As I began thinking about the next step for the Thursday posts it was obvious that I’d need a new title. This won’t be so much about the job search (although the new job will be featured here). Every time I thought about it the opening of the original “Star Wars” movie kept coming back to me. That great scrolling exposition followed by what seemed like an impossibly long starship. And the words: “Episode IV – A New Hope”.
This is less about a “new hope” than it is about a new beginning. It also feels like it’s episode 4 as well. Episode 1 was my life growing up in my parent’s home, episode 2 is my life after college, marriage, becoming a father and my first career. Episode 3 is the change to the new career, raising my incredible daughter, walking through some hard paths with the astounding lady in my life and growing in faith. Now it’s episode 4 – A New Beginning. A new part of the world, a new career challenge and moving on from what has gone before. It feels right, it feels good. So this series will be “A New Beginning”.
Week #1 is behind us. That was…fun. The 9+ hour drive with a very unhappy cat. My left knee deciding that three such trips in the span of 10 days was cruel and unusual punishment. It has been swollen for most of the week that followed. Not much pain but lots of annoyance. Trying to figure out where all these boxes were going to go in our smaller apartment. Then trying to figure out where all the stuff IN those boxes are going to go. Getting satellite TV service, getting a new bank, getting phone and Internet service. Moving into my new office and trying to figure out my new job. Here are some of the highlights:
- Folks here in southern Virginia are serious about mold and mildew. In the 15 item list of things we are responsible for in our lease at least 4 of them (including the first and last items on the list) have to do with mold and mildew. It’s hot and humid down here so I understand, it was just a bit surprising at the emphasis.
- Folks here are wonderfully warm and welcoming. Our welcome Sunday morning brought tears to my eyes a couple times. We (my lady wife and I) got a standing ovation at our introduction at the announcements then received a “pounding” at the reception afterward. That’s where they give you pounds of necessary items for your new home. We got flour, sugar, bread mixes, canned veggies and lots of gift certificates! It was a wonderful surprise. Redeemer did a great job making us feel like part of the family and it makes me want to do my absolute best for them.
- Roads here are…interesting. A 2 lane road can suddenly become a 4 lane road which can suddenly become a divided 6-8 land road which can become what appears to my eyes to be a thruway. All of which still have local road access and turn offs for the many shopping plazas and centers in the area. It’s just a little novel for me.
- I spend a lot of time vaguely lost. Not seriously lost, mind you. Just sort of vaguely “Wait a minute, where are we now?” lost. Moving from small town/rural America to a much more developed but still spread out area right on the edge of a major urban area is a bigger change than I anticipated. I’ve been around big cities before but the layout here is different from the WNY/NWPA model. I’m getting there. I can find church/work and the grocery store easily so far. Most everything I need I can find along the Midlothian Turnpike and I can get there reliably so we’re OK. Just need to keep exploring.
- So far we’ve hit our first festival (the Richmond Greek Festival. Very similar to Yassou but about 5 times bigger), had our first local barbecue (Q Barbecue, small local chain that’s really good), got Mexican one night (Plaza Azteca, also very good), had some real southern fried chicken at the church reception and are planning on attending our first local theater production at the Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen. It’s the On The Air Radio Players doing some original radio scripts. And yes, I just might be seeing about joining that crew sometime in the next year. Sounds like my kind of stuff.
- Temps have consistently been in the 80s and 90s. We still haven’t been in the pool yet. There’s something wrong there.
There’s still lots to do. We have a bank, still waiting on phone and Internet (Friday, with any luck at all), Donna has unpacked a MASSIVE number of boxes and found places for their contents. We’re getting there.
It’s a new beginning. Hmmm, need to find a graphic for that….