Life’s simple pleasures await
Our majestic pines are showing just enough snow to remind us the landscape is changing from one of fall chores and outdoor activities to quieter pursuits with one great exception.
Firearms deer season opens Nov. 7, signaling a time of year in many households when traditions trump all else. Many young men and women are introduced to the deer stand or hunting camp for the first time as their parents (dads mostly) hope to help them succeed. Men (mostly) dress in blaze orange from head to toe, pack a lunch and head to the woods and women (mostly) either stay home to prepare hunters stew or take on the role of “hunters’ widows” and begin their Christmas shopping.
With shoppers in mind, the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce launches its Jingle Bells promotion. Beginning Nov. 1, participating businesses give customers a ticket for each dollar spent in their stores. This sweepstakes offers five $1,000 prizes and one $5,000 prize in a drawing and celebration Dec. 17.
The November calendar offers much to see and do before that busy time, however. Unlike the bears, residents don’t go into hibernation. It’s still warm enough to hunt, hike and even fish and bike. Bald eagles still soar and the fish are still biting.
A weekend or a week here to celebrate the change of seasons reminds us that even in a time of adversity, our values and beliefs endure. In fact, as Thanksgiving approaches, we contemplate how much we value family and friends and pleasures as simple as gathering pine cones or the warmth of a fireplace.
The best Thanksgiving for our extended family was one when we headed to a small pond covered with ice and all six kids went ice skating after our big dinner. Some years, there isn’t enough ice or the snow is too deep, but that year the ice was perfect. And, after a few bumps and stumbles, the kids found their legs and made us smile.
Another activity sure to bring smiles is Park Rapids’ annual Christmas tree lighting on Main Street the Friday after Thanksgiving. This tradition comes with with caroling, a Santa visit and merchants offering hot cider and other goodies in their stores as part of a Yuletide Sampler. After the lighting ceremony, the giant tree stands as a symbol of small town cheer and good will, lighting the way to a New Year.
November and its simple pleasures await. If you need help planning a memorable and affordable visit or if you have questions, call our friendly staff at 800-247-0054 to learn more.