Cottonwood.
They call it that because come late spring God drops down buckets of cotton from the April skies that pass through the branches of the trees and cover the newly awakened grass with millions of Whoville cotton pluffs.
It’s a town where Front Street is the main street and Main Street is just a path to Front Street and where, come next Friday, there will be a Farmer’s Market on Main Street…or is it Front Street?
It’s a town where the sidewalks on Front Street are raised and accented by welded rings, horse-tying rings, and a proud wooden Chieftain salutes passersby in front of where the old courthouse used to be. And the Old Town Eatery.
It’s a town where my old next door neighbor owns the Holiday market, and the checker remembers who we are when we stop by for freshly baked sourdough flutes.
It’s a town with one area code—and a town where you don’t have to dial 1 and put it in when you call people around town.
It’s a town with cowboys, and ranchers and those who rebel against all that that stands for.
It’s a town that plays country music proudly in almost every store—guaranteed.
It’s a proud town.
It’s a town that loves its schools and holds a mean Education Foundation fundraiser with the auctioneer straight off the Friday Auction Yard sale who handles the live auction in fine style, auctioning off hay, gravel, fly fishing trips and a pig mount to earn over $100,000 for local schools.
It’s a town where my son’s first teacher is the best teacher he’s ever had, better than the private school teachers we paid thousands and thousands of dollars for.
It’s a town committed to seasons; in Fall leaves fall, in Spring wild Red Bud shows off big time, in Winter you dare not pour water on your frost-laden windshield and in summer the relentless sun reaches down and pushes you toward the local lakes.
It’s a town where Spring brings fresh stawberries, picked that morning that sit in local stands where you leave your money in the basket.
It’s a town where my mom drops by with fresh strawberries, fresh bread from Moore’s or fresh Lilacs from her garden.
It’s a town where the Little League Park fills full in the Spring and looks like a Ford Dealership.
It’s a town where neighbors bring you fruits and nuts when you move in, and welcome you to the neighborhood with a smile and a nod.
It’s a town where neighbors look out for each other.
It’s a town where you can go for a walk and be back in the woods with wildflowers galore and ponds that spring up from winter’s rain.
It’s a town I’ve missed.
Cottonwood.
I’m happy to be home.

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