By Jinifer Rae

“Anywhere but Tennessee!” I exclaimed upon hearing our family would be moving out of state. The thought of moving to a small town conjured up feelings of loss in my heart. I could not help but think of all the things I would be losing. I would miss my friends, my congregation, my favorite coffee place, and most of all the sunshine.

Indeed moving to a new state would offer challenges. However, a few days ago someone asked me how I like living in Mountain City, and while contemplating my response, a warm fuzzy feeling came upon me. I was surprised to realize I had fallen in love with this city. That warm feeling led me to contemplate all the things I have gained by moving here.
One of the most significant sources of unending pleasure is the scenery.

Every morning, I wake up and thank God for allowing me to see such beauty. The sunrise cresting the mountains surrounding this town is a glory to behold, and the evergreens peeking through the snow in the winter is a view my camera has not been able to capture completely.

Now the snow has melted, and an entirely new look has appeared. The iris has bloomed, every color of the rainbow, and the blueberries are ripe for the picking. I find myself taking more pictures to share with my friends back home.
Of course, taking a picture is only a snapshot of the surface beauty of this town; the real treasure is found among the daily interactions with the city’s residents.

Ordinary, daily events have given ample opportunities to experience the kindness of Mountain City’s inhabitants including the one I came across during an early morning walk. A motorist stopped me to see if my car was OK or if I needed a lift. That simple offer made my entire day. I walk everywhere we have lived, and I have never had anyone ask me
if I needed assistance. I must say that was incredibly nice.

A second experience that made me smile happened while shopping at the local grocery store. I noticed a disabled person in front of me was struggling with the computer technology required to pay. I admit, sometimes those small keypad boxes can be tricky to maneuver, but before I could offer some assistance, the cashier came around and addressed the problem. The act of kindness was noted in how patient she was with the customer. My son is disabled, and I have observed that people can be unkind to those who struggle. To witness such a pure moment of caring in the grocery line warmed my heart immensely. While these tiny, yet emotionally powerful moments in my new city could have easily happened to anyone, I am glad that I am able to be here to experience them.

Thank you