There are times when you must, as they say, "move on." Times when you must make a next step, or else be eternally held back by your decision. Now is one of those times.
I will be leaving Tennessee. Perhaps not for good, but I am leaving.
I will not miss the stench of stagnant water by the pond, or the battalions of biting insects. I will not miss the humidity and the heat, which, when compounded, give you the feeling of constant sweat. I will not miss the ladybug infestation every spring, or the ticks every summer. I will not miss the long weeks of late winter when it rains incessantly, and your clothes will not dry. I will not miss the local "Mexican" or "Chinese" food. I will not miss the lack of culture. I will not miss the ubiquitous usage of the terms "fixin to" or "yall," neither of which are legitimate. I will not miss the "country" accent, or the tendency to end all sentences with prepositions: "where the kids at?" or "that's the lake the big fish'r in." I will not miss the selfish, legalistic and narrow-minded Baptist theology. I will not miss the selfish, legalistic and narrow-minded Baptists (though not all of them are like this). I will not miss the drug deals and idiot drivers outside my apartment. I will not miss the lack of sidewalks or basic city planning.
But I will miss the wildlife - the deer, the blackbirds and cardinals and mockingbirds and thrushes and waxwings, the osprey and even the skunks. I will miss the late-evening softball games under the lights and the miniature pies in the cafeteria every Friday. I will miss swimming in the river near Wartburg and the flowers along the trails in Frozen Head or the Smokies. I will miss the companionship of my colleagues at work, all of whom are wonderful people. I will miss Dan's reason and Brian's commendable drinking talent ("POW!"). I will miss the surrogate family I have in the church, and the many friends I have made there. I will miss staying out long enough to close down the Buffalo Grille with Steve and Coach, discussing the kinds of theologies which would get one tarred and feathered while Kelly or Teresa brought us another round of beers. I will miss the Seriously Southwest with buffalo. I will miss attending the opera and the symphony with Mik (next season was set to be much better than the last), and the old movies at the Tennessee with Bailey and Sara. I will miss Teddy's humor, Bill's "naivete," Andy's laugh, Kathy's cooking and MC's optimism. I will miss all of you.
It is with a heavy heart that I go. To all of you who made this place special, I thank you, and will remember you always.
6 days ago