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  • Heather Simmons

M O N T G O M E R Y | the next stop


The Great Uprooting continues. Back in October, I mentioned to you guys here that life had been absurd since July, and with a myriad of opportunities and setbacks and talking-to's by the Lord, my husband and I felt as though Florence was our next pit stop. I specifically remember saying "it's our next stop" and not "it's HOME" because I know the man upstairs likes to keep me on my toe. Because that's just how we roll. Literally the very next day we were told that my husband's company was facing a merger, set to wrap up by early January. I will spare you the enormous amount of back-and-forths and conference calls and meetings that have gone down over the last three months. Once the dust settled we realized that while my husband would get to keep his amazing job, he would no longer be able to work remotely from any location he chose [read: Florence]. We would have to move to Montgomery and he would have to report to the home office.

So a little backstory here. We are both originally from Montgomery, AL. We grew up just a few blocks from one another and have had super similar life experiences. From the same neighborhood to the same elementary school to eventually the same university (where we'd reconnect years later), we've experienced Montgomery through almost the same lens, and therefore share corresponding views on the town that raised us.

Full disclosure: we do not like it. We both moved to Birmingham at different times and for different reasons, but as fast as our little cars could take us nonetheless. The one shining star is our delightful family, and honestly we wish we could just scoop them all up and take them with us and never see Goat Hill again. It does not revive me - it drains me. There is a scarcity mentality that runs down I-85 that makes it very hard to trust your neighbor, let alone love your neighbor. It is difficult to be sincere when public figures foment the waves of clamor and hostility for votes and elected officials raise the banner of religion as a tent under which to scaffold their own statues. There are many good people doing good things and loving well, but that is not the general vibe you get in The Gump. This is literally the last place (other than an oppressive foreign country) that I'd prefer to live.

Trust me when I say I've crafted plans B - Z in my head. I'll buy a house in Florence and my husband can come visit Oscar and I on weekends. The State Line Lotto Mart is only 12 miles away in Tennessee... we could win. Right? All the plans grew progressively worse as I went on. But the Lord has said in a very slow, clear voice to me (thanks a lot Pastor Jay Wolf) that this is where He wants us. And as you well know, I took my fancy pants off long ago and handed them over. So there's not been any kicking or screaming this time. I haven't had a meltdown (yet) and feel confident that He is ample. He will provide. I'm moving back to the Dirty Gump and plan on embracing it with full force.

I'm planning endless pj parties with my Granny. Sleepovers with my brother's children. Cooking with my mother, and probably painting a wall or two. Shopping with my mother-in-law. Of course you know there's the grace part too, where I have to be kind to perfect strangers who absolutely do not deserve it. Because that's His expectation. And based on the irony that shrouds my life on a consistent basis, I'm gonna go ahead and call it: I'll probably end up loving it so much that I chair the Board of Tourism and Travel and talk all you hooligans into visiting. Who knows? These days I'm open to anything.


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