Last night we walked around downtown Fredericksburg for the city’s version of First Night. Now that our children are grown, we find we head to the music venues rather than the street vendors trying to sell everything from burgers to plastic, flashing glow sticks. Though hundreds of people roamed around somewhat aimlessly, we enjoyed these guys and others in small, out of the way places instead.
On our way to and from, we had to make our way through the crowds on the streets, and I kept running into my old students.
“SCarter,” they yelled, which absolutely made my day. That was their nickname for me, a part pirate, part email moniker (firstname.lastname@example.org).
And I got hugs, too! “We miss you!”
“I miss you, too!”
A friend of mine once said our town reminded her of Bedford Falls. We seemed to say hello to familiar faces on every corner as we made our way to my favorite breakfast spot a few blocks from home. She’s from Northern Virginia so I can see why she thinks of my town as “quaint.”
So as tacky as last night’s event was (the smell of grease, the costumes, and flashing lights can seem so over the top), it’s worth it to see a small slice of our Virginia town. And though we headed home early and missed the lighting of the First Night Pineapple, we were able to see the fireworks from our back porch!
Not a bad way to start the year.