hometown

hometown.
camilla, georgia.
it was so for 13 years.
starting fourth grade in a new place was the hardest thing i've ever done.
returning for a visit as a grown-up girl with purpose is much easier.

some things never change.
the van that carted me to sport meets and field trips still seems to be
serving its purpose at my high school.

the only time i recall stepping foot on the baseball field was minutes before the Annie production. and that was to roll around on the pitcher's mound to look like an orphan!
yet within minutes of introducing my boys to my childhood school, they played like they owned the field.

in bedtime stories i tell of drumsticks for less than a dollar and a jumbo cup of sweet tea that takes two hands to hold. krispy chik. it really exists, the boys say.

the moments us classmates shared back then were numerous. algebra, basketball, spanish, and friday night football to name a few. this trip the moment was short. for now we have busy schedules of our own with summer camps and toting children to and fro.
but just for a moment we caught up on life at the bistro in town.

grandma davidson we would not miss. she loves on us. she prays for us. she always smells like the best perfume you've ever breathed in. she also makes the best homemade mayhaw and blackberry jellies.

charlotte the faithful. in those teen years of wondering and wandering, she listened. she taught me in Sunday School and seemed to be on every youth trip.

if you're not a farmer in the hometown, you're a small business owner.
and the way a small town operates, everyone helps his neighbor.
in the last few months living at home before marriage,
i spent my workdays at the loan office, helping neighbors.

it's the happening place in the hot summer...the city ballpark.
i played for the cubs - softball - catcher.
i think my coaches thought i was safest there!

my neighborhood. nothing fancy. started off with red clay roads. to be paved was a luxury.
yet in the winter of 2000, it didn't matter what the roads looked like anymore. a tornado took the neighborhood by storm. few pine trees remain today. my family had to start over.

at the end of the day with my boys beside me, I pointed them to the woods behind where my childhood home once stood. it was into the coolness of the woods that my sisters and christy would play. building roads, forts, and houses for hours til dark.
this is where my imagination took root and as robert frost would say,
"...and that has made all the difference."