TIMING IS EVERYTHING. Or so they say.
Around noon on Saturday, just as my Philly steak sandwich, fries and coleslaw arrived at my table in the Red Leaf Cafe, I glanced out the street-side window to see tractors rolling into New Richland.
The tractorcade, which began three hours earlier 27 miles away at Farmamerica near Waseca, was parading into this southern Minnesota town. And I didn’t want to miss grabbing some quick shots of the tractor enthusiasts and their John Deere, Ford, International, Farmall and other tractors.
So I darted outside, fired off some frames and then headed back inside to eat.
Shortly thereafter, all those tractorcade participants filed into the restaurant. Timing is everything.
Regular diner Robert arrived soon afterward, securing the single vacant table next to the one occupied by my husband and me. But this local senior didn’t have to wait for his food. The crew at the Red Leaf Cafe knows that every Friday, Robert eats the fried fish. On Saturday he has the BBQ rib special. And on Sunday he wants chicken fried steak.
You have to love it—this small town life.
While the tractor collectors in their worn blue jeans, tractor t-shirts and tractor caps waited to order, Randy and I finished our meals, just as a parade of motorcycles rumbled into town.
Two hundred of them, by one participant’s estimate, riding on a 100-mile Freedom Ride to raise monies for Minnesota’s active duty military families. They’ve raised $100,000 in seven years.
Parking along three blocks of Broadway, the bikers, in their worn jeans and leather vests and Freedom Ride and other t-shirts, and with tattoos inked onto many arms, ambled toward a corner bar for beverages, then hung outside in the glorious sunshine of a hot and humid afternoon.
You have to love it—this slice of rural Americana, this appreciation for those who serve our country.
In that moment, that afternoon, New Richland seemed the place to be with old tractors to examine and motorcycles to admire.
We lingered and looked. And then, when a whistle shrilled marking time for the bikers to ready for departure, we hurried to our van, wanting to get ahead of the pack heading north, also our direction of departure.
Timing is everything.
The drive to Waseca should have been uneventful. But then, to the west, I spotted covered wagons lined up in Otisco as part of the annual Friendship Wagon Train fundraiser for Camp Winnebago. We detoured off the highway, drove through the train and then turned around. A quick look with no time to dally.
You have to love it—this gathering of horse lovers raising monies for a camp that serves children and adults with special needs.
We did not expect any of this as we set out on our Saturday afternoon drive. But that’s the joy of an unplanned day. The surprise of it all, the timing, the ability to simply enjoy whatever unfolds.
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© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling