"Pardon me," I told the 90-year old woman as I elbowed my way past her, grabbing her walker for support. I'm not typically a rude person, but you see, I'd just spent the weekend helping my sister move into her first house, and that woman was reaching for the last tube of Ben-Gay.
The move was an exciting event for my sister since this is her first house. Her husband is in the Air Force and they've lived on base housing for their entire married lives. The larger yard will require more work, and there will be headaches involved with mortgage and utility bills, but overall, her whole family is quite pleased with the move. As my sister would say, 'It's all for the best.'
My sister wasn't moving because she was fed up with her old home. Instead, she was moving because it was a better situation for her family. Now that the move's complete, I've taken on a contemplative and reflective mood in my stooped 'Thinker' pose - at least that's the excuse I offer my friends for my hunched appearance. I see so many similarities between this move and the Hokie's move to the Big East.
How appropriate from my viewpoint that the Tech baseball finale last weekend marking the end of the A-10 era occurred on the same weekend as this move. Hokie fans were thrilled to see the Tech sluggers win the conference tournament and advance to the NCAA, but were pained to see them lose the first two games and end their run.
The A-10 was but a temporary stay and the Hokies are moving on to greener pastures. We are moving on for the benefit of Virginia Tech. Hokie fans everywhere are excited about the move that will put Virginia Tech in an all-sports home with bigger and better competition. Recruiting will benefit as will gate returns. Even so, the move is bittersweet.
The A-10 has been a pleasant foster home for the Hokies filled with notable moments marking the Hokies' growth. In-state battles with George Washington, high-flying bouts against Temple, and unexpectedly challenging contests with Xavier are but a few of those memories. Conference championships propelled several Tech teams onward into NCAA tournament play. This year alone, VT captured the conference crown in eight individual sports, winning the A-10 Commissioner Cup in the process.
As we move into the Big East, we leave the dwelling that has been home to our many previous accomplishments looking forward with anticipation. The present residents story our new home with achievements and we are eager to add to the legacy. Sure, there will be growing pains along the way, but the Hokies will leave their marks on the Big East's wall as they sprout. We will miss the old neighborhood and hope to retain the old contacts. Surely, some of the friendships formed during our stay will linger, though many will fade out as time passes and bonds are formed with new neighbors. As my sister would say of her own move, it's all for the better.
I tried explaining this analogy to the 90-year old as I wrenched her hand free from the tube of Ben-Gay. Unfortunately, I wasn't watchful of her other hand and so now I've got maced eyes to accompany my other complaints. Hopefully the Hokie move won't be quite as painful!
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