Donna Smaldone
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Saturday / March 19 / 2011

Home sweet home: so much nostalgia, so much still to experience

Week One at the new job survived? Check.
Now able to properly match pairs? Check.

My new office sits on the second floor of a beautiful downtown Glens Falls office building, just off the roundabout with glorious windows overlooking the Glens Falls Civic Center. Today I watched teams of players pouring into the Civic Center for the New York State High School Basketball Tournament. The mix of nerves and excitement was evident in these gangly, awkward teenagers — but mostly, I couldn’t help but notice the camaraderie and unspoken “I’ve got your back” assurance.

I was reminded of the many away games my teammates and I shared at HL for field hockey, volleyball, basketball and softball (go, Eagles!!) We were good, don’t get me wrong, but the memories I cherish most don’t come from our W-L record. They come from the bonds we built. The way we pretended half of us were deaf, the other half sign language translators when we stopped at a McDonalds. The way Coach Toad braved an overnight with the entire field hockey team at her house and then set us loose in the neighborhood for a scavenger hunt! The many songs we went hoarse singing on the bus. And, dare I pen this to paper, the ever infamous “Fart Alert!” (…for the record, my fist is UP!)

My boss and I opted to walk the seven-or-so blocks to our offsite morning meeting in order to soak up the spectacular sunshine and 61-degree weather. On the stroll back, we grabbed sammies at the North Country Coffee Cafe (I had the “Big Slide” – highly recommend). We overheard a visitor remark “how nice everyone is in this community!” Being dutiful staffers of the ADK Chamber (and let’s face it, feeling as if we’d just been complimented), we engaged this gentleman and his friends in conversation. We shared a laugh or two about the art of conversation vs. the art of texting. It’s fair to say the lot of us left with invigorated souls.

What I close the business day and Week One with is an overwhelming sense of pride, gratefulness and delight to be back “home” again after all these years. I love my new job. Love my co-workers. Love this community. Love the challenge.

All in all… off to a good start.

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