Tennessee is endless green. The past week we’ve escaped down small roads, driving below tree branches with the sun peering through the leaves. The roads are bumpy, curvy and scattered with potholes. Driving up and down hills, never knowing what lies on the other side or around the bend. The air is humid, but cool. Every few days clouds appear and sprinkle rain.
We’re renting a small brick house located on a street in town. On our first day the neighbors walked up our drive to introduce themselves. We thought perhaps we’d parked wrong on the street. It never occurred to us that someone might simply stop by to give us a friendly hello and welcome. One night we were standing outside at 12:30 a.m., talking to brother and Tif. Apparently we were too loud because the neighbors flicked their lights on and off. It reminded mom of a father signaling for his teenage daughter to stop making out with her boyfriend in the driveway.
It takes five minutes to get to where you’re going. There are plenty of fast food joints and dollar stores, plus a Walmart. The closest Target, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and mall can be found forty miles away. There are no sunsets. The sun merely escapes behind the trees. Bug bites cover skin. Ninety percent of the radio stations are country. Things are much slower, with the normal speed limit at 35 mph. With Arizona plates, cop cars follow you everywhere. It’s common to see a horse and buggy driving down the street, carrying the produce grown by the local mennonites. Customer service is like almost everything else... slow. Small town life simply isn’t my cup of tea. I’m a city girl, born and bred. But for now, this is my temporary home.
A friend of mine said I’d probably get home sick after a few weeks. But it came much sooner. Sitting on the window seat in my old house, I watched as the new owner told mom, “It already feels like home.” It suddenly hit me as I thought, “This is it.” Three breakdowns occurred over the three days spent driving to Tennessee. Mom kept repeating, “It’s all going to be okay.”
Unhappiness stayed with me the first few days here. But I’m focused on remaining content with my circumstances. I desperately want a job, but the right one will come at the right time. I’m trying not to get impatient. Somehow, for reasons God only knows, this is where I’m supposed to be.