Just like that, We have been here for a year! Our Wirtz-aversary sneaked right past us.

It was not surprising, though. The summer was a blur. One of the Reynolds kids spent her summer at school, taking classes. She was here for the month of May and again for a week at the tail end of July.

Our other college kid was here, working in the kitchen at a local pizza spot. We didn’t see too much of him but it was sure nice having him around.

Jim and I worked on our various projects and responsibilities, did some traveling, and boom, now here we are with the leaves starting to turn and a year in southwest Virginia under our belts.

We’ve done a lot: found work, a church, a doctor, a dentist, a hairdresser (me), a barber (Jim), a place to buy plants, a gym we like, and some fun people to talk to. Those curvy roads aren’t nearly as scary as they were when we first arrived. I’ve loved getting to know our neighbors, both the “from heres” and the “come heres” and appreciate their kindness and pride in this beautiful place.

And I still marvel at the sight of the mountains and am delighted to come around a corner and spy some cows hanging out doing their thing. To wake up every morning and see the lake in our backyard feels like a gift every single time.

I’ve had some folks ask if I miss our old home. Sometimes I do, but I try not to. I miss the people that I used to run into without even thinking about it, and instead focus on appreciating how those tiny interactions brighten a day. So I make a point of running into people here, too.

Last fall, I was chatting with one of the guys at the dump who had moved with his wife from New Jersey, and was planning to move back after ten years at the lake. “I made a life here,” he said. “She didn’t.” I thought that was sad. So that became my Number One Goal: making a life here. I think we’re doing okay.

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