As I got out of my car to head into the office Sunday, preparing for a long day of putting together another newspaper, something struck me.
It was silent.
It was approximately noon and it was quiet.
Just 24 hours prior, the parking lot at The Brazil Times had a carnival-like atmosphere.
Several Times' employees got together with residents in the community Saturday afternoon to conduct a benefit for the American Cancer Society's 2009 Clay County Relay For Life.
There was live entertainment, games, an auction and much, much more.
And there was an aura of joy. Laughter.
And lots of fun.
Children were running from one end of the parking lot to another, using up the tickets their parents had purchased for all the games.
One of those games was throwing water balloons at a handful of Times' employees.
I was one of them.
I arrived at the office Saturday after attending a brunch with my fiance.
I had to change into different clothing at the office.
But I was able to put my game face on.
And it was a lot of fun.
I can't tell you how exciting it was to see all the children running from one end to the other, getting their faces painted, throwing balloons at us, etc.
For three hours Saturday, several Clay County residents had an opportunity to drop everything they would normally do and take part in some good old fashioned fun.
They didn't have to turn on the television to see more coverage about a flu virus or hear more about a teetering economy.
And anyone here Saturday could tell there was a good time had by all.
It was a good time to take a break from all the hum-drum of everyday life.
Having water balloons thrown at you by children is a great time indeed.
They were more than willing to give up two tickets for three opportunities to soak someone.
There was a collage of colors near the Times' wall Saturday afternoon as broken balloons lay on the ground.
Those children would get revved up and ready to toss. And when they hit paydirt with their throw, the loudest screams could be heard -- perhaps a mile away.
Sure, I got soaked. Three others did as well. But it was worth it.
The carnival raised more than $1,000 for a good cause. A good cause indeed.
The weather, thank goodness, was better than expected. Heading into the carnival Saturday, it was believed everybody was going to get soaked.
But only four people walked away from the parking lot Saturday needing a change of clothes. And it was worth it.