Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Small Town Wisconsin

Spring has hit Wisconsin full-force. It's supposed to be 78 degrees on Wednesday. /boggle

There are several signs of spring for me:

  1. Robins come back.
  2. Red-winged blackbirds come back.
  3. Sandhill cranes come back.
  4. Lake Monona opens. (ie, the ice goes away)
  5. Frostie Freeze opens.

The birds have been back since early last week. Lake Monona is mostly open. And Frostie Freeze opened this week.

I love Frostie Freeze. The Husband and I drive out there all the time. It's a little soft serve place, sort of 50's-style, loads of pink everywhere, and the cheapest desserts anywhere.

What I also love about Frostie Freeze is the feeling of community. I'm not even from Fort Atkinson, but when I'm standing in line outside in the sun (or at night in the bugs--oh, and the bugs are back too, darnit) it really feels like a community in a way I find to be rare anymore.

The town I live in is slightly bigger than Fort Atkinson, and granted I don't live quite near any gathering places for kids, but I do walk The Bulldog through a lot of parks and empty lots. And I don't see kids much. We saw a couple of boys throwing a football around in the old church lot last week, and I pointed it out to The Husband, because it was such a rare sight. The only places I see kids these days is in their own yards, or walking to and from school. Whereas in Fort Atkinson, nearly every time we go to Ken and Betty's Philly Cheesesteaks (yum!) I see the skateboarders, and the kids on bikes, and of course at Frostie Freeze all manner of kids. There are even annoying teenagers revving their engines past the soft-serve shop.

I think having a local all-ages watering hole like Frostie Freeze really helps foster that sense of small town togetherness. When you see each other more often, maybe people don't feel like they need to hide...er, I mean, protect...their kids as much. I'd like to see more roaming packs of preteens, more kids on bikes, more playing at the parks. And so, Danny Lecher, my hat is off to you.

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