I'm sentimental about my hometown. It's probably not the town I'll move back to, settle down in, put down roots sort of thing. But Mt. Horeb is quirky and unique and I'll own it.
Fun fact: Mt. Horeb is the troll capital of the world. Yes, you read that right. Troll. Aka we have carved wooden trolls that dot our Main Street landscape. This comes from very thick Norwegian roots from the people who settled there first.
Fun fact: We have five roundabouts. Yes, FIVE. We built our first one back when I was in middle school (I think). People drove through the roundabout more than once and my family walked the mile from our house to the roundabout to see it "open." It was a grand spectacle on a warm summer day. But since the first one was so wonderful, they made four more, all in a row. If you've been to Mt. Horeb, you know what I'm talking about.
Fun fact: Recently, we've gotten good at sports. Or maybe just better. Regardless, when I was in high school, our sports teams were just okay. We never made it to State or won any gold or silver balls (how we refer to the State trophies). But it all sort of changed after I left. My young brother and the soccer team ended up at State two years in a row, leaving with a silver ball the first year and a gold ball the second year. The girls soccer team did well, along with gymnastics. And now it's basketball's turn.
I came home early for Spring Break to see the boys basketball team play in the State semi-finals. I saw tweets and Instagram photos of people from my town talking of "painting the Kohl Center red." My dad, brother, and I were up in the third section but had a nice bird's eye view of the court.
And the team won. At times, victory felt out of reach but those kids pulled it together. It was as if the whole town breathed a sigh of relief when we had enough points right near the end to feel that yes, that golden ball was truly within reach. The final buzzer rang and we all cheered.
As we walked out, we ran into the town and everyone had a smile on their face. Because not only did those boys win, but the town won too. We were proud.
I'll miss the championship game tonight but it's days like this that remind me of that small town magic. How it makes you feel connected with everyone around you. That it makes you believe in something bigger than you. You need those moments.