8/2/11

Bring a bag, cause they ALL throw candy. (Even at old ladies.)



I’m a creature of habit.


I’m not sure how this strange event occurred.


I haven’t always been that way. I drove across the country when I was 21 with TWO people I barely knew for God’s sake. We left Ocean City, Maryland after a summer of working and playing hard, ready for an adventure. We stopped at every watering hole, town and city from here to Hollywood- and it took us over TWO WEEKS.

I’m also the person who, after landing in San Diego, was convinced to attend the “all-call” for Playboy Bunny wannabes at the new San Diego club. I stood for twelve hours in high heels and a crazy bathing suit, along with a gazillion other GORGEOUS people, and had a blast.


I sailed in boats to Catalina Isle, Mexico, and dove off of the top of yachts while moored at Yacht clubs. I became a private investigator and tracked down people committing insurance fraud and evading subpoenas.


And now I sit home each night wrapped in the comfort of my home, my pets and my children. I have my nightie on by 8:00, and enjoy watering plants in the garden and screaming at my dog when he runs up the road.


I’ve decided, after taking responsibility for my own life, that I need to live each day. I need to be present, and say, “yes” to any invitation that might come my way. Frankly, I need LIVE LIFE and experience more things - things that are right in my backyard!


And last night, I did.


I have a lovely friend – who I’ve known since 6th grade - SIXTH GRADE for God’s sake. She’s a beautiful woman- inside AND out. She tells it like it is, listens intently, has experienced her own struggles, offers great advice and reminds me of what friends do; they listen, they don’t judge, they hand you a glass of wine and they help you laugh like crazy.


She emailed me yesterday and invited me to make the forty-minute drive to my hometown to watch the annual County Fair Parade with her. Sassy encouraged me. (GO GO GO, Mom!!!)


And so it was that two giggling fifty-year old women sat along a curb and watched as American tradition marched by.




We were drenched in sweat and memories as we saw well-worn fire trucks and marching bands filled with young people in uniforms that were too large and bulky for their youthful frames. We watched young girls twirl batons with all their hearts, and moms trailing along side spraying water into their excited faces. We saw white patent leather boots by the hundreds, vendors selling various light-up contraptions and parents opening their wallets.


We saw Shriners on their four-wheelers, and little league teams riding atop flatbeds waving to their neighbors and friends. We saw dance teams, drill teams, football teams and softball teams.


But in the end, I saw something more.



I saw and felt the spirit and soul of small town America. It was MY small town America, and it made me proud.




(And Elaine? Thank you for kicking this fifty year olds’ butt, and reminding me that each day is important. But this time it’s your turn to make the drive. )

17 comments:

Everyday Goddess said...

you have a beautiful soul too.

and i always happy-cry during parades.

Captain Dumbass said...

Good for you. Posted something for you today though you may have seen it already.

Brian Miller said...

you do realize how cool you are right?

so when is the party? carpe diem!

Chris said...

This post moved me. I felt like I made the trip with you. I'm proud of YOU. xo

Leslie said...

Yes. Yes. YES. That is exactly what this adventure...we call a hiccup in life...is about. Discovering, exploring, growing.

You.are.awesome.

Kelley said...

What an exciting life you have led! I would love a two week trip across the country...and a day at the parade with a good friend. Love it!

Bess said...

Oooh, I'm so jealous. I can never go back to my hometown festival and parade. The highway was re-routed thru town, so now they can't close the streets down. They tried moving it, but there's nowhere else to hold the parade, so they ended up just doing away with the whole thing. Heartbreaking.

Thank you for sharing, though. It brought back so many happy memories for me...and I needed that today. :)

Just Two Chicks said...

Yes, life is too short, and there are adventures offered each day! Even in chasing your dog down the street. It just takes an open mind to recognize and appreciate them! It sounds like you've got that :)

Elaine said...

I will be doing the driving to see you - and very soon! I had a great time, and Sassy is amazing. Love you lots babe, and thanks for putting into such great words how my heart was feeling today too!

That gentleman's lady said...

Small town america is lovely :)

I miss it a lot some days....

aBroad said...

Oh my, this all sounds so perfect.
I haven't seen a good small town parade in years.
besos !

Mellodee said...

You are absolutely correct on ALL counts. I am envious of your spirit to take hold of life and LIVE it! I love parades (always cry) in small towns. I love the thought of doing something like this with an old friend. I think I want to be like you when I grow up.....

SkylersDad said...

I am glad you decided to do something for yourself and go.

And my other takeaway from this is that you water plants in your nighty...

mssharealot said...

YES! We need to embrace life everyday! So proud that you did it! I should follow your example!

Rima said...

I am also in my pajamas by eight, but I know what you mean about experiences like those. Hell, I even feel rejuvenated after one of my friends drags me to see a chick-flick. It's the getting out of the pajamas that's always the problem.

Ergonomic Chair said...

This post is really inspiring especially for those who often fail in putting quality in their lives.

Carol M. said...

I was somewhere on that parade route too! Did you tear up a little when our high school band marched by? Great post!