I've been on Facebook for awhile now. Connecting and reconnecting has been fun. It has allowed me the ability to communicate with folks I'd lost touch with and to enhance contact with people I still see around.
After 45 years, I've met a lot of people. I haven't lived in one place as long as I have now lived in OKC, but I did spend some rather formative years in a couple of remarkable places.
The first one was Farmersville, Texas. I moved there from Dallas when I was 12, right before the 7th grade. You know that awkward, unsure, gangly phase of life we all go through? Yes, that was when my dad decided "goodbye city life" and "green acres we were there!" It was and still is a small town. When I lived there, the population was around 2000. My class had 30 kids in it and that was the entire seventh grade. It has grown significantly since I lived there, but the town square still stands and some parts are relatively untouched. Although McKinney is quick approaching from the west.
My memories of Farmersville are warm and wonderful. Kind of frozen in time actually. They were some of the happiest days of my childhood, full of good people and fun times. It was also the last place my family was still whole. That might have something to do with it. It was the last place life was relatively easy for me. I was still able to be a kid and I was. I was naive, awkward, innocent, involved, excited, and driven. I wanted to be noticed and yet cringed when I was. I excelled at school and went relatively unnoticed socially.
I joined the band and my second year was first chair. In Farmersville, you either played football as a Fighting Farmer, danced with the drill team as a Farmerette or marched and played in the band. Football games were town events and I loved them. I knew everyone around me, but was an outsider in many ways. I was the new girl. I hadn't lived there my whole life, so I didn't have history and I was terminally shy.
I loved my church youth group. I felt most accepted with this wonderful group. Our youth pastor was an outsider as well and I think that helped me feel like I was part.
I had the regular crushes and broken hearts. I had the excitement of sports from both the player and spectator vantages. Being 5'10" by the seventh grade kind of helped that! Yes, I played basketball.
But band was where I allowed myself to cut loose a little. We worked together, traveled together, competed together...we were a team. I joined the flag corp, cause their outfits were cuter and my newly acquired teen body looked better in them. I loved the band dances and the band banquets. My favorite date was Kenny. He was such a nice guy, so cute.
I remember working up the nerve to call his house, sometimes it took 3 or 4 times before I could dial the whole number and let it ring. My heart would be pounding, my pulse racing, and the phone would ring. Would he think I was weird? Would he roll his eyes when he heard my voice thinking oh great it's her? Would he say yes? No? Who else could I ask? Did I really need a date? Everyone else would have one. Always. 3 seconds later...someone would answer the phone, Kenny would get on, I would ask, he would say yes.
We'd coordinate colors with his aunt in town on the flowers, she was THE florist you know. And we'd dance. For one night everyone was equal. Everyone was accepted. Everyone had fun. And by everyone, I mostly mean me. I'm sure everyone else did too, but that wasn't really my focus honestly. Even looking back now I still feel the excitement of belonging. I was there, with a date, in a pretty dress, with color coordinated flowers. All was good. Even if my dad did chaperone every time. :-P
Through Facebook, I've reconnected with Kenny. He's married, a father of 2, and a music minister. None of that surprises me. He was always a sweet guy. He always said yes, even if he really didn't want to. I'll never know and honestly, I'll never ask. I like the picture in my brain and in my scrapbook somewhere of 2 awkward, gangly blond kids with braces smiling like crazy at the band dance.
Thanks Farmersville for the best kid days of my life. Don't change too much. Thanks Facebook for the memories and for reconnecting me to the days of innocence I have sometimes let be overshadowed by what came after we left.