Heart & Hometown

There is a reason I came back to Columbia County.

Yes I left for a semester, cried every night basically, and came on home at Christmas… partially because I missed the then boyfriend who is the now husband.

There’s something special about small towns and communities, especially when its somewhere you grew up or lived your whole life.

There’s also something special about going to work at your local high school where you graduated from.

I say this to tell you about the ballgame Friday night.

I took E & P to their first basketball games of the season– the husband and I are both MHS grads so we’re ride or die panther fans.

We got there early to get in a good spot so Piper could see, and I could get out somewhat easily incase we left early– we didn’t just so you know.

The girls were the first to play– the student section was filling up, parents were arriving, and some spots around us started to fill up.

Did we know these people? Nope.

But when you live in, and go to a small town USA ballgame; knowing people sitting by you is the least of your worries. Everyone speaks, they lean over and ask did you see what that kid just did, did you hear what that team’s coach just said, look at that ref, look at so-and-so’s kid over there dancing during the time out. You all the sudden know each other’s family history, who your kids are, the names of your pets, and possibly pinky promise to sit together next time if you had that much fun.

That’s just one perk of small town USA ballgames.

Piper was amazed with the girls– and learned their names because I teach a few or have in the past.

After the game, the girls’ team came in the stands while they prepped for the boys’ game. One player came and sat in front of us and Piper was in awe because the sweet young lady knew her name and talked to her.

In a small town, that’s celebrity status.

By the time the boys’ were to begin, the student section was filled, the arena was packing together on one side, there were kids in the snack area playing, and the school choir {AH-Mazing btw} was lined-up and ready to proceed down the steps to mid-court.

Here’s another thing about small town USA, when the choir took their position; the crowd rose, hats were taken off, and you could hear a pin drop as they began to sing the most beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. After they sang, the arena was filled with cheering and they called for a moment of silence for a local youth basketball coach who had passed away.

Another moment where you could hear a pin drop.

Silence is beautiful in those settings. It’s a precious moment when you are thankful for the atmosphere and respect for certain settings.

And then the silence ended. The lights went out. The cheerleaders took the court. The spotlights came on. And the walk-up music started.

There is no better statement than “ANNNNNNNNND NOWWWWW for your starting line-up for YOURRRRR MAGNOOOOOOOOLIA PANNNNTHERSSSSS”

That starts some excitement around here for any sport.

Once the game started, Piper spotted the mascot— also sentimental because I was the mascot too. I wanted nothing so badly, but for Piper to get over being scared of the red suit.

So we called in a favor— things you can do in small towns. I took Piper down below the stands to see the mascot without her head on and see she’s a real person and just a cheerleader.

The young lady was precious and showed Piper all about the costume; the head and how it comes off, how the gloves come off and she has normal human hands with pretty red nails, how you can swing the tail, and how she wears her cheer uniform under it.

Piper was all about it after that, and watched her all over the arena. She decided she wants to flip and be just like those cheerleaders.

Do it baby girl.

So there was our exciting Friday night, and I’m sure we’ll have one just like it this week.  

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