Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Town Meetin'

I came down to the school early this morning, for two reasons. One, to use the Internet...I had some work to do and alas, Internet up on my hill seems unlikely. (Wait, let me rephrase that: AFFORDABLE Internet seems unlikely anyhow. But I see across the gym, some folks are setting up an EC Fibernet booth, so I'll grill them in a couple minutes.) My second reason for coming to Town Meetin' early is to drop off my pie. I was unreasonably proud that I was asked to actually bake something for the lunch instead of just donating pasta sauce or butter along with everyone else...shows that I'm one of the trusted few that can be asked to make an apple pie that'll pass muster by the road crew, school board and my neighbors. It's the little things that make me feel good lately, don't judge! (And that's not my pie pictured above, by the way. I don't know how to do any of that fancy icing stuff.)

I love Town Meeting. It always smells the same. The gym looks lovely this morning. Isn't that silly? Thinking a gym looks lovely? But it does. There are some quilts on display in front of the window, the sun is seeping through the fabric in such a way they appear to be stained glass instead of cotton. The library ladies are bustling about, getting the water hot, spreading out the desserts, passing out little fliers on all the folding metal chairs.

There is a feeling of anticipation in the room. The room HOLDS it along with the scent of freshly perking coffee. Only a handful of folks are here yet, fire department representatives, the Town Clerk, the backbones of our community are all getting ready to stand up before us and tell us what they need to tell us, all the information that keeps our town running smoothly and not-so-smoothly throughout the coming year. Laughter spills out here and there, as more people start to trickle in and the sunshine makes it's way to more windows.

Perhaps one might consider this to be an everlastingly dull day, sitting and listening to report after report. But I know every single person that will stand up and speak. I will be hemmed in on all sides by the pastor and the lister and my youngest son, and somehow it feels not dull at all. Parkas will be draped all over the place and baseball caps will be under the chairs. Ballots will be torn from receipts and notebook paper and corners of the Town Report. Jokes will be made. The microphone will squeal with protest as someone gets all flustered and throws their hands in the air.

There will be arguments and compromises and understanding and whoever attacks someone else on the floor will stand together with them in the lunch line and trade quips about their Grandchildren and last night's race on TV. Because whatever else happens, we are still a town. We are Tunbridge, and today we sit, squinting in the sun, and care.

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