This week marked a major change in my life. I completed the first half of my 15th move. If I counted every house I’d be somewhere in the 20’s but who’s counting right? I did something ridiculously ridiculous and I signed a lease on a townhouse near the stadium of a school I can only pretend to be faintly interested in (Hook ‘Em), sight unseen. To make a long story short, I had come down for 36 hours with only the faintest of luck in my home search and this townhouse popped up after I was gone. So, I signed a lease while on a Jr. High mission trip, in the wee hours of the morning because a roof over my head seemed important. If you were with me for any part of this then you know I was so sure I’d be living in my car with my dog. Thankfully, God saw fit for me to live in a townhouse that has air conditioning, a small yard for the dog, a place for my piano, and a guest bedroom! I’ve found the occasional random small spider but it is in otherwise good condition.
Naturally, I set off to get all the things taken care of. So, lets begin with Walmart. Ya’ll, Walmart has been a terrible letdown. I happen to live near the one that the college students frequent so lets keep that in mind.
Trip 1: Im not from around here
I go to walmart very late. This walmart is massive. The hula hoops are not with the ammo. It is at least quadruple the size of the one in the town I just came from. Can we, just for a second, discuss the salad dressing selection? HOLY MOLY. I was able to find everything in my preferred flavor and was promptly overwhelmed with the sheer amount of my choices. I ask my cashier how her day is. She looks perplexed that I talked to her and tells me she has a headache and is ready to get off. I nod in understanding and say that I am ready for sleep as well since I just moved. She asks where and I explain I lived in KY/TN. To which she says she has lived here all her life. Then, she asks me very seriously, “Why would you ever move? Like, everything you would ever want is where you grew up.” I smile and tell her I like adventure and cringe internally at the question of moving. As I’m leaving the parking lot, a hundred or so college students are congregated just haging out by their cars in the walmart parking lot. Many have their dogs with them. This strikes me as odd in the city.
Trip 2: The jelly saga
I forgot jelly the night before. Strawberry is my go-to but I go for blueberry this time. There is only one brand of blueberry on the shelf. I grab my other things and get to the register. As the woman swings the carousel of bags, she swings her carousel hard enough that it knocks my bag with my glass jar of jelly onto the floor and shatters it into many pieces. The manager (who is much younger than she is) comes over and begins to pick up the pieces, puts it into a bag, and tells her she has to go get me a new jar. She laughs and tells him shes on a register and he needs to go get it. They do this while shes ringing up my order. Did I mention this place is large and it will take a solid 2-5 minutes to find me a new jar anyways? They wasted it bantering over who would get my jar of jelly. The manager finally concedes and I tell him “its the Polaner All Fruit Blueberry. Its the only blueberry kind back there.” She finishes my transaction and asks me to pay. I say that I am waiting on the jelly. She says “well, I took it off because its the only one back there”. Confused I said it wasn’t to which she says “but you told me it was the only one.” And then informs me the manager probably got sidetracked and he probably wasnt bringing me jelly. Ya’ll, I just wanted my jelly. The saga continued with me paying for my stuff without jelly, here beginning to ring up the next folks in line and then voiding their order to ring up my jelly that the manager returned with a solid two seconds after I finished paying.
Trip 3: The shower caddy liar
In trip two I had purchased a shower caddy. Said shower caddy was $13, pewter, nothing fancy but functional. However, after the jelly saga, the shower caddy was nowhere to be found when I got back to my house. Tired and having a dinner party to go to, I opted to wait it out and go this morning to get my caddy. When I get to customer service, I wave at the jelly manager from yesterday. I explain that the caddy didn’t make it into my cart and that I need to get a replacement. She asks if I called. I look at her puzzled and say “no”. Then she asks if I came back for it. I politely say “no, thats why I’m here now”. She takes my receipt over to jelly manager and he sends her off somewhere. I’m assuming she goes to get a new caddy. She returns empty handed. She hands my receipt back to me and says “ummm, yeah, so we don’t tolerate liars here. I watched the footage and you took that caddy with you. I don’t know what you did with it but, umm, you don’t get another one.” My original ticket was over $100 and all I wanted was my $13 shower caddy. I was more insulted that she called me a liar as I thought to myself “how many people walk in here stealing shower caddies?”
In trip three, I caught myself reminiscing about Fulton. Remembering the bacon aisle, the country accent, and the sheer smallness of it all. Last evening I had dinner with gourmet ingredients (by Fulton standards) and passed by things and places that were clear indications of a booming economy. And for a few minutes I mourned the loss of Fulton. The loss of the simplicity. The loss of the my friends and the familiarity. In Fulton all the roads lead to 3-4 main roads. I had roads that I liked to drive because the houses were intriguing whether they had no windows, were abandoned, or beautiful. I found myself missing those pieces and stories.
While mourning is natural, there is no opportunity to travel backwards. My mom and dad have been stellar in the encouragement department of reminding me of my purpose and passions and how those are often married together in ways that I miss. And so, as I look for the ways in which these are married together when I start at my new church this week, I am reminded to breathe and take it one day at a time. May this always be true.