Small Town, USA. We Have Good Parade Efforts, But Only One Starbucks.

The rodeo was in town this weekend.

Sadly, Hubs and I did not pull out our once-a-year cowboy hats, dust them off, and set out to cheer the bull riders on, but we did manage to cram the weekend full enough to bust it open at the seams, until MaMaw simply said, “I need to sit on my porch with some sun tea and some QUIET and recover.”

There were pancakes, cooked right in the street, on Friday morning before the rooster got up for the day.

There was the annual parade, where Hubs and I joined forty-two thousand OTHER PEOPLE in the shade of a building, so that we could wave at all the passing floats and push the boy in his back, as we yelled, “Run!  Grab the candy for Mom and Dad!”  Hubs and I couldn’t decide whether Small Town’s yearly parade is going downhill, or whether it’s just our old age settling in, but I think Hubs summed it all up with one sentence:  “If you have a flatbed trailer and two folding chairs, you can have a float.”

Small Town gave it a good shot, people, but this was no Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.


On Friday afternoon, I had a surprise phone call from my friend, Jewel, who lives in California and who has been to Disneyland more times than I have shaved my legs.  As it turned out, Jewel had flown into Small Town with her sister, Jill, for the weekend, and they wanted to know if I could meet them somewhere to swap a decent howdy and hug their necks.  We made plans to meet later on Friday afternoon, after Jewel and Jill had driven by the house that they grew up in to take pictures of it like crazed stalkers.

I eventually texted Jewel and said, “Let’s just meet at Starbucks.”  And listen, y’all.  Jewel’s responding text warmed my heart and made me laugh out loud.

“Starbucks sounds great.  Which one should we meet at?”

Um, that would be THE Starbucks in Small Town.  You know…THE ONLY Starbucks, because this isn’t LA!  (Did I mention that Jewel moved away from Small Town right after we graduated, and that she became a Big City Dweller?)  It also took me back to a previous conversation I had with Carrie, who lives in Major Thriving Metropolis, when she told me about a Starbucks app that I should download onto my iPhone.  She said, “That way, you can always know where the nearest Starbucks is located.”  Yes.  The nearest Starbucks in Small Town would be the one at the bottom of the hill from my house, also known as THE ONLY STARBUCKS SMALL TOWN HAS TO OFFER.

I adore my big city friends; they make me giggle.

Jewel and I eventually rounded up our cute friend, Colleen, who met us at THE ONLY Starbucks, and we had a miniature class reunion, right there at one of the tables.  People, we laughed like hyenas, until strawberry passion lemonade threatened to squirt out our noses.  I laughed until my side hurt…until my face ached…until I had no breath left to laugh with.  I grew up with these girls; we met before any of us even owned a training bra.  We reminisced, we told stories, we discussed parenting and husbands and old boyfriends and good jeans, we whooped and giggled and carried on as Jill told us how her husband didn’t want a ladder for a roll of pipe on the top shelf at their Home Depot, and how he fell eight feet and broke five ribs and just wanted to escape the building supply center before someone sued him, and we squeezed one another silly.

And also?

We plum lost track of time, so that three hours felt like ten minutes, so I simply hauled everyone home with me to continue the party for a while.

Friday night.  It was a really good one.

Saturday was a blur of comings and goings and people and talking and more Starbucks and more talking and more people, and THEN!

Then the boy and I met Kellen and his mama at the theater Saturday night, because Harry Potter’s very final movie was on our big screen, and the boys had been pacing as they waited to see it.  Hubs stayed at home, because he said that Harry excites him about as much as fingernail polish does.

Hubs is also NEVER dramatic.

We watched good win out over evil, as Harry and Ron and Hermione beat You Know Who down, and then we came home, where I slept the sleep usually reserved for an anesthetic IV drip.

Mama was whooped.

And really?  The boy was, too, because I had to shake him awake and pull him out of bed this morning at 8:20, so that he could get ready for Sunday School and church.

After church, we rushed home because Mama had some soccer to watch, as the US girls were taking on Japan in the World Cup.  Oh, people!  I was plum thrilled, because I grew up playing soccer and I.  Love.  It. Hubs is always game for watching ANY athletic competition, so our family of three settled ourselves in on the sofa, and I nearly busted a major artery when Alex Morgan scored in the second half of the game, as I jumped up and danced around.

And then Japan scored.

And then we went into overtime, but HELLO, ABBY WAMBACH!  Hubs and I BOTH threw our arms high in the air and screamed like crazy people when she shot one in during overtime.

And then Japan scored.

And then we went into the shoot-out, and I told Hubs, “I need some blood pressure medication!  I need some Valium!  I can’t stand this!”

And then Japan won.

And I felt like I’d been kicked in the gut and beaten up by the Hulk.  I looked at Hubs and said, “I’m sorry.  Now I know how you felt when the Avalanche got booted out of the hockey playoffs so early.”

And Hubs said, “Honey, that’s how I felt ALL SEASON LONG.  My Avs couldn’t win.  At least your girls made it to the championship game.”

I’ve vowed to do a better job consoling Hubs during the upcoming hockey season, because I now know the true pain of defeat.

Also, I realized that playing Words With Friends on my phone during the middle of the World Cup game is a very stupid thing to do.  I couldn’t concentrate on my row of tiles AT ALL, so I spelled out the word EEL for four points.  Oh, yes.  After the game was over, and I reconsidered the WWF gameboard, I realized that I could have ROCKED THE SCORE with my J and my K and my Y by spelling JERKY.  So instead of busting out hundreds of points with a well-placed JERKY, I took four points for EEL because Abby Wambach had a break-away.

You’re welcome.  You know who you are! I am now stuck with a J that I can’t play anywhere at the moment.

And then, with me pretty much throwing the TV remote across the family room and claiming that the TV was dead to me after the soccer game finished, the boy took over and low!  There was a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon on, and, because it was nearly 100 degrees outside, the boy settled himself in with Jack Sparrow and the air conditioning.

And do y’all remember Davy Jones from the Pirates series?

Yeah.  He’s pretty creepy looking.  However, we have a resident here at the Jedi Manor who does adore a decent bad guy, because bad guys get all the respect.

And, with a bit of paper and tape and some fancy scissor work, we had Davy Jones living right here on the Jedi Premises.

And, yes.  The claw is fully functionable, because the boy has eaten crab legs at The Red Lobster enough times to understand how they work.  That there claw is capable of pinching things.

While the soccer game was going strong in our family room this afternoon, Hubs was cooking.  He had a big hunk of beef on his Traeger grill, and when he yanked it off for dinner this evening he said, “Wow!  I need a picture of this to go in my scrapbook.”

And that would be WHICH scrapbook?  Because listen, y’all.  Hubs’ text messages amount to bits of communication limited by a maximum of 6 characters.  Rest assured, he owns NO scrapbook where he records life’s little happenings, so I offered to photograph his dinner masterpiece and slap it on the blog tonight.  Granted, it’s no outstanding food photograph like the Pioneer Woman has, but you get the idea.

Happy Sunday night, people.  I hope y’all had a weekend that was as wonderful as ours was, minus the final score of the soccer game.


1 thought on “Small Town, USA. We Have Good Parade Efforts, But Only One Starbucks.

  1. My dear talented writer friend,
    It was so, so good to see you, Jim, and your lovely mansion last week….you are still as cute as ever! Jill and I had a great time up in the mountains playing Little House on the Prairie. I guess I’m not the cupcake I’m made out to be…ha ha.
    Keep writing so I can keep laughing (actually the migraine blog made me cry, but in a good way:).
    Love you,

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