On Wednesday, we went to the local 4th of July parade. We arrived right at the start time, which was 10 a.m., and got a decent place to watch from, right at the end of the parade route.
Our local parade wasn't any different than 4th of July parades anywhere else in the country, we had all of the same sort of stuff: The Kiwanis Club, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, The Military Order of The Cootie (no kidding), Boy Scouts, High School bands, churches, The Moose Lodge, local politicians, and even the Governor of Virginia...but it was a bit different for me this year.
One of the first things that Mrs GF said to me when we got to the parade was: "How long do you think it will be before you see someone you know? " I told her it probably wouldn't be long... and I was right, because directly across the street from us, was a lady whose son goes to school with soccergirl, and whose son I know because his soccer team practices on the same field as ours. Oh, that was the first, but it wasn't the last... We saw HB, a retiring member of the County Board of Supervisors (we worked on her last two campaigns), we saw CB, former Mayor of the adjoining municipality, who is running for State Delegate (We worked on his Mayoral campaign), we saw HS, who manages the local Supermarket, and we saw a few other people that we know from this or that thing around the local area. It was a bit much.
As I said before, this parade was different for me. Different because I didn't feel like I was just a spectator, I felt like a participant, because I know kids from this or that high school, or because I know people that belong to a few of the churches that were represented, or because I am familiar with this or that club, or have campaigned for quite a few local politicians (some successful, some not).
As someone who has lived a fairly nomadic adult life until I married Mrs GF, feeling a sense of community like this is completely outside the realm of my existance... but I have to tell you that I am enjoying it.
I guess most would call it community.
I call it home.