Thursday, April 23, 2009
Small Town, America
I've got the writing bug this morning.
All week long there have been thoughts brought to my mind regarding where we live. Living in a small town definitely has it's ups and downs. It's really easy to get caught up in the negative things about it. However, it's important for me not to forget all the things I LOVE about where I live.
For us, the hardest element that we have had to deal with is the small town politics of playing sports. Lucas has played baseball up here for eight years now. He's quite the player too. We knew he would be since he was eighteen months olds, holding that little Fisher Price chunky bat! He has had the unfortunate experience of playing for a coach (who happens to own the town grocery store) for two years that COMPLETELY favors his own twin boys on the team. This might be a little easier to accept if these boys were fabulous out there on the baseball field... but fabulous they ARE NOT! The parents aren't putting up with it this year (as they have in years past). Dads are coming forward and talking to this coach about the error of his ways... BUT... things haven't really changed, and we don't expect they will. Until Lucas goes to High School and starts playing high school ball, we will all be faced with this HUGE and FRUSTRATING small town YUCK!! Who knows... maybe God is even preparing us for the high school yuck to follow.
So, the "downs" of Small Town, America are pretty much seasonal for us. The "ups" are much more prevalent around here. I've mentioned before how beautiful it is. We are surrounded by big and mighty pines and oaks (although for me the oaks could also fall into the "downs" category... I'm miserably allergic). The sky is gorgeous! It can be the bluest of blue on a sunny day, or it can be filled with clouds of many sizes, shapes and colors on a stormy day. At night, the stars are bright and finding the constellations is easy since there are no street lights. I love to have my windows open at night and listen to the frogs and crickets. There is a peaceful stillness that takes place outside each night that lasts until after I wake up each morning.
A couple of days ago, Caleb came running in the house almost completely out of breath. He was so excited because as he was running out front with one of our dogs, our sweet 83 year old neighbor that walks EVERY day (rain, snow or shine) had invited him to go on a walk with her. The boys LOVE this lady. She is full of spirit and spunk! They love to talk to her and hear her stories. Caleb wasn't just full of excitement over going for a walk... He was elated at the fact that he was invited to spend time with her. I can say, without a doubt in my mind, that if we lived in the valley... this kind of stuff wouldn't happen. Not only are people too busy, but kids don't find the value in the simple things such as the stories of those who have gone long before us. Kids don't notice, as Luke did the other day, that the trees are extra bright green with their new leaves in the spring. They don't find extreme pleasure in hunting for bugs and looking up what kind they've found like Colby was doing just yesterday.
Small Town, America is where you can almost guarantee that you will be sitting down with another family you know to enjoy a pizza at the local pizza parlor. It's where you gather a dozen boys in your front yard to play baseball and get wet in the sprinklers on a warm April day. It's where we share each other's gardens and enjoy the refreshment of a good old fashioned lemonade stand. It's where it feels good... to the body and soul.
Despite the people who bring out the negatives... Small Town, America is home to these Four Men and a Lady.