Today I am thankful for my new/old hometown.
This year has been so busy that I haven’t done what I’ve wanted to do for the past seven months – talk about my old/new place of residence.
Yeah, I posted a brief note when we found out we were moving to Batesville, but we have been in a whirlwind of activity ever since.
On Friday, May 7, I said goodbye to my former employer (we had also relocated offices that very same day), and on Saturday, May 8, I took my final exam in Accounting II at Pulaski Tech. That afternoon, we loaded the car with the Spice Dogs and a few belongings and headed to Batesville. We spent the next five weeks living at Mom’s and driving back to North Little Rock on the weekends to continue packing. (Because I was in school all semester in addition to working full time, we hadn’t finished all our packing, so we made trips and hauled little loads each weekend.) On June 5, a bunch of guys from Fellowship North came over and loaded the furniture and other heavy stuff, and we hauled it to Batesville and spent our first night in our new house that night.
There is SO VERY MUCH to tell about our new home. I could stay up all night expressing my joy at all the wonderful things that have come of this move, but I will try to hit the high points:
- Family: My mom, my brother, my nieces and my many cousins, uncles, aunts, in-laws and outlaws are the reason we’re here. We had prayed for a long time for the Lord to allow us to be closer. Yes, North Little Rock is only 90 miles away, but it had just gotten to be too far for us. We wanted to be close. And we are: Our house is about 3/4 of a mile from my brother, JT, and if you walk through his back yard, you reach Mom’s house in just-over-3/4-of-a-mile. And my Aunt Pat lives across the street from us. And in July, I got new family members: JT married Lisa, and she brings to our family Chance, Cobhye and Catie. And Chance became a first-time dad a few weeks later when we welcomed baby Maggie to the fold.
- Church: We traded Fellowship North for Fellowship Batesville. I tell ya, leaving Fellowship North was my biggest challenge. I had been a member there for 16 years, and I just wasn’t sure how God was going to come through for me on a church. How could He top Fellowship North? Well, He didn’t have to top it, because it’s not a competition. But I was spoiled for a contemporary, nontraditional church that reaches out to the community. Fellowship Batesville, which congregates in the old Landers Theater, fits the bill for us in a way only God could have ordained. Bruce and our pastor, John Mark, have become friends, and I think the world of John Mark’s wife, Desiree. And we’ve made some other fast friends at Fellowship Batesville. We couldn’t be happier.
- Work: I love my job! Two years ago I couldn’t have said that. And maybe it took the job I had then to make me appreciate the job I have now. Sure, I had a great job in the between time (from October 2008 to May 2010), but this one just fits me. It fits my personality, my skill set, my left-brainededness (yes, I know that’s not a real word) and so many other things. My co-workers are a joy to be around (most of the time), my physical surroundings are pleasant and my employer is community minded, a trait I cherish. The commute is short (10 minutes when there’s traffic; 5-7 when there isn’t); in fact, most places around here are within a short distance of my house.
- Play: My childhood friend Michael has co-founded a local camera club, and I’m an inaugural member. I’m still an amateur, but it has been fun learning from the “experts” and the serious hobbyists. I love to take pictures, and I love that I now have a place to get personalized advice. Also, Bruce and I have been to several high school football games this fall, seeing my alma mater through an undefeated season until Round 3 of the state playoffs. We have sat through heat, humidity, cold and rain for the Pioneers! My sweetie and I have bitten off lots of little slices of the local scene in the few months we’ve been here – everything from a music night at the local coffeehouse to summer fireworks to grilling hot dogs before a BHS football game as volunteers for the bank. We’re on a first-name basis with the clerk at Sherwin-Williams (her husband has Crohn’s disease, and she noticed our CCFA shirts one Saturday morning) and have enjoyed showing off our furbabies to anyone who cares to meet them. (Our neighbor’s 2-year-old grandson likes to come over and visit the Spice Dogs, and in fact he named his new stuffed dog Salsa.)
- Education: I’m taking Principles of Banking at UACCB, and I’m also learning a lot about banking on the job. I get to do a lot of reading, and I enjoy that. (One new employee who was being introduced around the office a couple of weeks ago thought it a bit odd that I actually enjoy reading regulations. At least that knowledge helped him remember me later when I had to e-mail him about getting his insurance license!) In the spring, I will continue working toward an associate’s degree in banking and finance. Next summer, I will be eligible for the bank to pay for my schooling. Sweet!
- God: The thread that weaves through every inch of the above tapestry is my heavenly Father. Without Him, none of this would be possible. Without Him, my life wouldn’t be possible. He is the Source of all good things. I cannot thank Him enough for all my blessings. I hope I never forget to thank Him.
There is so much more to tell, but maybe I will manage to remember it and continue to tell you the tales in the months to come.
Tune in tomorrow for my last “thankfulness” post of the Month for Giving Thanks.