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Watching downtown Thomson evolve

Sunday was a beautiful day to begin spring break week. After what seemed like 40 days and 40 nights of gray skies and torrential downpours, the sunshine was a welcome sight. Even if the air was cool and quite breezy, the bright sun was enough to entice anyone outdoors.

I was appreciating the beauty of the day as I drove down Main Street after church, when I saw a classic Kodak moment -- the kind that would make a great postcard. As my luck would have it (I have no luck whatsoever, even on beautiful spring days), I had already turned my camera in for the week, and did not have it with me. So, I am exercising my writing skills here, preserving the Kodak moment in words. You, the reader, will have to exercise your imagination. I wish I could see what you imagine, so I'd know if I did a good job. Especially since I am not allowed 1,000 words to paint my picture. I have 550 less, actually.

Picture a revitalized-in-the-making downtown Thomson -- new sidewalks, freshly-paved streets with brick crosswalks, ornamental trees with bright-green leaf buds, pansies blooming abundantly and building fronts being remodeled.

One block of Main Street, in particular, looks really good these days with the new museum, the ever-thriving Cornerstone Bakery and Deli, and now a colorful, new ice cream shop.

The bright pink panels on the Big Dipper building make a perfect backdrop for the white tea-for-two garden table sets and green ferns on the sidewalk in front of the shop. Sunday, a family of four was enjoying their ice cream at one of those tables. I was pleasantly surprised, because the temperature was slightly cool. The sight brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart, because the family was a young one, with two small girls, and everyone was dressed in their Sunday best church clothes. The little girls wore bright, floral-print dresses and sweet little white shoes. I'm the mother of rough and rowdy boys, so this was a cute sight to me. I do not know the family's name, but the parents were sitting at the table, while the little girls hopped and danced around them, coming up for a lick of ice cream, then hopping around again.

It's what downtown Thomson, or downtown anywhere, should be -- vibrant, fun and safe. A place to make memories. A place to raise your children. A place for them to raise their children. A wholesome place to live and to bring out-of-town guests.

Day by day we see progress being made downtown. Our newspaper has been exploring in depth this progress. The second part of a series appears in this edition. Since we are located in the midst of the downtown progress, it's something we take seriously. And we will for a long time to come, because Thomson is our home.

Web posted on Thursday, April 09, 2009

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