Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thankfulness Thursday--Growing up in a small town and school sports

Today I am not blogging about our farm, or even the town I now call home, at least not mainly...........Today I am going to share with you what was a big part of my growing up years and that was playing school sports. I grew up in a town of 1,000 people, our school was a small one. We had enough kids to make up a Varsity and JV soft/baseball team and basketball teams, but no where near the size to play the game my boys love, football and for track, the only time we ran on an actual track was at meets, somewhere else, but you know I never felt deprived, not once.
I was a Sturgeon Bulldog!
I played Basketball throughout Jr. High (that's what we called middle school) and High School. I wasn't a super star, but I didn't care, I was on the team and got to play. And that's what mattered. I loved softball from the time I was big enough to swing at pitches my Uncle Hank tossed to me through the growing up years and past high school when I played on slow pitch adult teams. This was a close as I could get to my true love baseball, that love was fostered by a Grandmother who missed very few Cardinal games, did we go you ask? Nope, we listened to Jack Buck on KMOX call the games. That is a constant in practically every summer memory I have of my Grandma Angle.

I proudly wore that blue jersey!
I still love to watch my own kids play ball in the yard and join them when I can. My kiddos don't play summer league soft/baseball, as they have another summer love, which is showing cattle. When I think back to summers growing up, I can remember many a game that was played at the ball field in town. It didn't matter if there were 2 or 3 kids there, or 15, boys or girls, again didn't matter. We played till everyone got tired or had to get home. Such a different world than the ones my kids know.

I sit back and think of moments in games, and then try to remember, who won that game, most of the time I can't remember that, mostly I remember the fun and friendships carved with people I would know and interact with a varying levels the rest of my life. I learned that team means everyone. I learned to work hard and try your best.

When our own kids were getting big enough to start consider letting them be involved with organized sports, for me it wasn't even a question. They have been, maybe not the sports I personally played. But they have enjoyed being part of a team. They are wrestlers, football players, and golfers. Jenna looks forward to a time when she can try out volleyball.

They are making great memories with kids who will be their lifelong friends, learning great lessons from other adults and enjoying the ride. For that I am very thankful. It's something you never forget. When seasons end and teammates change there's a bittersweet moment. But the memories of that special time will live in your heart forever.

Recently, actually YESTERDAY, the baseball boys from my home town won 3rd in State. Did I go to the game or follow them throughout the season? No, not in person. I enjoyed every single picture that my friends posted on facebook. See those are the people I grew up and they remain my friends today. They proudly shared their sons' accomplishments and it gave me a chance to relive the 'Glory Days' a little and offer them some praise myself. A friend posted on one of the players walls, 'you boys make every person, past and present, who wore the blue and white jerseys, very proud' He was totally right, I am sure am proud of those boys!

Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog, way to go boys, we are all so proud of you,

From Tulip~




Mrs. Nicole Umphrey said...

This was great Kathy. I agree that the best part of sports are the relationships you make with your team members and the fun you have. It is ironic.....I always wanted to be a BULLDOG as a kid (especially after spending the summers here with you, Michelle, and others), yet the good Lord made me wait years until He finally brought me to Sturgeon to teach. The memories now made with my own children in this small town community are PRICELESS!!! Thanks for sharing and way to go Bulldogs!!!

Mrs. Nicole Umphrey said...

Thanks for sharing Kathy! It is so true that sports end up being more about teamwork and building memories.

It is really ironic for me to reminisce.....I really wanted to be a BULLDOG (especially after spending summers with you, Michelle, and others), but the good Lord decided to make me wait several years before He finally placed me as a teacher in the Sturgeon District. I am enjoying watching my own children now make memories as Bulldogs!!! So very proud to a part of such a small community and so very proud of our athletes.