A thank you note to our hometown

Dear Appleton,

You’ve outdone yourself this year and we want to say thank you. Though it sailed past far too quickly, the summer of 2014 may have been one of your best, with its sunny, warm days, cool nights and just enough rain to keep the grass soft and green.

Thank you, Appleton, for your summer music – the church bells, ice cream truck jingles, random troubadours, city band concerts, parades, street musicians and, of course, the Mile of Music.

Thank you for your city parks with their playgrounds, jogging paths, swimming pools, soccer fields, fountains and flowers; for your boot camps and yoga classes, bike paths and running clubs, Timber Rattlers and Miracle League.

We won’t forget your summer food – fish tacos, grilled corn on the cob, fresh berries, sweet tomatoes,  kale, arugula, spinach, gelato, ice cream, and squeaky curds.

Thank you for your neighborhoods, lending libraries, lemonade stands, and puppy watering holes.

You’re getting more beautiful with age, Appleton, and don’t think we haven’t noticed your community, flower, vegetable and butterfly gardens; your scenic vistas and river walks; your historic preservation and new construction. We like your front porches, courtyards, patios, terraces and Houdini Plaza, where we can eat al fresco and listen to all kinds of live music.

Behind it all, of course, are your summer people and we’d like to thank you for them too. Thank you for the coaches, lifeguards, gardeners, neighbors, shop keepers, food truck operators, farmers, food stand entrepreneurs, Hmong egg roll sellers, Egyptian falafel makers, tamale cooks, chocolate chip cookie bakers, and flower growers. Thanks for the sticky babies in strollers, and the sweet parents pushing them; for chatty ladies on their morning walks; cool teens that amble in animated packs; the skateboarders and kite fliers; crew teams that slip across the quiet river water just before sunrise; dog walkers, slow joggers and smooth runners with the enviable stride; for the wiry boys who toss footballs in the street with their dads, and the elderly couples who walk hand-in-hand.

Thank you for your giant parties — the fireworks and festivals, and for your quiet moments under beautiful shade trees.

There are 263 days until Memorial Day, Appleton, when we can do this all again. We know you won’t be lying around waiting for us. There’s that whole autumn thing that you do remarkably well, and you rise to the winter occasion too.

Still, we think summer is your shining season and we want you to know that 2014 has been one of your best.

The Hillary Reynolds Band showed up one Saturday morning to link two of our favorite things — the Farmer’s Market and Mile of Music.
cat in the hat
Paper mâchéd into that hat are hand-written messages from hundreds of people, including us.
Doggie-ade stand
Doggie-aid stands started popping up all over town this summer. Is this a great city or what?
Dolce Acoustic
We can’t say enough about the street musicians, who play for a smattering of fans, a couple of bucks (in this case for charity), and the love of a song.
Erb Park Pool
An Olympic sized outdoor pool? Go Appleton!
Summer bounty
A beautiful bounty of delicious summer food.
How about these Farmer’s Market flowers?
Garden of Plenty 059
Or these community garden sunflowers?
farmers market
We love the Appleton Farmer’s market!
Popcorn Stand
Mike’s popcorn stand is a summer staple.
Trats and Miracle League
One day the Timber Rattlers visited the Miracle League and we saw one of the sweetest baseball games ever played.
An outdoor yoga class in Jones Park.
Giving a hand
Oh man, we love the Miracle League!
Historic Neighborhoods
We love historic neighborhoods too.
We have mad respect for random troubadours earning college funds.
Rae Blohm
We took this shot at the Mile of Music, but, really, it captures the general joy of this summer in Appleton as well.




7 thoughts on “A thank you note to our hometown

  1. Hometowns are very special. Unfortunately, mine is about 1700 miles away and I can only get back there once a year. Sometimes I play the game of “What If” my family hadn’t moved when I was 13 and it’s downright scary. Life is such a journey.

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