In the end, it’s the little things that matter the most in life

Let’s do a little Q&A today in an effort to get this column space filled because my mind is more scattered than normal.• So just how tough is Keaton Geerts?Well, tougher than we even thought back in February when the New Hampton senior was rolling to his second straight Class 2A individual state championship.It turns out that Geerts wrestled the final few weeks of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but it didn’t stop him from cruising to the 138-pound title at the state tournament, where he recorded three pins and a dominating 6-2 decision.As a writer, I may have overused the word “relentless” this past winter when writing about Geerts, but it was the one-word description that I felt best described him.But knowing how much pain is involved with an ACL injury, it turns out he’s not only relentless but, as the old saying goes, tough as nails.• What’s your favorite part of the annual New Hampton Elementary School Carnival?I’m not much of a “crowd person” — unless I’m sitting in a stadium with thousands of “my friends” watching baseball or football — so the carnival that was held last Friday is always a little claustrophobic, if you will, for me.Yet, I love going, even if I cover it in “small doses.”I can take about 15 to 20 minutes at a time before I need to find a quiet hallway, if there is such a thing at the carnival, or head outdoors before heading back inside.But I love the quaintness of the event. There’s just something so Americana about the carnival that it gets me every single time.Still, my favorite part of the carnival is watching the high school kids interact with the youngsters as they run the games and hand out prizes.The money raised is great; after all, carnival revenue truly does enhance the educations of New Hampton Elementary students by allowing for field trips and special events and speakers.But to see our high school students take such an interest in the kids they’re serving that night ... that’s the best.• Will spring ever spring?I’m writing this at 9:47 a.m. on Monday, and praying that the folks at Decorah High School have the good sense to call off tonight’s track meet.As much as I want to watch my boys compete on the track and in the field, I’m not sure I’m quite ready to spend a few hours on a 40-degree, rainy evening outdoors.And it’s killing me and, from the conversations I had at the carnival the other night, quite a few of you, too, that spring is taking its sweet time coming to Northeast Iowa.So here’s the deal I and others are ready to make with Mother Nature? If she’ll give us spring, we promise — we vow — not to complain once this summer no matter how hot or how humid it is.• What’s the best part of your job working at the newspaper?I get asked that question almost every time I go visit with a class of students, and I’ve probably answered it a 100 different ways over the years.But on Friday night, as I was talking to New Hampton Middle School teacher Jason Rude and his wife Lisa at the carnival, it hit me that the best part of being a journalist is the “little things” I get to witness on an almost daily basis.Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love covering a good, passionate meeting or a state championship run or even just finding that ordinary person who has done extraordinary things.In a small city like New Hampton, I get to know a lot of people, and I wouldn’t trade this small newspaper for the New York Times for anything in the world.As the Rudes and I were talking, Jason talked about the eighth-grade Washington, D.C. trip that would kick off very early Saturday morning.“I have to show you something,” he said as he pulled out his cell phone and began scrolling through his photos before landing on the one that almost brought tears to my eyes.There was his son Landon, a kindergarten student, standing at the white board in Rude’s classroom writing a note to his dad that basically said, ‘Dad, I hope that you have fun.”Maybe I was feeling a little bit oversentimental Friday night, but I dang near cried at the thoughtfulness of a little kindergartner.And I knew right then and there — in the middle of a packed school gymnasium — that it’s really the little things that matter the most. 

New Hampton Tribune

121 West Main Street
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone: (641) 394-2111

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