moving to monroe has been an adventure, that's for sure. and i want to remember the process. the excitement, struggles, things learned, and just the random moments that make me stop and laugh. or just make a weird face. so...here's to monroevian life! i remember talking to emily about how your life is a canvas. and your whole life is spent filling it up. pictures...fun souveniers...words...maybe even voices if they could attach themselves to the material. but, when you move or go off to another place, you don't leave things completely. you take your canvas with you. but then you just keep on painting. and collecting. and it gets more beautiful and more rich everywhere you go. so...i guess i'm picking up a new paintbrush and starting to paint.
hard to describe everything that's been happening because there's so much. but...i guess i'll try the highlights. or wait. maybe top places to go. thumbtacks on the map.
1. the Whites
Al is good friends with jan and hugh, and she was involved with this bible study when she lived in matthews. and it was so amazing she kept driving back down there, even when she moved away. so, i got plugged in there, and it's incredible. these two people are so friendly, funny, and real. we have dinner together with everyone, and it's usually spent laughing over something or just sharing about days. then, we study the bible. the last week was devoted just to prayer. there's beauty in prayer. a community lifting each other up. being real, with others, with god. forms these really tight bonds. i appreciate them more than i could say. definitely going to renovatus this sunday to the service. looking forward to developing closer friendships with everyone there.
2. Monroe library
duh. i love libraries. and this one is really fun. there's one lady, pamela, she works there, and she's so friendly. i remember one of the first days i was in monroe, i went to the library. and she had this big smile on her face, and we chatted about the area. i remember telling her how much i appreciated her friendliness. now, when i see her, we always talk. i love how communities form. knowing people. having a heart for neighbors. also, joined a monthly book club. we met this past tuesday, and it was really fun! there were just a few women, but talking about books with them was so great! and the librarian who leads it, judy, is so sweet. i enjoy seeing her in the library. we're going to be reading a book on the middle east for august. really excited!
3. Java Grande
there's a coffee shop really near my apartment, and i love going in there and talking with the owner, john. he's from new york and loves talking about coffee, the customers, and just life. ha, grant and i went there one time, and we got into a discussion about tea. don't really remember what we talked about...
4. Cane Creek
i have only been there once, but it was a really fun park. too bad it cost to hike the trails though...that's the only downside. but...the trails are really pretty. not hard or anything, but fun to walk and enjoy nature. plus, there's a dock where the boats come in, and it's a great place sit and read a book. because i'm cheap and wouldn't pay to use the beach to swim. :) still on a mission for more parks. preferably free.
5. PDC and the AG center
okay. this place, the professional development center and the agricultural center, are nice buildings. but, the buildings aren't why i liked them. i love these places because i met some amazing international teachers there. one of whom i'll be teaching with! emma's from england, and she is great. really funny, i'm so excited to be on her team. union county hired a bunch of teachers all across the world from this international teaching program, and they'll be here up to three years. during orientation, i had a chance to meet some friends from jamaica, peru, and philippians. i'm so excited because richard, one of the guys i met, really wants to plug into a church! so, i think we're going to go to renovatus in two weeks! it was such a great week getting to know new friends. then, i met another girl, steph, who just moved here from new york. she's really sweet, and i can't wait to spend time with her too.
**anyway, i guess that's it for now. so thankful for all the prayers. missing everyone so much. i think about boone, people, memories, all the time. but, then i remind myself that they're still here. in my heart. and that christ is teaching me here. on an adventure. so excited about teaching! kids come the 25th. i cannot wait. prospect elementary seems like a wonderful school, and i am trusting with my face to the sun. and dancing with the rain.
**ha oh yeah. about the side of baking soda. well...whoever had moved out from this apartment apparantly smoked. a lot. so...i've been doing crazy treatments. like...putting out nightly vinegar bowls to absorb the smell. spraying vamoose, this chemical that is supossed to chemically eliminate smoke, on the furniture. and by furniture i mean also in the air conditioner unit. mehh....hopefully i'm not breaking it :-) then, i sprinkle baking soda on everything. it's this huge box that smells like flowers. so, i guess it's snowing here in my room. :-) but, it's working! things are turning normal.