The early days of December are a difficult time. We've made our way through Thanksgiving; but, we're not quite in the throes of the Christmas season quite yet. There's all the gifts to buy, the plans to make and the parties to attend; but , it's still an "in between" time.
Fortunately for Mason residents, the Punchers are filling much of that time for us by carrying us along on the purple tide. As they advance each stairstep of the playoff bracket, there is an increase in the excitement around the community. With each victory, the townspeople celebrate another week of accomplishment and award.
Between the football games, and the parties, and the shopping, there is the waiting.
As children, the waiting was perhaps the most difficult part of Christmas. There were decorations at home and in the classroom, constant reminders of the pending festivities; but, it always seemed just a bit out of reach. The tension mounted as family gifts began to accumulate under the tree, adding yet another level of anticipation and excitement to the waiting.
The Punchers do somewhat the same thing to us. Every time they win another game, it's another present under the tree. Of course, the date of their "Christmas" is December 20th rather than December 25th; but, the upside is that, each week, a victory is like the unwrapping of another gift!
Without them, this mid-winter period would have been so much less than it's been. They, along with the coaches, the cheerleaders, the band, the flag corps and the student body are all working together for their common goal while allowing us to share in the moment.
The odd thing about small towns is that just about any activity will involve a large portion of the community. The Wild Game Dinner wouldn't be possible without the help of the high school kids, the Critter Getters, the Lions Club.... you get the point!
One of my strongest memories of how connected this community can be goes back to several years ago when the school was having a new roof installed. The work crew left on Friday, and that night, heavy rains moved into the area. The water poured into classrooms, down hallways and into the gym. Calls went out, and in only a short time, people from all over Mason started showing up with squeegees, mops and unbridled enthusiasm. We were all filthy dirty, soaking wet and we stayed doing all we could do to protect computers, books and furniture.
I had someone complain to me a few years ago that I had too much emphasis on coverage of events at the school. They were in their 80s, didn't have any grandchildren in the school, and didn't really have a lot of contact with the kids up at school.
I think that lady has to be the exception in Mason. Most people, no matter their age, have some kind of connection to others in our town. Whether we are 16, 50 or 80, we have connections to one another. We shop together, we worship together, we celebrate together and we grieve together. We have our Puncher football games together, and we have our Christmas celebrations together.
We're in the winter doldrums; but, thanks to being from Mason, we've found a way to move beyond it. Soon we'll be headed into 2013, and we'll be enjoying all the promise of a new year. Till then, thanks Mason for finding a way to move us all forward!
It’s all just my opinion.