Ready or not, Henry, here I come - Jason Smith

In the next few weeks, I will be doing something I probably should have done a year ago, but that I have been unable to do before now.

My wife and I will finally be moving to Henry County.

Strangely enough, the prospect of relocating to a town in which I already work, brings mixed emotions.

On the one hand, I am thrilled about the idea of being much closer to my job, and saving money on gas. I'm also looking forward to involving myself more in the community I've made my living writing about for the last year.

However, I will have to get used to living somewhere other than Rockdale or Newton County. Adjusting to change has always been difficult for me. Even if that change is a positive one, I'm sure I will feel just a little out of my element in my first few weeks at my new apartment.

When I was a kid, I knew very little about the county. I heard about this mystical city called McDonough, but I always thought of it as the place where my father would get off Interstate 75 on our way back from our annual vacation in Florida. Hampton was where races were held every so often. I was vaguely familiar with Stockbridge, and I had no clue where Locust Grove was.

Now, I'm on the verge of being a Henry County resident. It's very strange.

I mean, I've been here for a while now, learning something new about the county on a daily basis. Because of what I do for a living, I'm acquainted with more city and county leaders than I ever knew in Rockdale, where I spent my whole life before I got married. But establishing roots in an area of which I had only a passing knowledge until January of last year, is new to me.

For one thing, I'll be farther away from my family than I have ever been. Granted, they're still less than an hour away, but that is still something I'm struggling with.

The places I'm most familiar with will be half an hour away. Sure, I could make the drive, but one of the main reasons we're moving, as I said, is to put fewer miles on our vehicles. Driving to Conyers or Covington every other day would defeat the purpose.

I suppose my wife and I could do the really novel thing, and invite close friends and family to see us at our new place.

Before I go any further, I want to make certain that anyone reading this, does not get the wrong impression.

I am beyond excited about my wife and I starting this new chapter of our lives together. She and I both work in McDonough, and within the last year, we've discovered several local restaurants and stores we'll likely visit on a more regular basis. We want a place we can call our own, in an area we can call home, and I know we'll be able to find that in Henry County.

That being said, there are certain aspects of the area in which I currently live, that I'm not willing to give up. My wife and I have already ruled out the idea of finding a church in Henry, because of how much we love the one we're in now. In addition, there's a couple of places in Conyers where I regularly sing karaoke, and wild horses couldn't drag me away from that experience.

Part of the reason for my attraction to both, I think, is because of the sense of comfort I get when I walk in the door, knowing I'm among friends. That's probably what I most fear losing with this move, but I hope I'll be able to continue developing that same sense of comfort here.

After all, I plan on being here for a while.

Jason A. Smith covers crime and courts for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161, or via e-mail at jsmith@henryherald.com.