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Small Town Thanks

Growing up in a small town has given me a few things to be thankful for. Okay, maybe a lot of things. Never thought I’d say that? Yeah, me either. The saddest part is I had to leave to realize what I had. But the point is that eventually I did realize. And here’s why. Around the beginning of October, sometime after one of the best nights of my life, I decided I should wake up at about six every morning, get hot chocolate, and read the paper before I went to class. Usually, I attempted to read the front page, through still sleeping eyes, and that was enough. But one Wednesday, something caught my eye at the bottom of the Entertainment page. It simply said, “What are you thankful for?” I spent the rest of my day, and the majority of my week, thinking about that question. Really, it should be easy, right? I’m thankful for the obvious: family and friends. Because where would I be without them, and all that boring waste of words babble. Then, of course, I’m thankful for my education, for my perfect childhood, and being brought up in a middle-class family with strong morals and such. So yes, I am thankful for those things. But do you wanna know what I’m really thankful for?

I’m thankful for my pillow, my bed, and my dark room. For sleeping with you, even when you ask me for a glass of water and make me shut off the lights. For old clothes, new clothes, and what’s left of my favorite pair of jeans. For friends who help me decide what to wear to Lewiston. For study hall and lessons learned. For Superman ice cream and Dove chocolate. For MDX and Rockstars. For Curvy, Gumby, and Dip. For my knee, its new ACL, and even the scars. For my roomie that’s never right and a neighbie who’s always looking out for me. For my brother and his friends that like to spy. For Color Wonder and paint pens. For Senior Prom and shoutouts on the radio. For wish sticks, the hurricane, and a good “ratio”. For softball games, hearing Yellowcard for the first time, and “one, two, ready begin”. For the secret spot, the hill, and the disgusting thing we did. For graduation, tears, and moving on. For the wolf and the nasty games he plays. For the smell of money and air conditioning. For mono and returns from NYC. For the FBA game sophomore year, the Hayfield tournament, and losing to Maple River. For walking to Algebra 1 and old friends. For car rides, long drives, and Every Avenue. For Plan B, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Taco Bell. For “bom chicka wah wah” and Wii. For running out, winning, and 10. For people that slip on the ice. For those blinding tennis sweatshirts. For “hop, boing, like a bunny”, “sleep with a man for a little bit of money”, and “a freak in the bed”. For prom dress shopping, the fish, and the hot boy. For state basketball, bus rides, and Wal*Mart runs. For swimming at the pool, the lake, and the pit. For fireworks and late night Perkins runs. For a broken heart and the girl that picked up the pieces. For a phone that works and Sally’s Salon. For flowers in the winter. For Dr. Pepper, hot tubs, and freezing hair. For golden birthdays and Disney movies. For the 4x4, an orange hat, and the race that brought tears. For Goths, gangstas, and skaters. For History, our MD spot, and breaking her nail. For gum, suckers, and chapstick. For MSN chats, Monday nights, and LB. For the way he looks at me and knowing how to play the game. For earthquakes and “santa says ho, ho, ho”. For decorating the band board. For Reading Rainbow, Rocket Power, and Wishbone. For losing earings and rings. For snow days, pizzas, and sledding. For nailpolish and walking the dogs. For the Cat, new waiters, and cherry Pepsi, yeah. For six hour phone calls and call waiting. For eating Lamb, Jamaicans, and grocery shopping. For Medford’s school website. For icy roads and wearing black and navy. For the quiet study and grilled cheese. For 2Fast, 2Furious and a hot chocolate stain. For driving to Austin when Albert Lea would’ve been far enough. For Twins games, hot pitchers, singing, and almost crashing. For skipping class on Thursday to go shopping. For foreign exchange students and Homecoming skits. For dances and black lights. For shooting stars and 11:11. For the truth. For Harleys and speed limits. For Ellen Hopkins and Muhammad Yunus. For talks on the one way and driving down the wrong way. For December 23rd and her being alive. For the night that broke me. For balloons and “get well soon”s. For videos when the power goes out and two bags of popcorn. For Bemidji, Duluth, Winona, Fargo, and Mankato. For a full freezer and 11 a.m. church. For animal faces, all black, and Lash Blast. For the Easter Bunny and future husbands. For a 24 hour TV marathon and my twin. For the Warehouse and concert friends. For camping trips and bats. For going in the ditch with brave boys. For Saturday morning basketball and doughnuts. For broken glass and blood. For phone calls when we’re far apart and showing ‘em how we do. For DDR and wrestlers. For Red Wing. For Sports Med, Mayo, and Phil. For stepping on the cracks and limo rides. For my daughtas. For the surprises. For liars and knowing he cared. For college ruled notebooks and white swimming suits. For long summer days, “boy”, and the sun. For plane rides and missing people. For a few girls and one boy that’ve changed my life. For coming home. And mostly, for you being there when I do.





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