A sad celebration
The Baytown Sun
Published June 21, 2006
That’s how long we’ve lived in Baytown.
During that time, we’ve watched our 18-month-old baby grow into a lanky 7-year-old girl. We’ve made friends. We’ve grown close to our church family. We fixed up an old house. We converted the “junk room” into a nursery for another baby girl. We’ve had wonderful times and tragic experiences.
Basically, we have made this town our home.
So how are we going to mark our sixth anniversary in Baytown?
By moving away.
My husband Chad has accepted a ministry job in ... well, I won’t say it just yet. It’s in another state.
There’s a “for sale” sign in our yard. We’re starting to pack things up. But in a way, it doesn’t feel right. In about seven weeks, the place where we always sit in church will be empty. When the new second- graders at Travis Elementary walk to school on the first day of classes, Julia won’t be among them. Someone else’s kids will be covering our driveway with sidewalk chalk. And this little strip of newsprint that I’ve occupied for almost four years will be filled with somebody else’s writing.
Julia, our 7-year-old, asked me the other day if she could go outside and kick the “for sale” sign. I said only if I could do it, too.
Where we’re going will be a great place to live. Over time, it will become home, too.
I realize this column hasn’t been very funny so far. So I’ll throw in some humor.
That’s where we’re moving. Little Rock, actually. I’m about to become a walking Arkansas joke.
So go ahead. Tell me we won’t have to pack any shoes. Ask me who my daughters will marry since they don’t have any male cousins. Tell me that 32 Arkansas women in one room make one full set of teeth. Remind me that Bill Clinton is from there.
Bring it on. I can take it.
The truth is that Arkansas is a pretty neat place. Tommy Watson assured me of this, and I found out for myself when Chad and I visited Little Rock a couple of weeks ago. (If you know Tommy, ask him about the time I made an Arkansas joke to him — without knowing he grew up there. Not one of my finer moments.)
Little Rock is a beautiful city, and a friend tells me they have something known as “winter,” during which little white things fall out of the sky. Must be a local custom. I also noticed a lot of indentations in the terrain. I understand they’re called “hills.”
There’s a lot more I’d like to know about Arkansas. Like what Little Rock residents are called. “Little Rockers?” I hope so. And why isn’t Kansas pronounced “Kan-saw?”
I’ve moved before, and I know how stressful the whole process can be. I figure I can either let it overwhelm me, or I can get paid to make fun of it. So I’ll keep writing my column until we leave.
And, during the next seven weeks, we’ll be packing up, saying goodbye and trying to sell our house. (Three bedrooms, two baths, nice neighborhood, great schools.)
So if the Kerrs or the Mundingers or any of our other neighbors see us outside kicking that sign, please tell them not to worry. It’s just therapy.
Deana Nall currently lives in Baytown with her family.