By ANNA CATE LITTLE
By the time you read this, I’ll be gone… in Georgia, surrounded by boxes, with my face in my hands. My husband would call that dramatic, but dramatic doesn’t begin to explain the way I feel about leaving home, sweet, Homewood.
Six years ago, I moved to Homewood, a newlywed. Three years ago, Matt and I brought home our precious daughter, Caroline, from Brookwood Medical Center to a warm reception of bows and signs from our neighbors. Speaking of neighbors, that’s where I’ll begin.
Where else can you walk out of your front door and know there’s an instant social hour awaiting you, complete with frolicking kids and great adult conversation? Our street, Shades Park Drive, was a treasure. Our neighbors were the kind who come running when houses get struck by lightening or kids fall off bikes. I have to pay special homage to the Griggs family: Alison insisted on spending the night during Caroline’s infancy to handle feedings so I could sleep. Randy, a stay-at-home dad, always kept an eye out for me and my house, as my husband was often traveling on business. Their kids, Jackson, Sam and Pete, doted on Caroline, teaching her how to kick a soccer ball and swing like a big kid.
Where else can you walk to two parks, a library, not to mention countless of the city’s best shops and restaurants, all within blocks of your house?
Where else can you drive a half mile to Early Arts, Caroline’s fantastic preschool, and then hang a left and be at your gym, Studio Fitness, where Haley and Leslie tirelessly encouraged me to be a healthier, happier version of myself?
Where else could we have started a business from the ground up (Icing on the Cookie) and left it in the hands of a gracious community and good friends, Katie and Shelby Adams?
Where will we find another Twin Construction? William and David and their crew renovated our house, built our guest house, constructed our business and became our friends along the way.
Where else can I sit and watch the most adorable tutu-clad two-year-olds dance around to a live pianist? The Children’s Dance Foundation is yet another Homewood gift.
Where else can I plop Caroline in her BOB and walk to each of her best friends’ houses within minutes? And just what will our lives be like without Emmett, Kate L., Kate D., Anna, Sydney, Anderson, Noah and their mommies, among others?
Where else can we visit, within ten minutes, a superb zoo, a gorgeous botanical garden and a fun-filled science center?
And, speaking of over-the-mountain, where, oh where, will we find another Red Mountain Church? Our church has been our haven, our family, a place where God’s grace and deep friendships have collided in a way that allowed us to celebrate the most joyous highs and survive the most devastating lows. Where will we find a community of believers who like to drink beer as much as we do?
Our counselor, Gordon Bals, who married us and has humbly shepherded us over the years, lives in Homewood with his family. Our quirky, funny, but most importantly, loving pastor, Tom Cannon, also lives in Homewood with his family. Caroline’s godfather, Griff Israel, whose family has shared with us many meals, trips to Seagrove Beach and seedy visits to Starz Karaoke, lives in Homewood as well.
Where else can I sit on my back porch and have a perfect view of a giant iron statue with a bare butt, and feel an odd sense of pride at that?
Where else would our kid go around telling everyone that “the elephant says, ‘Roll Tide!’” when she should be yelling “Go Dawgs!”?
And where else will I find a gig like the one I’ve had here at The Homewood Star? Writing about the people and places in my own community has been a blast and a blessing. And I’m so proud and honored to have been a part of the inaugural issue and watched it grow for over a year now.
There really is no place like Homewood. Believe me, I’ve looked. And while I know God has placed our family on a new path, His path, I still leave with a heavy heart. But I am so thankful for the time we’ve had here, and the friends we’ve made. For those of you who get to remain in this lovely place, enjoy and take care of it. It’s the best placed I’ve ever lived.