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All the Places and People We Love in Our Little Country Town Yard and Bake Sale

August 24, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Teen Town Community Center right behind the pool. Please support our Madison County Fair by donating beloved items and baked goods and then shopping for pieces from all the places and people we love in our community.

For scheduling a pick-up of donations and baked goods, please call Irene Settle at 573-561-4667.

All the Places and People We Love in Our Little Country Town Photography Competition

Hoping to capture all the places and people we love in our little country town, the Madison County Fair will be hosting a photography competition on Oct. 4-5. The competition is open to all ages. To request more information and the official guidelines, please email MadisonFairMO@yahoo.com.

All the Places and People We Love-Our Sacred Trust

As part of the Madison County Fair’s Speaker’s Series under the pavilion, Candy Summers will be presenting All the Places and People We Love in Our Little Country Town Oct. 5.

When I read All the Places to Love and The Little Country Town, my heart rejoiced as I reflected with ardent appreciation for my family, farm, and home town; for the splendid beauty of the countryside, the people that make it so lovely, and for the memories of all the wonderful carefree days of my childhood spent here among the fields and forest with family, friends, and neighbors.

Visiting with friends and neighbors as we shopped in town; working alongside my father as he shaped and manicured the landscape; cleaning and cooking with my mother in preparation for family, friends, and neighbors; sitting on the brick wall next to my father as he barbecued; swimming, fishing, and eating on the screened in porch that overlooked our lake with gatherings of grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors; enjoying the beautiful countryside with friends on top of my horses; listening to the men share funny stories; watching the grown-ups play canasta under the wagon wheel overhead light; listening to their laughter, whippoorwills calling, and frogs singing before slipping into sweet slumber worked a divine influence on me, binding my heart, mind, and soul to our land, our family, and our town.

In an unbroken thread woven through the family tapestry, I continue to walk the same path with my children and tell the same stories as we live and work together on the same land surrounded by the same families in this tightly woven community.

Together we enjoy the same beautiful expansive skies, fresh clean air, picturesque lush fields dotted with grazing cattle and sheep, gorgeous tree covered hills, crystal clear streams, striking rock formations, magnificent sunsets, and brilliant star-studded nights, with whippoorwills calling and frogs singing that make our countryside the most precious place on earth.

Together we also continue to enjoy the same splendid loveliness that runs deep within our community’s soul. Forged throughout a lifetime of growing up together, riding the same bus, attending the same classes, cheering each other on at the same games, worshipping together, working together, shopping at the same stores owned by friends, attending the same weddings, celebrating the same births, and mourning the same losses, each generation learns to cherish the same places and people in our little country town.

Who we are, why we are here, and what purpose we serve is not left to chance, whim or fancy but is clearly laid out in the family’s tapestry. Not alone or starting from scratch, but walking in the family’s calling and destiny in a line of continuity tightly woven over time, defines our place in time and history, shapes our identity, strengthens our family and community, and binds the generations in an endless enduring cord of love as we continue to look upon the past with gratitude and upon the future with assurance.

All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan with paintings by Mike Wimmer, is a beautiful book that captures the endearing legacy of family and farm which the illustrator dedicated to his grandparents, for their sixty-four years of marriage, which serve as the mortar that binds my family together!

The story is about grandparents and their love for their daughter and grandchildren. It begins with Eli’s story, On the day I was born my grandmother wrapped me in a blanket made from the wool of her sheep. She held me up in the open window so that what I saw first were all the places to love: the valley, the river falling down over rocks, the hilltop where the blueberries grew. My grandfather was painting the barn, and when he saw me he cried. He carved my name—Eli—on a rafter beside his name and Grandmother’s name and the names of my papa and mama.

Eli goes on to tell about his mother who carried him through the meadow and hay fields as the cows watched us…and the dogs ran ahead, looking back with smiles. And about helping his father plow the fields, where he heard his father say, where else is soil so sweet and of carrying a handful of dirt home in their pockets because they loved the land they called home.

Of his grandmother sailing little bark boats downstream to him with messages such as I love you, Eli and of climbing to the place his mother loved best where he heard her say, where else, can I see the sun rise on one side and the sun set on the other!

It is about the importance of passing on the family legacy of all the places and people they cherish aptly summed up in the grandfather’s sentiment to his grandson---Where else can the soft sound of cows chewing make all the difference in the world!

In an interview, illustrator, Mike Wimmer, shares that All the Places to Love is his favorite work because it reminds him of his childhood, of family, and grandparents being a part of his life. In response to the people who ask him why he continues to live in the same place instead of  moving to New York, L.A. or Chicago, he says that is where his roots are and where he is from. Moving somewhere else would be like transplanting a potato and trying to get it to grow as well in the sandy soil of Texas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_U9OuM7GT0

The Little Country Town by Jandelyn Southwell with charming summer illustrations by Kay Chorao is another lovely book that speaks to my heart on the gifts we enjoy each day. Opening with In a quiet country town, sums up the simplistic beauty of this heartwarming book where children pick flowers in meadows and swing from their tree swing; where families sit out on their front porches in the evening enjoying the sweet scent of the fragrant night air; where fishing takes place by the covered bridge; where children listen out their bedroom window to the chorus of frogs; where large, broad trees embrace and enfold the little bodies of neighborhood children; where birds are heard chirping and fireflies light the night as crickets chirp under the brightly speckled starlit night. The Little Country Town is our town, and will become a perennial summer favorite bedtime ritual to help little ones settle down to lovely summer dreams.

So important to our multigenerational vision and mission, I purchased one of these books for each of my grown children to read to their children and their children’s children to share the immense love they hold in trust for our family, farm, and town.

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Candy Summers is the education/entertainment and media coordinator for the Madison County Fair. For more fair information, email madisonfairmo@yahoo.com

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