A small town bride on the ride of her life.

Thank God if you’re smart enough to live in a small town.

~unknown

I saw the above quote the other day and it started the wheels turning in my mind as to the charm of living in a small, rural community.  Into the photo archives I go to dig up some images that show a piece of life in a small town.  We do know how to entertain ourselves and have some good ol’ fun!

Haas-3973hp20dmvThis carnival ride at the Yellow Medicine County Fair, in Canby, Minnesota, seems to lend itself as a metaphor to the wild ride this young couple have chosen in life. Since their wedding in July of 2010, this small town couple have added two young children (1 1/2 years and 6 months) to their family, hold down full-time jobs, the bride completed a master’s degree, and both serve our country in the United States National Guard. In fact, the wedding was planned while the engaged couple were both deployed overseas in the Middle East.

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Yes, you are on the ride of your small town life.  The twists and turns of a carnival ride can become predictable after you get use to patterns of movement.  Life is not like that.  Bumps and turns can appear out of nowhere and you may even careen completely off of the path.

A small town has a secret weapon that helps us bounce back when the road of life gets rough ~  the people.   When the chips are down and we face a struggle, the community members are there to help pull us through.  During a crisis the small town rallies its troops to bring out the safety nets to help in whatever way is appropriate to the situation. We may not always agree on our politics, religion or philosophies of life, ( some may not even like each other) but we are there for each other.

Haas-3966HawpunchhpcrJust because we don’t rank at the top of the population charts doesn’t mean we aren’t resilient and destined to make a mark in the world.  In spite of the twists and turns…

Just sayin’.

Photo info:  Canon 5D Mark 2, Canon 70-200 L lens, Kubota Actions

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A Fairy Tale…

So much emphasis is placed on “the big day” being such a perfect fairy tale. I hate to rain on your parade, but it is so NOT about that one special day. Every day that follows is just as special.
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Prince Charming may appear to be a perfect specimen of a handsome groom on your wedding day, but you know true love when you look at him with love in your eyes when he is head to toe in grease, dirt or manure.
My low keyed, machine shed wedding reception may have lowered the bar for orchestrating a perfect day, but that is who I am and the culmination of days that follow are what have made for a wonderful life.
I witness true love that stands the test of time as I watch my mother-in-law coax her husband of 64 years to eat. The scale reads 114.5, dementia has played havoc with his mind, and his body is worn out. She cannot “fix it” but you can tell by her eyes that she wishes she could. To have a spouse so dedicated is how a fairy tale should end…

The Wedding Gift

Young love is exciting, fresh and alive with anticipation of what lies ahead. If only young love knew what mature love would say or do…
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What a blessing to witness a couple that truly demonstrate love and commitment that is lasting. An enduring love that stays intact through triumph, tragedy and the predictable routine of everyday life. This is the best gift this wedding couple could ever receive from their grandparents.

The wedding day… happily ever after.

Lean on each other’s strengths; forgive each other’s weaknesses.  ~ unknown

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Friday, October 11, 2013 will be an exciting day for this young couple as they exchange wedding vows before family and friends. Nervous anticipation, joyous fellowship with family and friends, fun and entertaining reception and dance will make for a wonderful celebration for all.
Yes, it’s fun to celebrate and share fellowship with family and friends on “the big day” but it’s the little things that you share each day that follows that are truly blessings. Sharing a conversation over a cup of coffee in the morning or a beverage on the deck at the end of the day are moments to be treasured. These are the events I would miss if I didn’t have the love of my life to share them with. Life will throw you a curve from time to time and there will be days of sadness and loss. Having a spouse to share in the joys of life, as well as lean on during the challenging times is truly a blessing.
Congratulations, Dan & Amanda… may your lives be truly blessed.

When past and present collide…

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The above image is a blend of images taken before renovation of the former South Dakota School for the Blind located in Gary, South Dakota and a wedding dance scene in the same room upon completion. Buffalo Ridge Resort has done an amazing job restoring the facility for modern purposes while maintaining the historic architecture and  feel of the former campus.  It is now used for wedding receptions/dances, conferences, family reunions, retreats, etc. and has lodging on site in the form of hotel rooms and camping.  The Rock Room Bar & Grill, located on site, is a unique dining experience with occasional local entertainment. In the summer the entertainment moves outside to the patio for a low-key, summer fun experience.  For more information about Buffalo Ridge Resort you can check out their website:  http://buffaloridgeresort.com