i spent a small chunk of my adolescence craving to move on to what i thought were bigger and better things, and i firmly believed none of them would be found in my hometown. i thankfully lost this sour perspective fairly quickly, discovering how much i loved being able to say that i hailed from a tiny town with so much to offer. this past weekend i made a spur-of-the-moment visit with two of my dearest friends to my home in southwest oklahoma - mountain view.
i spent my first 18 years on the same street in the same house, staring at the wichita mountains from my front porch and watching the sprinklers shower the lawn my dad took such pride in maintaining. i graduated from high school with a class [nah, family unit is more like it] of 16. these were the kids i made mudpies with, began kindergarten with, fished and camped with, and worked alongside in the summertime. for every seemingly rough thing about living in the boondocks - like being an hour away from any wal-mart! - there are endless things i love about where i come from. wouldn't you like to know a few?
having complete control over all of the intricacies of planning a graduation ceremony is a luxury for most, but our small classes have such fortunate freedom. our class of 2007 decided the football field was the perfect spot, which allowed us to invite and seat as many loved ones as we could convince to come, and made throwing our caps up to a background of fireworks possible. :) and, had i grown up anywhere else, being crowned prom queen my senior year never would have happened. and believe me, i ain't forgettin' it.
the wisdom of neighbors and elders in mountain view was such a priceless gift. a heritage of hard work, faith, and appreciation for all circumstances permeated my upbringing here. what a blessing. help is also always available, whether you've requested it or not! i remember stopping by the post office late one evening after work, and accidentally locking my keys in the running car. of course my cell phone was inside, so i sat on the curb wondering what my next move should be. another car immediately pulled up, and the driver's offer to run by my house and grab a spare key is nothing unusual in my neck of the woods.
and oh, the mountain view free fair, a three day celebration when every former dweller returns to ride the state's oldest running ferris wheel and eat calf fries [yes, it's what you think it is.] from the junior/senior stands. the state fair's got nothing on us, friend.
opening up my mailbox each monday to find the mountain view news gives me a little piece of home in the middle of a whirlwind semester. i'm thankful for the wheat fields, backroads, and wide open skies of where i come from, and pulling back into town each time i visit makes my heart skip a beat. what do you love about your hometown, big or small?