By Karen Steinhauser
When I arrived for the Mushroom Festival on Saturday morning, I discovered that parking wasn’t going to be as easy as I had anticipated. I was blessed that I had brought my ten year old granddaughter, Summer, with me. I finally decided to settle for parking on a side street in a non-parking space. There was a bit of a drop off that made Summer a bit apprehensive. I wanted to get off the road more but didn’t want to scare her so I decided to stay put. After exiting the car, I noticed a man had parked a little ways behind me. I thought I might be too far out in the road, so I asked his opinion. He told me he thought I ought to move and park behind him where it was much flatter and I could get more out of the road. He guided me in my backing up as I got parked. When we got out of the car that time, Summer said “Gammy, who is he”? I told her I had no idea. She proceeded to tell me she thought for certain I knew him because we “talked like it.” I explained to her that’s how small towns are. You talk to each other more and you help each other. There’s just a different sort of mentality. I think she found it mesmerizing and perhaps it left her wishing she was growing up in a smaller town. We both live in Richmond and it certainly isn’t a big city but it is different.
I saw many friends from high school at the festival. I also saw my high school principal, Mr. Danny Click. It was so wonderful to see him and not be in any sort of trouble. Seeing him brought back memories of when I, Debbie Rison and SEVEN others decided to leave the parking lot and skip school one day in a Ford LTD. Now grant it, LTD’s were big cars but I feel certain they weren’t meant to haul around nine people. This got the attention of a police officer who contacted Mr. Jim Kiser, who was the truant officer at the time. They pulled us over and we were busted! Some kids got to ride back to school in the LTD, while others got to ride back with Mr. Kiser. Mr. Kiser, who was one of the nicest people ever, informed all of us that we had “tried to fit an elephant into a Pinto.” To this day, Debbie and I still chuckle when we think of him saying that. We all ended up in Mr. Click’s office and as the saying goes, the rest is history. My day at the festival was a day of constant “blasts from the past.”
As I headed back to Richmond, feeling a bit homesick as I was leaving, I did a great deal of reflecting on the day. I was blessed to see so many old friends, make new ones and think on some good times and a few “times” I had rather forget. I also couldn’t help but thank God for all the blessings in my life. I’ve heard it said you can’t go home again, but I beg to differ. I can and I do, every time I make the trip back to my hometown (Irvine)!
You can take the girl out of Estill County but you can’t take the Estill County out of this girl!
I hope we will meet again next week as you settle down someplace quiet. Maybe you will get comfortable in an old wooden rocking chair with a hot cup of coffee. I only wish I could give you a nice hot slice of snickerdoodle bread slathered in butter, that my friend Kathy makes and blesses many with her loaves of love. You would surely taste the love as we talk about what’s on my heart and what can be learned from it. I guess this week we learned “Don’t try to fit an elephant into a pinto”!
As always, God bless.
Karen Sparks Steinhauser is an Estill County native who now resides in Richmond, Kentucky. She is a Christian children’s author and speaker. If you wish to contact her or schedule her for an event, you may do so by email at Karensteinhauser7@gmail.com or by phone at 859-893-1758.