Thursday, September 29, 2016

Columbia MD -- aka home.

photo source: Jessica Anne, via the You know you grew up in Columbia MD page. Used with permission.

Confession: I now have three hometowns.  When I leave NC to visit PA, I'm going home.  When I jaunt from PA down to MD, I'm going home.  When I drive south and to NC, home.  It's a good thing.

But the place I spent my formative years, where I grew up, where I first believed in God, where I sang in children's choir, and where I graduated high school (Go Lions!), is Columbia MD. It's a planned community located midway between Baltimore and DC, and it celebrates its 50th birthday in June 20171. What sets a planned community apart is its deliberate avoidance of urban sprawl -- there's no haphazard growth until the town runs into the next town and becomes a metropolis. Columbia has 10 villages, including Oakland Mills, Phelps Luck, Owen Brown, Harpers Choice, Dorsey Hall, each of which has a village center. A village center includes an anchor grocery store and strip mall, which includes such things as a hairdresser, a restaurant, some retail spaces, some fast food joints, maybe a bank, probably a gas station. So you're never far from where you shop and eat, and you get to know the local owners and your neighbors while you're at it. Each village also has several neighborhoods, many of which have an elementary school, and each of which has a convenience store. Also probably a pool run by the Columbia Association, which is a really enormous version of a homeowner's association.  

1 How does a town celebrate its birthday? If it's Columbia, it's with enough sheet cake for everyone to get a slice, served down at one of the primary green spaces in town, Lake Kittamaqundi. Literally thousands of slices of cake. And not just on the "big numbers", like the silver and the golden anniversaries. Every. Single. Year. Back at the 20th anniversary, 1987, they took a stairstep photo with a kid who had been born in town at Howard County General Hospital for every single year of Coumbia's existence. My little brother was the 1983 kid.

Fun fact: if you still have access to a hard-copy World Book Encyclopedia, if you look up "City", there's an aerial shot of Columbia. 

Now Money Magazine has chosen Columbia MD as America's #1 Best Place to Live, and in addition to that cover article, it's done up some lovely interviews with some of its citizenry.

How America's #1 Best Place to Live got that way

Thank you, James Rouse.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Lillary, 7yo

(For some things I use my blog simply as a means to be able to refind things later on.  This is one of them.  Read the linked article, which includes the letter.)

The Day Hillary Clinton Won My Heart - article

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Our new hometown

One thing we love about Kernersville is its downtown.  We know a number of the small business owners, and we enjoy all the events they do to bring people downtown.  

They've now written about the town in our own magazine.  Not too shabby for a town of 23,000.  Sometimes you just need to brag on yourself.  
Kernersville magazine article about Kernersville

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fighter Verse 1

Our evening church kids at Grace are working with the Fighter Verses curriculum from Children Desiring God over the course of this school year.  It includes a heavy dose of scripture memory with the goal of equipping these kids, so that when tough times come (and they will), God's Word will be hidden in their hearts so they would not sin (Psalm 119:11).

Fighter Verse 1
Deuteronomy 7:9
Spoken rhythmically, as a march or a handclap. 

Know therefore that the
LORD your God is God,
the faithful God who keeps
covenant and steadfast love
with those who love him
and keep his commandments,
to a thousand


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Making the world smaller

This is powerful.

Where are you from?
Would you like to take a journey based on your DNA?