Summer in Cole Camp
We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep saying it.
Cole Camp is our Mayberry and our Stars Hollow.
Cole Camp, Missouri, our home, is that gem of a town where community is felt by all who are here.
Cole Camp is that gem of a town where you walk outside and greet neighbors and friends.
That town full of quirks and delights.
That town brimming with hospitality.
That town full of eclectic stores and local restaurants.
That town where there’s always a festival or event to attend.
That town that makes you want to grab a seat and a drink and sit for a while.
Cole Camp is our home. And there’s no better time to be here than in the summer. Especially with a child. So this summer we’re enjoying all that this community has to offer. Here are a few of the places you’ll find us. And we hope to see you there, too!
Not every kid can say that they have a playground across the street from their house. Someday our daughter will have to face the reality that it’s not her park and will inevitably not have a park within walking distance. The park has been our go-to place for meeting friends. The park is simple, really, but full of adventures for the little ones. I’ve watched my daughter grow in confidence as she’s mastered new parts of the playground; I’ve been amazed when she discovers her own ability to climb. Ultimately, when we’re at the park, I’m reminded of the power of play and its necessity in our lives. The gift of being with others for the sole purpose of bringing joy to the day.
Under the Trees
It’s not hard for a toddler to amuse themselves. From our wooden adirondack chairs nestled under two large oak trees I happily watch as my daughter explores God’s creation. From sticks and leaves to bugs and dandelions, she’s full of wonder. When I take the time to sit my eyes and ears are opened to such beauty and diversity. We hear the passing tractors and trucks. We smell barbeque. We feel the wind. We hear the birds chirping. We see others come to the park to play or eat. We intimately know the joy of being present to the moment.
Our third year in the garden and I’m still amazed that anything grows. This year in particular I quickly planted and said a prayer. Perhaps because much else in my life is cluttered and full, I love the act of weeding. Of clearing space and seeing the progress. Perhaps because much else in the world seems full of uncertainty and fear, I love the act of tending to my small plot of earth. My daughter helps with the garden as she’s learning about where our food comes from. Early in the morning or in the evening you can find us at the garden giving thanks for the abundance in our midst.
At some church eating
Seriously, you’ll never go hungry in Cole Camp. Especially in the summer! Most every weekend you can find one or two places to grab a meal. Whether it’s at the school supporting the students or the local beer garden supporting the town’s museum or the area churches supporting various ministries, food is plentiful. There’s something so beautiful about the act of breaking bread with so many people and knowing that you can do it year after year. There’s a real feeling of the communion of saints at each meal - knowing that the presence of those who’ve gone before and those to come are a part of the feasting.
Yes, our town of 1,000 has a wonderful library. From their summer reading programs to story time to the kids’ area, we love our library. With a toddler it’s guaranteed that you’ll find us at one of these three locations at the library: the computers clicking on all the letters, the table with puzzles, or seated in front of a stack of books eager to read.
And finally, when the day is done, the sun setting, and our daughter asleep, you can find us on the front porch.
Grateful for another day. Grateful for family. Grateful for community.
It’s here on our porch with the view of the park and our church that we breathe deeply and sigh contently. This is our home. This is community at its finest.
Cole Camp, Missouri.