I moved to Georgia from Massachusetts earlier this year. That's the kind of adventure that required favors from everyone I can count on, and gave me an 1,100-mile U-Haul drive to spend pondering my good fortune.
I sure am thankful for the friends and family who helped me out. They gave me hugs, lifts, job tips, free Waffle House breakfasts-heck, I even got a new microwave. Not everyone has such strong back-up to call in tight times, and I'm profoundly grateful. But when you tear yourself up by the roots and transplant somewhere else, you tend to start counting even bigger blessings that most of us take for granted. Driving the open roads of the East Coast, I thought about how lucky I am to live in a country so free that I can move wherever I want, whenever I want, in pursuit of my vision of a better life. Most people on the planet don't have that luxury. Once I settled in, I realized how lucky I am to live in a state where the people are so astonishingly friendly. Granted, coming here from the mean streets of Boston, it blows my mind if someone simply says hi to me on the sidewalk. But Southern warmth goes deeper than that. I still can't believe that when I was lost in downtown Atlanta, a woman walked me two blocks to my destination instead of just giving me directions. My mechanic recently fixed my car for free, then had a leisurely chat with me even though it was closing time. People are not like this everywhere.
My lucky feelings go double for the place I've come to know the best: Conyers. As a person, I want to feel welcomed. As a journalist, I want to write about a lively, innovative place. Conyers has offered me both-way beyond my expectations. I've met all sorts of people in Conyers, from the mayor to business owners to regular working folks. Very different people, but all with two things in common: They've been extraordinarily welcoming to a wandering Yankee newbie, and they have a deep love of the city they're eager to share.
When a job involves conversations with those folks, when work means a visit to Olde Town- how fortunate can I get? When I count my blessings this Thanksgiving, you'll be high on my list, Conyers. Thank you for the privilege of letting me tell your stories.