Every May, two parades go by my house. One early, one midway through the month. No marching bands or clowns (because clowns are skeery). First golf carts heading from storage to the country club and second a procession of wagons with seats and tops closed off from the rain or sleet.

What it means when the wagons go by, is that we’re ready for the planting/picking season to begin. Just on my road alone they grow corn, pumpkin, squash, cabbage, onions, something beanish-looking. There are two apple farms and a left turn away is a large strawberry farm. We get a wave of migrant workers every year too. It’s part of the village history and our community reflects it.

We welcome the workers in the Spring and say goodbye in the Fall. They add something to our community and we’re lucky enough to have many who’ve stayed and become important parts of our lives through work, school, and becoming our neighbors. We have special classes for learning English and others geared specifically toward students who will be here short term. We even have summer classes available. Our doctors, dentists, and Governmental offices are all bilingual.

 

I’m sure that there are villages and towns all across the country that are similar in this but I think what makes our’s special, at least in my eyes, is that no one seems to mind. There isn’t an antimmigrant leaning, no one is hassled.

Unless alcohol’s involved but those are mostly because alcohol makes stupid even stupider and not because of anything else. And there is the occasional love related issue, that’s just par for any course.

My village is a strange mix and it’s the fact that we’re all a little different that makes it work so well. We have a few retired folks who want to sit on their decks at night and see critters and stars not buildings and floodlights, we have handful of higher income families trying to be in the country without the realities of being in the country, some families whose names have been in this area since the Erie Canal was key to survival and of course we have the college students and staff. We’re a hodgepodge of people and nationalities. But my village also has sixteen churches and other religious places of worship, so maybe that explains the lack of hate?

 

This morning I was outside weeding by accident. By accident because I didn’t set out to weed, I set out to pick up garbage in my front yard and got distracted. I’m three houses from a stop light and for some reason people waiting at the light think it’s okay to throw their garbage/junk mail/cigarette butts out their car window and drive off. The junk mail I sometimes return if I’m going by the address. Just being a kind citizen, pay it forward and all that. I keep picking it up, they keep throwing it.  

I can accept it but I refuse to look at it. So every day I pick it up. It’s like a game only no fun for me.   

While I was accidentally weeding the parade came down the hill. It took some time to get here but I could hear it coming. They don’t go fast and they rumble. By the time the rumble drowned out everything else they were passing my house. I know they’ll be passing back and forth soon but one or two at a time not all of them in a row again until late Fall when they all thunder past the other way and our village empties out a little until next Spring. 

 

One last call to make and I’m heading out to get some work done. If you just read this, thank you for keeping me company while I’ve been on hold.