Thursday, September 15, 2011

Homecoming

Thursday night, bowling tonight.  We'll see how week three goes...last week I improved my scores from the first week.  I'm just bummed that Joey is working late for the harvest so he can't be there.

This weekend is Homecoming for the town that I work in.  And out here, it doesn't just mean a football game and a high school dance like it did in the city where I grew up.  Out in this small town, homecoming is a big event.  The square across the street from the library has been transformed into a carnival, the streets are covered with kiddie rides and corn dog vendors.  On Saturday, there will be a parade, and yes, I will be in it.  Last year, after being at the library for a little over a month, I was asked by the Board of Directors if I would drive a float through the Homecoming parade.  I had absolutely no clue what Homecoming was about last year, but I dutifully decorated a board member's four-wheeler and drove it through the parade.  She called it a "Land Rover."  Where I come from, Land Rovers are big SUV's.  After waiting in the rain for an hour for the parade to start, I drove the Land Rover, covered in smeary and dripping posters, down the 2-block parade route.  I waved at my new community, trying to recognize faces I had seen in the library in the last month.  This year, I should be able to recognize a few more.

There are certainly many "regulars" at the library.  Some people come in every Friday to check out and return books.  Some people often come in to make copies.  I have a lot of kids that race over after school to get on the computers.  And then there are the few people that are in every. day. of. the. week.  A few people who spend their entire day playing games on Facebook.  Even though we ask patrons to limit their computer time to one hour a day.

This has been a long week.  I am looking forward to going home after the Homecoming Parade Saturday morning.  And we have a great reason for visiting home too: Joey's brother is on a two week leave from his Army deployment in Iraq.  He left before our wedding in February and we are so excited to see him.  Sometimes I get weary of life so far away from my family, but four hours away is nothing compared to being in Iraq.  We can't wait to see him and hopefully he can come home with us for a few days and then take the train back home.

I got to talk to my sister last night for a few minutes and she texted me today.  She is away at an environmental studies semester high school program in northern Wisconsin called Conserve School.  She's been hiking, canoeing, and studying with other environment-minded high school students.  Not only do I miss her, I wish I was there.

It's strange to think that last year I was just a city girl in a small town and the new librarian.  A year later, I am part of the community: Whitney, the librarian.  Not only do I work in this town, I know people here, and they know me.  At the bank they call me by my first name when I walk in the door.  They know my drink order (Cherry Coke) and my favorite sandwich (veggie) at the restaurant and at the gas station.  I've become a part of this town, I belong at this year's homecoming, celebrating as a part of the community.  But as much as I am starting to feel where I belong in this town, I'm glad we're going home this weekend.  I can't wait to see my family: our parents, brother-in-laws, dogs, and all.  We have more than one Homecoming to celebrate this weekend.

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