I love being a small town girl.
No, I am not of this town, state, region, or even the Lower 48 states.
If you have never lived in a place where you were "local" or knew most everyone in town, you missed out.
I grew up with a "Halibut Head" (Walt), "Weak Vegetable" (DF), and "Jumpiter." There was Ninny, Gooch and Deloris, the crazy-knife-welding girl from my school bus. There was Thor, J. Moon--the smartest boy in the 4th grade, and Salty. There were the Kooley boys who knew where to score some killer bud, and my boyfriend from the 5th grade that I tutored in our Practice Reader work. A boyfriend who later said that the best way to play hockey without your athletic cup was to hold your hand over your "deal" to be safe. See what I mean... you missed out.
Sometimes I have waves of homesickness wash over me. Sometimes I miss the forest. I miss the river I grew up on. I miss the people....the ones that have always known me....and loved me even when I wore men's long underware as pants. And bowling shoes I got from Norm, my dad's best bowling alley friend.
I especially miss Slowtown when I am traveling internationally. Far, far away. I don't know why it is, but part of me feels scared and when I feel scared I feel like going home. To sit by the river behind my house and watch the seagulls. To listen to the river boats drive up and down during the night. I am wishing I were at the river tonight. With the trip only a few days away and lists that need my attention, it is becoming very real. Thinking about it, I will be alone in England for several days. All alone. No one in the whole country will care if I am there, or what happens to me. Sometimes that scares me.
Something I can do when I when I want to feel connected to home is listen to some local boys who sing contemporary Christian music.
They are "This Hope." They started in the church that I went to for several years. I was a counselor to one of their sisters at leadership camp. One of them dated my best friend. I sat next to one of their sisters in our high school choir class. One of them is the son of the legendary local football coach. One of their dads, Coach Johnston, is their manager, the former town swim coach. A darn good one at that.
Me and these boys have a shared history. And it comforts me.
Wanna see em? Go to www.thishope.org