Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pete Knight Days

Today is the day of our local rodeo. We moved to small town Alberta five years ago this November, and one of our favourite family events is Pete Knight Days. The first year or two we participated as newbies, and now we enjoy the warm feeling of being surrounded by friends. Ava is plugged in to her community of school friends, and William has preschool buddies and neighbours to socialize with.

This year, Jason is in a parade float as a town councillor, and for the first time, the kids and I will be tossing out candy and waving like crazy on the library float. I love being an active part of my community, and I can see that my kids are sewing this involvement into the fabric of their childhood. These are their memories, and they are precious ones to safeguard and enjoy, and anything that you repeat again and again as a family becomes a tradition, stored forever in the mind.

It's a day full of events, kicking off with a community pancake breakfast, then the parade, then we have a tradition of having friends over for a BBQ lunch. After we eat, we head to the rodeo grounds for an afternoon of kid's games, rodeo events, junk food, visiting with friends and a demolition derby. Usually we come home around 6, sunburned and exhausted, to eat a light dinner, wash the dust from the rodeo grounds from our bodies, and the kids fall into bed for a good night's sleep. From our deck, we can watch the fireworks, and another Pete Knight Days becomes a wonderful memory.

We moved here to experience small-town life when we were tired of living in a big city. These rodeo weekends are part of what we love so much about life in this town. The longer we live here, and the more involved we have become in the community, the deeper our appreciation for what we get by being active participants in various areas of our town. We get something by giving of ourselves, and it's not an idea for our kids to understand, but instead a concept they are living out every year they are alive.

For the first time in five years, the weather forecast isn't promising heat and sun, but instead the possibility of rain and cooler temperatures. I like it better when it's hot, but since I have no control over the weather, I'm not going to let it get me down. Bring on another layer in our memories as a family. Bring on the chance to be immersed in the culture of our friendly small town. Bring on Pete Knight Days.

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