Bremer says rapturously, “We don’t have to come here on a train or stay in a hotel. It’s right here in our own hometown!” And Judy Garland, eyes shining, says, “It’s right here where we live! Right here in St. Louis.“
I totally get it. It’s wonderful when the amazing things in the great wide world come right to your hometown. Of course, the World’s Fair hasn’t come to Saint James (I mean, not yet). But other wonderful things do come, or are already here. And as fun as it is to head out of town to do something special, there’s something even sweeter about finding the fun right here where we live.
Case in point: Sunday afternoon. The Watonwan County Historical Society was serving root beer floats and ice cream sundaes. We didn’t have to take a train or even get in the car –we just walked the four blocks. Or, in Zoe and Leo’s case, scooted. (Pro Tip: At least for Leo, scooting is probably slower than walking, but it is more fun.)
We ate ice cream and we marveled at treasures from the past. Then, since the park was only another block away, we walked / scooted over there for an hour or so. Then, since we were hungry and also lazy, we walked / scooted three blocks toward home for dinner at the Mexican restaurant. Delicious as always. We walked / scooted the last few blocks home.
We took our time. We went where our mood and our stomachs dictated. We didn’t worry about doing it all. Because it’s all right here where we live.
What are the simple pleasures of being right where you live?