It sneaks up on you, your love for this place. You’re assigned this duty station, so you pack up all your bags, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. You arrive in the heart of the summer, and your lungs feel like the humidity just might kill you. You have no friends, no family, no job and no school. Then it happens.
Before you can even notice what’s happened, you’re looking into graduate schools in the area and talking about house buying instead of renting. You’re considering the quality of the schools for your future children. You’re looking into long-term career options in the community. You’ve fallen in love.
OK, so maybe it doesn’t work this way for everyone, but it sure happened to me. My only problem was the same I’d heard from many other spouses: my husband hated this place. He once said that Georgia would rank a close second for places he’d least like to live, the first rank being held by a certain lake of fire.
But just a few days ago, when I mentioned the possibility of settling down elsewhere, his tune changed. Suddenly he was singing the praises of the area — our wonderful church and great group of friends. He’s convinced we ought to buy the house we’re renting and stay here forever, and it came out of nowhere.
I told you it sneaks up on you. Well, at least it snuck up on me. And it snuck up on my husband. Just like it’s snuck up on many of you. Now, I’m not suggesting that this is some sort of magical, fairy tale place where pixies sprinkle dust on your pillows while you sleep that leaves you far more enchanted by your surroundings, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find out the people of the community are in on it. Just when you seem to be feeling homesick, it seems like someone in the community steps up to make you remember that this can be home, too.
I don’t know about you or your experiences, but I know it blindsided me. And I know it blindsided my husband. And I know I truly, truly love it here.