Besides the enormous hustle and bustle around Penn State due to our White Out game and the presence of College Game Day broadcasting on ESPN from the lawn of Old Main, life feels quiet on my street. I just delivered three ripe garden tomatoes to the neighbors. I took a walk with a friend. I harvested raspberries. I drank coffee and thought about life. I might run another load of laundry.
Of course, alongside this simple day, there’s massive excitement—like a tingle in the air— as we count down to the big game tonight, and even a few streets over, the lines at the grocery store stretch far as people grab their tailgate food of deli sandwiches, wings and lobster rolls, hot pretzels and buffalo chicken dip.
A mile or so down from the grocery store, campus overflows with fans from both Penn State and Auburn. The little country airport hasn’t seen such traffic in years. Every hotel room is packed, and homes in my neighborhood offer beds for out of town guests for a high price.
So it’s a big day! As they say, let’s hope the Lions beat the Tigers tonight! In just a few hours, I’ll hear the fans and the music from the stadium if I stand in my front yard and listen.
When you live in a college town like Penn State, it’s hard not to fall in love with football and tailgating. I join in from afar. I like watching the game from my cozy living room, wrapped in a blanket with a cat curled up on my lap, but we still set up a tailgate area in the kitchen with spinach-artichoke dip, fried chicken, mac-n-cheese, chips, fruit, and desserts. It’s the culture I’ve adopted, right down to my Penn State fan gear.
Simplicity alongside enormity.