We have now been back in Calhoun County for 10 months (January 1 was the day we headed out of Leesburg, GA). Time really has flown by. I can't believe that Ralph had not even interviewed for his job this time last year! That being said, I knew moving back would have it's difficulties. The girls have never lived here, except for the 9 month in 2002. They have no recollection of that. Ralph and I have essential been gone from this area for 9 years. Some things change, and some things stay the same. I love the feel of small town. I can go in the Piggly Wiggly, and yes that is the grocery store to shop in, and be guaranteed that I will see at least one person I know. Or, that knows who my momma is. My goodness the times I have heard that since we have moved back.
This is how great a small town can be - I got a voicemail from the elementary school telling me that Morgan's flip flop had broke. I was in town, so I was thinking it would be cheaper to go by Dollar General and pick up a pair to get her through the day. As I am walking up to the counter the lady says, "They didn't fit?" I responded with "Excuse me?" She repeated. I said, "What are you talking about?" She responds with, "You are Bonnie's daughter, right?" "Um, yes ma'am." "Well, she was just in here and picked up 2 pair of shoes for your daughter." I said, "Thank you, you just saved me from having to bring this back!" The school had called my mom when they couldn't get up with me, and she picked Morgan up and took her shopping! I loved it! That's the great part.
Unfortunately, there are also drawbacks. People thinking you should think a certain way. No tolerance for those who are different in looks or ideas. That has been the hard part. It has made me feel like a stranger in a place that had once been so familiar and "safe". It is funny the things that can change you when you are taken out of your original "home".
I am thankful for the different place we have lived. I have learned so much from each of the moving experiences. I have made life time friends with people I would have never met had we stayed here. I am thankful for the lessons learned in welcoming and accepting new people, because I have been one. It has drawn Ralph and I closer as a married couple. We learned to rely on each other, and not our family of origin.
With all that being said, I am glad to be back here. I am glad for the lessons I have learned. I am glad that sometimes I still feel like a stranger. Most of all I am glad that my God is big and He doesn't waste any experience I go through.