Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Good. . . Better. . . and even Better!

The title for this expresses how I feel about life since my mid-month move (back) to Clarksville, Tennessee. My life's eventfulness is becoming like the Energizer bunny -- it goes on and on! Here are the details:

Good: my living environment took a major positive turn over my last one, in Nashville! The place where I'm lodging, Patriot Place, is a family-style house in a residential neighbor-hood -- complete with a "pocket"-park (small neighborhood green space with playground features) next to it. And if it's a group home, it's a small-group home (capacity six men). I like the other three men currently living here, all military veterans. Even tho' two are Navy and one Marine, I like them! Indeed, amazingly, I feel closest to the jarhead! "Jarhead", for those unfamiliar with military slang, is a term denoting a U.S. Marine; it's usually pejorative but I call Ralph that to his face as a term of endearment.

Better: I was interviewed for a State of Tennessee job I had applied for while still living in Nashville. I was called back to the State Capital for a second interview, which took place Monday morning. Second interviews are always a good sign in a job search! The fact-to-face took place in the Capitol Building, which in my firm opinion is the most beautiful and unique of all capitols in these United States, with the Secretary of State in his office. I was nervous while traveling on IH 24, but felt at peace and at home during. AND. . . at mid-day I received a phone call from HR offering me the job! Whoopee! ! !

Even Better: I've spent time with family. Clarksville may be comparatively "provincial" (my daughter's opinion) if sized against Music City or especially San Antonio or Houston. But it has one enormous advantage over any larger city: there are kinfolk in and around. Most important -- immediate family. I spent the afternoon of Fathers Day at the family home, and thoro'ly enjoyed it! It made me very glad I figuratively took "the last train to Clarksville!" Hip! Hip! Hoo-ray! ! !

Now. . . as for details on the State position I was offered:

It's a part-time security-receptionist job at the entrance to the State Library and Archives. This historic and important Art-Deco edifice is directly across the street (Seventh Ave.) from the Capitol Building, thus sits on the shoulder of Capitol Hill and smack in the middle of every downtown place of import to yours truly. In addition to the Capitol, thw magnificent War Memorial Bldg., the skyscraper housing the State Museum and TPAC (for performing arts), Music City Central (the MTA depot), the public library. . . .

My primary duty will be to greet patrons upon their entering and sign them in. Also, keep aware of surroundings, such as monitors of surveillance cameras, and exiting patrons, to prevent break-ins or theft of documents (it's a closed-stack library). And if I'm closing shift, which it looks like I'll be, after 6:00pm check to be sure everybody's gone, doors are locked, etc.

And it's in a LIBRARY! My mother MUST have birthed me in one, as much as I love the stacks and the serene (altho' not as serene as formerly) atmosphere of knowledge and info. She WAS a public library assistant in Boise during my early boyhood.

My new job will be in a LIBRARY! Whoopee!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Savory Sunday! Church, then Family!

This past Sunday, day before yesterday or 19 June A.D. 2011, was Fathers Day. It turned into a gr-r-r-reat holiday for yours truly!

In the morning I was given a ride to Gateway Christian Church by old friends and now neighbors Ron and Judy. GCC is a rather young and thriving congregation, on the north side of IH 24 near Exit 11. They are an Independent Christian Church congregation, which means they share much with the Disciples of Christ (denomination in which I was ordained and endorsed to be Army chaplain). Including celebrating the Lord's Supper in every worship service!

GCC's worship this day was led by a Chaplain who's a member of and has just returned with the 101st from Afghanistan. I should mention that the Sunday had been declared a day for churches to recognize and honor members of the returning 101st Airborne Division. After introductory advice on how to handle any incident of anxiety or combat flashback, Corey Arnold conducted the service just like services he conducted at FOB Bostick in A-stan. He preached a very uplifting expository sermon on I Thessalonians 5:16-18, about the three constants therein: always rejoice, always pray and always be thankful.

After worship Gateway held a potluck dinner, and I got to sit at table with Chaplain Arnold. The active chappy and this former chappy had lively conversation wwe dined on the delicious selection of food.

Then it was off to see the family -- and more "fine" dining! Indeed, daughter Sarah Beth made the pasta sauce -- according to handed-down family secret recipe. She did just about as well as her half-Italian mama! For dessert I provided some watermelon wedges left at the end of the Gateway CC potluck.

A much better dessert was watching Facebook videos which wife Ellen brought up on her computer terminal, of our year-old granddaughter Theresa. Our son David took these, and all were delightful. However, the very best was of the fourteen-month-old little girl sitting in an overstuffed chair singing to and rocking an overstuffed animal. Aaawwwww!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Commencing Clarksville blog -- my third blog!

Three is one of the significant and symbolic numbers of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, I find it significant that I'm starting my third blogsite.

Since the start of the second year of the Century and Millennium, that is, since January A.D. 2002, I've dwelt in three very diverse cities. I'm now into my second week in the third city, Clarksville, Tennessee. This follows Nashville and before that San Antonio. I've truly come full circle, because the first few days of that secon millennial year I lodged in C'ville.

It's where I belong; I have family here. I didn't in Music City nor in the Alamo City (excepting the brief months my brother and sister-in-law were at Fort Sam Houston).

And FYI, Clarksville, altho' classified as a metropolitan (statistics) area, STILL truly has the atmosphere and "feel" of the small town it used to be. It's nicknamed the "Queen City", Nashville being the king burg on the Cumberland River (or king burg in Middle Tenn.). I, however used to like to tell folks C'ville was a queen city because it was the "Winter Queen" -- I experienced the coldest outdoor temperature ever in my life here -- and NOT in the State of my raising, Idaho! -- on Christmas Eve night/ Christmas Day morning in the Year of Our Lord 1983. Seventeen below! That's degrees Fahrenheit, not Celesius/Centigrade, dear reader.


Clarksville's rather unique among metropolitan areas in which yours truly has lived. When I first became acquainted with it, 1977, it had a very elongated shape, with US 41A hiway being the mid-line of the elongation. That's Madison St. - Providence Blvd. - Ft. Campbell Blvd. Get a mile and a half or two away from 41A on either side and you were outside the C'ville city limits.

Get so far to the west of the Ft. Campbell Blvd. segment of 41A and you're inside the military reservation of Fort Campbell Army post. Home of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The Hundred and First "Screaming Eagles", my final major unit when I was serving active Army duty(last half of A.D. 1983).

Due to the elongated shape back then, there really was only one road to go on to get directly from downtown Clarksville to the post or vice versa. You can imagine the major, MAJOR traffic jams and resulting headaches and overheated autos!

But in the 1980s Clarksville truly began to change in many ways. The unincorporated community of St. Bethlehem to the northeast of downtown was seeing significant growth thanks to the Trane h.v.a.c. factory which had arisen there. Clarksville incorporated Saint B (as it's affectionately known for short), and thus put a segment of rounding out to its general incorporated shape. A second and larger mall, Governor's Square, was built not far from Exit 4 of IH 24, which itself was fairly new in the length that passes by C'ville. More businesses followed, including a K-Mart, a Wal-Mart and numerous hotels, motels and restaurants. These sprang up along the Saint B main drag, a US Hiway (79) that was christened "Wilma Rudolph Blvd." after Saint B native and star Olympic sprinter Wilma.

However, the rounding out of Clarksville's shape to the north and east will not be matched by any in the other direction. You see, my once-and-anew hometown has got to be the largest city built all on one bank of a major river (the Cumberland) with downtown -- the original settlement -- atop bluffs overlooking the stream, and no corresponding incorporated development on the opposite bank. Just farmland!

The various unique aspects of the city, especially the Army post and the all-on-one-side of a river, endear it to yours truly.

So. . . I'm glad to be back in the Queen City! Even if come winter it becomes again the "Winter Queen"!