Through the Looking Glass: A very merry Maple Leaf


When I invite people to my house for Maple Leaf I always joke and say they are welcome to come hang out with 100 of our closest friends and family. The more the merrier! 

Well, if that’s the case, things were very merry around our house on Saturday. We never knew exactly how many people came in years past because we have always been so busy making coffee, refilling hot water, visiting friends, and giving directions to the bathroom, that we have never gotten a head count. This year we finally remembered, and were surprised to find out that I’m going to have to start joking about 200 of our closest friends and family instead.   

As usual I ran across the street to catch up with good friends during the parade and as I was there I looked across at the friends and family gathered in my yard. 


There were children on blankets on the curb, eagerly filling Walmart bags with enough candy to tide them over until Halloween, and rows of lawn chairs between the sidewalk and the street. Behind that there were people standing and visiting on the sidewalk and in the yard. 

My son was selling Maple Leaf and Carthage Tiger necklaces from his tailgate and my nieces and nephews were working the cute angle as they sold lemonade from a small stand in the yard. Our barn display and Sandy’s tribute to the wonderful men and women at the Carthage Police Department and Carthage Fire Department both had dozens of families pose in them for fall pictures. 

From across the street I could get the big picture that I couldn’t see while I was in the midst of the crowd, and what I saw is that we are blessed. We are blessed to live in this amazing country where we can gather for a parade celebrating our community without fear. We are blessed to have beautiful weather and gorgeous maple trees turning colors right before our eyes. We are blessed with so many friends and family members that we get to make memories with, whether we talk to each other once a year or several times a day. 

This is an amazing life we are fortunate enough to live, and I know that the Carthage community is a huge part of that amazing life. 

You might think that with Maple Leaf over things will quiet down here on Grand Avenue, but you would be mistaken. Halloween is just a week away and we are busy preparing to open our doors to 2,000 area children as we watch our next parade of princess, pirates, ghosts, ghouls, and goblins go by.

Brandi Ensor is a lifelong Carthage resident. She is adamantly single, spoils her nieces and nephews as much as possible, and loves camping and boating with her 16-year-old son, Johnathan.