Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Opening Night

We live in a small, rural village of about 2,100 people.

That basically means that most everyone in our town knows most everyone else. Except our family, of course, being as we just moved here 2 years ago. But I digress. We've met many, many people so far, and we're getting there....

I love the feeling of small towns where everyone knows everyone else. Growing up, my Dad lived in a community like that, and I always loved it. There always seemed to be something special about the area where they lived--all the kids knew each other, and all the kids knew all their friends' parents, as well. The parents in turn knew all the children, and everyone pretty much played with everyone and got along really well. I am sure there are exceptions to everything, but this was just my casual observation during the many times I visited New Jersey.

I remember going and watching some of my brother's events--football games and such--and there was always a great sense of community. Most of the town came out to the games--whatever sporting season it happened to be--and people called each other by their first names. They rooted for everyone else's kids as hard as their own, because, well....that's just what you do in small towns.

I always thought that was so cool.

Now, I am blessed to actually live in that same kind of small community. We attended our very first community 'event' last Friday night at the high school football field, and it was a lot of fun. (Another cool 'small town' thing--we live right across a large field from our high school and it's football field--close enough to hear all the plays over the loudspeaker and the cheering fans each Friday night home game!)

Our high school puts on a Fall Sports Kickoff Event each year, and every child that competes in any sport during the fall sports season gets to participate. There is food, people selling all things "STORM" (our mascot), a football scrimage, and lots of general fun and excitement towards the teams that are going to be representing the community.

It's a really big day for the kids, and it reminded me so much of what I used to experience out in New Jersey. Everyone was friendly, and welcoming, and I am already looking forward to our family being a part of many more activities like this.

My little soccer player got to be a part of the Kickoff this year, and I must say, it was neat to watch him parade across that huge football field; to hear his name called over the loudspeaker (to which Grandma MJ and Mommy cheered as loud as we could, of course); and stand with all of the other athletes like such a big boy.

All the athletes lining up at the end of the ball field--they each got to take their turn walking across the field!

Ethan, not so thrilled to be behind the 'bars' just watching again.....(that's the stinkeye look he likes to give)

Cameron, just as thrilled as Ethan was

Colin's turn! He's the second to the last one. This is the Under 6 Storm Soccer team!

I zoomed as far as I could from the bleachers to catch him waving up to me!

My sweet little boy....*sniff, tear*

The first section of the athletes--this is JUST the soccer players (boys and girls) for the fall season! (Colin's soccer team is the very first line of children, all the way on the right hand side of the screen)

2 generations of soccer players! Daddy and Colin

Proud, proud moments for sure.....with hopefully lots, lots more to come!


Samantha said...

HI! I have been a lurker for a bit of time, however; I thought that today should be the day that I post a comment. I stumbled upon your blog by connections from CFhusband, then by the Stanfield Journey blogs. I just so happen to know of the small town you are speaking of! I grew up in that small town of 2100 people! I actually grew up right around the corner from your house on Kent Dr. I know that it might seem wierd to say that to a complete stranger.... I recognized your house from your pictures that you have posted. An older couple with their grandson lived there when my family lived on Kent Dr. I could probably still name many of your neighbors! (Quite a few go to the Church of Christ, which was home church.) My parents still live in town, but over on E Center St. in a big white house.

I remember those nights well of being able to hear the football game on Friday nights. It used to be a cornfield, instead of the new subdivision behind our houses, so we would make a shortcut through the field (that is if the corn was down...) to go to the games.
I no longer live in the area, but in Fort Wayne, IN, so I miss the small town feel, especially one nice like Catlin, and I often come back to visit my parents!
I love visiting your blog just because of that simple connection!

A newly identified lurker,

Rachel said...

Glad you are recovering from your trip and all feeling better. Colin looks so cute in his soccer uniform. I bet your husband is proud as can be!

Julie said...

Small hometowns ARE cool...I grew up in a small-ish town, and then lived in 2 others as an adult. Now we "technically" live in a larger city, although my older kids still attend school in a smaller town.

One thing I've loved is watching the kids who were on my older kids' teams when they were little maturing into young men and women seemingly right before my eyes!!

Man, today is one of those days when I wish we were neighbors. Or at least lived in the same state.