Yesterday was election day in Herndon and I almost forgot to vote.
Doug called me about 30 minutes before the polls closed to remind me.
I hurried over to the community center, knowing it would be hard to find a parking place, so I took the first one I saw.
I walked past a softball game, a couple boys’ soccer practices, a playground full of kids and parents, and a pavilion full of teenagers.
I love my hometown.
I thought of my daughters working for the Town of Herndon — having lunch in those pavilions and leading summer camp activities on all the fields.
I walked past the tennis courts and remembered early morning boot camp drills that had me sprinting up and down those courts.
I remembered taking my kids to tennis, swimming, rollerblading, and gymnastic lessons.
I walked into the front doors and waved at a friend I used to work with on PTA projects.
Then I saw several friends from church, the neighborhood, and from soccer teams and lacrosse teams.
A boot camp friend, who also was a waitress at one of our favorite local restaurants, stopped to visit.
Unfortunately, the restaurant, Tortilla Factory, closed this year so I don’t see her as often.
“You need to come to Virginia Kitchen now to see me,” she said.
“I will! It’s one of Doug’s favorite breakfast places,” I told her.
I ran into a friend whose daughters went all through school with my daughters
so we caught up on each other’s families
and complained about how hard it is to keep in touch when we don’t have sports and school events bringing us together.
Oh, and even with all that socializing, I voted.
Most of the candidates personally visited our neighborhood.
Then I hurried over to the high school for the girl’s lacrosse senior night game.
I met Annie and her friends and then roamed around the bleachers greeting parents I don’t get to see anymore.
We all hugged and talked about how much we miss each other.
We shared updates on our kids, cheered for the team, yelled at the refs, and coached from the stands…
all the things we used to do together.
I looked out at the sunset, the ball fields, and all the red and black flags, and I yearned to have all those years back.
I loved seating in the bleachers at the high school with all the parents who became my friends.
I miss them all.
When you prepare team dinners, travel across the county to one game after another, attend sports banquets, fundraise, and cheer together for years, you develop a bond.
As I left the field after the game I thought about my hometown Herndon day and how much I love being part of this community.
Doug and I talk about moving closer to DC or getting a different house somewhere, but as I left the community center, drove to the high school, and then drove home, I thought about how much I love our hometown traditions — the Herndon Festival, the farmer’s market (that started today!), Friday Night Live concerts, fireworks, the homecoming parade, the walking trails, the pools and swim teams, the sports, the great neighborhoods, the slices of Great Harvest bread, and the warmth and friendship of a small town tucked into a busy, crowded metropolitan area, I thought I’m happy right here.
Herndon is the perfect hometown.