#1,766 Parade Marshal + Mama's Family Birthday.
by Erin Napier
Well, so. The executive director of the alumni foundation at our junior college called a few weeks ago to invite me to be the grand marshal of the homecoming parade.
And I, of course, said “Sure! How FUN!” I have no idea why they asked me of all people to do it—I’m not a pro football player alum or even a beauty queen. I sell wedding invitations. But alas, the school meant so much to Ben and I that I’d be tickled to do anything they ask me to.
We woke up bright and early and got a little fancy:
Then headed to the alumni brunch which was all created by the culinary arts students, and designed and decorated by the hospitality students. How cool and (impressive!?) is that?
Soon, it was time to report to my car for the parade line up.
We made the short trip through campus and around downtown and back. And along the way we passed every spot from the week we fell in love and it made my heart ache for that time and place all over again: the student union where he first put his arm around me—that electric feeling of being touched by the biggest crush of your life, the 4 way stop by the snow cone stand where he leaned over the armrest to give me our first kiss, the grassy tree-framed lot where his creaky old grey house once stood where we first said “I love you,” And then I had the shocking realization that even though we aren’t 19 and 21 anymore, the best thing about that week is still here. It never left. This version is so much better, because I’m wearing his wedding ring riding in the back of a car that has both our names on the title and sharing everything in my life with that same boy who (at some point) became an honest-to-goodness man. Even though we’re a little older now, we’re still the same. Still hopelessly stuck on one another. Thank God for that.
After the hooplah of the parade, we stopped into the old (since 1886!) soda fountain pharmacy downtown for coffee and a Coke, where Ben would go daily before work during his college job at the upholstery shop:
Then went home to do some yard work in continued efforts to fluff up our tiny lot and humble abode for the TV folks (coming in just 10 days!), I baked a red velvet birthday cake for mama and we went out to the country for her family only birthday party.
John Walker is walking all over the place!
Clark and I gave her some goodies from the antique mall:
We got the fire pit going as the night air got chilly down in the 60s, and cozied up on the porch sofas and adirondacks to watch Ole Miss beat Tennessee, making us 7-0 and probably boosting us to number 2 in the country! I’m so sorry, Lora! I know how it feels. The way y’all felt tonight is usually us—like… Every single year. Every dog (or rebel) has its day, I reckon.
It was another great Saturday to live in the SEC. Mississippi forever.
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I’m Erin Napier, co-owner of Laurel Mercantile Co. and Scotsman Co. with my husband, Ben. I’m an artist and he’s a craftsman and we help people moving to our town find and restore old houses on HGTV’s Home Town. In an effort to count my blessings, this journal has documented only the good things that happen on each and every day of my life since January 1, 2010. I am a wife, a daughter, a homebody, a bubble bath lover, a book reader, a sentimental, stressed out, slightly obsessive southerner. Welcome!