Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Small Town’

Jury Duty Tricks and Football

I’ve only got a few minutes to hang out.  I’m sorry.  I am a super important, busy person. You probably wouldn’t understand.

I’m sorta in the middle of binge watching “Friday Night Lights”.  I know.  I know.  It isn’t entirely appropriate.  I’ve got no defense, really.  I just like these people I’m watching, and they’ve become my friends.  I’m a pretty loyal friend, and I don’t think it’s right to ignore people, just because you don’t always agree with them.  So, really, my sticking with these guys is more like a testimony on my part.  It’s ministry.

This show is about a football coach and his family.  The show highlights the crazy that is football in the South.  Stereotypes abound.  Yet, somehow the way these folks talk and act in this show is believable.  In the South, football is king.  If this show is to be believed,  in the South, the high school football coach is held in high regard,  or treated like devil spawn.  Depending on whether or not the football team is having a winning season.


I’m married to a wrestling coach.  I can NOT relate.  We offer trophies to the wrestling fans in our town.  Those four guys deserve to be rewarded for their loyalty.

That’s a cheap lie I made up in an effort to get a laugh.  I want to apologize for the that.

The truth  is, we live in the most awesome small town.  Folks in my town show up for everything kids do.  If you’ve got a teenage accordion choir ready to play a few numbers, you’ve got yourself a full house in my town.  I’m such a fan of the fans in my town.

I didn’t mean to waste your time with the big “Friday Night Lights” recap.  I did just want to say that I like this show. I like watching the coach try to manage his intense desire to win with his solid moral compass.  This internal conflict is poetic to me.  I kinda feel that part of the show.  I might know some guys like this.

The other thing I wanted to do was drum up some sympathy.  I have Jury duty in August.  I know that it is my civic duty.  I’m sorry for complaining. You’re right.  I should consider myself fortunate to serve.

But I don’t WANNNAAA!!!!!

I’m very busy with my career, and frankly, I cannot spare the time.  Plus, what with me being only half way through “Friday Night Lights”, it isn’t like that stuff is going to watch itself.  Right?

I’ve got an idea to make things more simple.  How about if everybody just doesn’t break the law?  For goodness sake.  How do people fit law breaking into their day, anyway? They might want to consider Netflix as a suitable replacement for thievery and murder.  I might suggest this to the criminal’s who’s fate is in my hands.

Yep.  I just decided.  I’m going to ask the Judge if I can share a few words.  I should be able to get the criminal system turned around.  I can’t help it.  I just see a problem, and I have to fix it.

I actually don’t know whether my jury thing will go to trial, or even whether I’ll be approved of as an acceptable juror.  Hope is not lost.  I’ve got ideas. What if I hear voices?


Hitchhikers and Romance

We had a weird night on Sunday.  This summer we have been trying to make it to my parent’s for a visit on Sundays.  I never imagined a day when I would worry more about my parents than they worry about me.  That’s  happening.

We usually go out to eat with my parents when we visit.  They live in a small town.  This Sunday I was having a hard time enjoying my dinner.  The entire time we were eating there was a young man standing on  the sidewalk outside the  restaurant  window.   He kept looking at his watch and calling someone on his phone. It was obvious he was waiting for someone to pick him up.  He looked disheveled; messy hair and an over all appearance that stated, “I could use some help.”

I didn’t say anything about him while we were eating.  When we were almost done I spoke.  “Hey Scott, there’s a guy out there who looks like he might need help. I think he is…”

“I know,” Scott interrupted. “I’ve been  worrying about him this whole time.  I’m going to go out and see if I can give him a ride.”

Turns out this young man did have special needs.  He had decided he was going to walk to Walmart to buy some video games.  Walmart was about 6 miles away.  He got half way there, and changed his mind.  He called a taxi, but the taxi never came.  Scott and Zeke gave him a ride to his Grandma’s.

After dropping that young man off, Scott picked Olivia and I up at our  Grandma and Grandpa’s.  Scott told us that  now we can add worrying about that guy to our list of people to worry about.  That boy surely had some troubles.  What if he decides to walk to Walmart again?  What will he do when something happens to his Grandma? Where will he go?

Right while we were  listing all the reasons to worry about that young man,  we drove by a lady who was walking along the side of the rode.  She looked like she could be a Grandma herself.

We were in a tidy, middle-class neighborhood.   This Grandma put her thumb out for a ride.  I’m serious.   She really did.  Scott and I just looked at each other.   We knew we were going to pick this Grandma up;  that would bring the number of strangers we’ve picked up in our lifetime to two.  Both in the same night.

Scott slowed down.  I rolled my window down, and asked that Grandma, “Do you need a ride?”

She walked over to my window and stuck her had in WAYYY too far.

“YES!” She said. “It’s my birthday.”

Then she didn’t say anything else.

I said, “Happy Birthday?!

She just looked at me like she was trying to tell me something else.  Then I figured out she was trying to tell me it was her Birthday, and that’s why she was really, really  drunk.  I actually think she was trying to do a nice Grandma thing.  She was trying to warn me that I was about to let a strange,  intoxicated woman in to the back of my car with my children.

I told her to hop in back.  The kids get drunk with their Grandmas at least every week. They’ll be fine.

No.  I didn’t say that.  I don’t think she would have gotten that joke. We told her we hoped she had a good birthday, and dropped her at her house.  She was sweet.

I don’t know why she walked somewhere by herself to get drunk on her birthday.  And, that would make  the second person in one  day we can add  to our list of people to worry about.  Maybe we should start going to my parents on Monday nights instead.

Something is happening with Scott lately.  He’s really stepping up his game.   I know I married a good guy.   I wrote about how nice he is here.

I said Scott was  a good guy.  He is not a romantic guy.  That’s okay.  I’m not very romantic either.   When I was young I was always a little suspicious of romantic guys.  I know, that’s not fair.  Some romantic guys are really nice.  They are just also in touch with what a woman wants to hear.  But, then there’s that other group of romantic guys.  The ones who are full of crap.  Those are the guys I was trying to avoid.

Scott has set the bar for romance really low.  I’m not complaining.  I’m practical too.    We understand each other.  That’s why he is FREAKING me out lately.  Scott  has a new smart phone.  Since he’s had his phone he has sent me two messages with emoticons.  Do you know what an emoticon is?  It’s an electronic graphic used to express emotion.

Scott sent me a text that said, “See you tonight,” followed by a heart with a cupid’s arrow.  The second message had just a plain heart.

All those other husbands that have been busting their butts, coming up with poems and secret weekend getaways should take a lesson from Scott.  The problem with those guys is that they set the bar too darn high.   Their wives have expectations.   When you have a wife with expectations, you’ve got yourself some problems.

I received my text message from Scott with a heart emoticon.  When I saw that message  I hugged my phone to my chest.  I didn’t know Scott had that in him.  Completely unexpected.  I told him that I was shocked with his gesture, but that it meant a lot to me.  I could tell he was kind of proud of himself.


About a week later Scott was shopping with Olivia.   He came home with a small, deliciously scented  candle for me.  It wasn’t my Birthday, or our anniversary.  I asked Olivia later  if the candle was her idea.  She told me no.  She said her Dad just suddenly decided  they should get me something.

What is going on?

This emoticon thing is opening up a whole new world.  Scott didn’t think he had any game in him.  He does.  I didn’t think I cared if he had any game.  I do.

I can tell that my sincere appreciation for these gestures is motivating for him too.  So, now Scott has a wife with expectations, and now he has  some  problems.

Why Small Towns Beat Wealthy Suburbs

We live in a small town. Actually, it’s two small towns sitting right next to each other. You know, like the twin cities. Only with out the people, grocery stores, strip malls, restaurants, stadiums, hotels, buildings and traffic. Otherwise, exactly like it. My small town is awesome. 10 years ago Scott and I had a hard time deciding whether we should move to our small town. We deliberated and fussed. We hemmed and hawed. Then we moved there. Right away I knew we were home. I love it. I really do.

Families who relocate for their corporations, almost always choose nice, wealthy suburban communities. I get it. Wealthy Suburbs put you closer to work and Starbucks. It’s the American Dream. Small towns are usually not up for consideration. I think they should be.

Small towns win for so many reasons. Here are some of my favorite:

1. Recovering Stolen Property

When Eddie was in Middle School, his bike was stolen. It was only a matter of time before Eddie saw the kid who stole his bike riding it around town. Eddie, walked up to the kid at school and said, “Hey man, can I get my bike back?” The kid thought he wanted to act kinda tough at first, but then they just decided to be friends. Now, when Eddie sees that kid he says, “Remember when you stole my bike?”

The kid is like, “Yeah. That was funny.”

2. Everyone is Famous

When I pick up our local paper at the grocery store, there is an 80% chance someone in my family is in it. We could be featured in a story on the recent dance recital, or maybe we made the honor roll. On a big news day, we might have even made the front page for trick-or-treating on Main Street.

3. The High School Parking Lot

Drive by the small town High School. Look at the cars in the parking lot. Mostly it’s just older model vehicles, except for a few rich kids who drive Chevy Malibus. Drive by a wealthy Suburban School. You’ll see new BMW’s, Hummers and Mustangs. I don’t have a ton of strong opinions, and I don’t like to judge. I’m not saying I’m judging parents who buy their kids grossly expensive cars, it’s just that…Forget it. I’m judging. I’m judging hard. I’m judging them just like I’d judge a parent who brought their baby to playgroup in a fancy tuxedo, with a top hat and a bottle filled with bourbon.


Some things just don’t go together. Kids who live under someone else’s roof and have someone else paying for their food, clothes, electric bill and internet, should not be driving cars that cost more than people in third world countries earn in their lifetime. I know. I just lost some friends. I’m going to have to stand by that statement.

4. Birthday Parties

Have you heard about moms who feel pressure to hold more and more elaborate birthday parties in order to impress each other? I’ve read about this, and I’ve seen it on TV. It doesn’t happen in small towns.

In Suburbia you may have to hire entertainment for your birthday parties. If you’re from a small town, then I just made you laugh. In a small town your Birthday party may be elaborate when you’re younger. You may get to go bowling or to McDonald’s Playland. When you’re older you call a few friends and say, “My mom said I could have a few friends over and go to a movie for my birthday.” Now, THAT is hard to top.

birthday clown

5. Kids Can’t Get Away with Crap

In a small town, if you’re a kid and you feel like causing trouble, there’s a hundred percent chance your parents will find out. If you were at the park doing something you weren’t supposed to be doing, your parents know. Your parents knew what you were doing before you left the park. Your parents have had three phone calls before you have had time to walk home. Your parents know who you were with and what you were doing. It takes a village, son.

6. People Look Their Age

In a small town, if you’re 42 you look 42. In a small town grandparents look like grandparents. Grandmas wear appliqued sweatshirts and they have wrinkles. Grandmas don’t wear leggings, fur coats and have faces that look like they’re wrapped in saran wrap. In small towns, we don’t see a lot of cosmetic surgery, but we do use Ponds Cold Cream.

plastic surgery

It’s small towns for the win!!!

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