The “Greater Tri State”…
The physical move from Denton to Cleveland was like most - confusing and dramatic. All moves are. Not sure if I had an ordinary chaotic move or chaotic ordinary move.
I found Cleveland to be a beautiful little town full of trees, wildlife and mountains. Totally unlike Texas. You can see mountains from three sides of my house. We are located in the area where Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia meet. Fondly called “the greater tri-state area”.
I found Cleveland to be a pleasant southern town. This is a place where people are quick with a “Yes ma’am,” eager to help you put groceries in your car or invite you to church. This is a land of sweet tea, curb markets with fresh vegetables, SEC Football, fried chicken, pickled okra, boiled peanuts, and church on Sunday and Wednesday. They have both faith and patriotism to spare.
Many here seldom or don’t dance – ever. This is partly due to the prominence of a Christian denomination with which I am largely unfamiliar. I am the Wren McCormack of Cleveland, TN. How someone has never heard music and moved rhythmically to the beat, I’ll never know. So I, trying to peddle my dance based fitness program to people who don’t dance has been problematic. I knew I’d show up and say, “I teach Jazzercise!” and students would come in droves. Not so much… I hear their thoughts, “Who’s the jezebel from Dallas in her spandex pants and brightly colored shirt and loud music?” But, I have managed to find a small group of Cleveland expatriates who will take my class in engage in the forbidden dancing with me.
After a certain age I always thought that finding my niche in a new place and my tribe of friends and acquaintances would never be a problem again. More than ever I’ve felt like the new girl in the 5th grade- unliked, inadequate and longing to sit at the “cool” table for lunch. Again, just like 5th grade, there have been lots of tears, lots of screams and lots of aching to make me or my life different. Most of all I wanted a friend.