You know that verse from May We All by Florida Georgia Line, “May we all get to grow up in a red, white and blue little town…” Nothing has ever resonated with me as much as that line; especially when I get to go home.
This past Saturday, Zach, myself and our pups packed up and headed home. We went knowing that we would have to stay a safe distance of 6 feet from the ones we loved the most, but nonetheless, we went anyway.
I’ve never felt so happy and sad all the same. So, so happy that I was on my way back home to the slow paced traffic, fields being plowed, and streets I could drive with my eyes closed (preferably Dykes street). But sad because I couldn’t hold onto my momma and daddy super tight (because I haven’t seen them since January), or run up to my maw-maw’s front door and give her a big hug. So. Many. Emotions.
But there was also an overwhelming familiarity and peace that came over my soul to drive into that tiny little town with my husband and our two pups, knowing that our roots were still planted there.
When you drive into town and pass Scott’s Barbecue and see the Second Street sign…
When you are looking left and right for cars you recognize to see if they’re old friends, so you can shout and wave out of the car window as you pass by…
When you are so excited to see new businesses hometown people have started…
When you are able to drive by your old house and know the new owners are keeping it safe and beautiful…
When you cruise down Limestone road and get butterflies because you’re almost there…
You just know that you’re among family.
As much as I love where life has brought my little family, it still excites my heart to turn up the country music, roll my windows down, and let the cool spring breeze blow my hair around down a slow-paced Bleckley County road.
My roots will forever be planted in the red Georgia clay of Bleckley County. It’s where I grew up; where I met my now husband; where I went to school with the same 190 class-mates all 13 years of school; where I learned to drive; where I knew that if I walked around town, I would see someone I knew and get a big hug or catch up on their family life; where I knew that if I drove over to my best friend’s house, I would be greeted with a big from her momma and daddy whether she was there or not.
It’s where both my and Zach’s family still lives.
So naturally, most of our hearts are still there, keeping our roots good and strong.
Moving away from your hometown is always an adventure and such a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, you get to see a little bit more of what life has to offer; but on the other hand, the familiarity and comfort of knowing your family is right down the road if you need them is gone.
I’ll never regret the decision that Zach and I made to move away. The Lord graced us with an amazing opportunity, a great church family, and some of the best people we’ll ever know. And all the while, we’ve learned so much and our family has been strengthened through it.
But one thing I’ve learned that is certain, there is truly no place like home and deep down at my core, I still have purple and gold running through my blood.