Eight years ago, I arrived in Krum as the next pastor of the United Methodist Church there. If I remember rightly, I told members on my first Sunday that we would not stay in their crumbling building any longer.
That may not have been the gentlest way to start, but at least they learned immediately who I was and what I was about. Three years later, a dream that was about 16 years in the making came true: We made the complicated and necessary move to a new and accessible facility right in the center of all the schools in Krum.
Eight years ago, I also began writing a weekly column for the Krum Star. Four years later, that column also landed here, at the Denton Record-Chronicle. Over those eight years, I have written about 400 original columns, all over some aspect of religion. I’m sure I’ve repeated some things, but I have sought, week after week, to bring fresh air and insights, along with my occasional rants, to the world of religious thought.
Six years ago I began my blog at www.christythomas.com , and I’ve published about 800 posts on it. Occasionally, people even read them. And even more occasionally, a post will go somewhat viral and several thousand people will read it.
Six months ago, I retired from work I genuinely loved and started a new life with considerable trepidation. The biggest initial decision concerned this question: Where would I live?
I have two sons in New York City and another in London, with grandkids in both locations. A beloved brother is in California and a dear sister in Plano. I was in a strange situation of no real local ties and lots of distant ties — except I had made many friends in this community.
So I chose Denton. And not only Denton, but downtown Denton. I developed a taste for urban living from my weeks in NYC and London, but did not want to build my life upon the backs of my children — not to mention the expense of those two locations.
I found a great apartment right off the Square. From my third-floor office perch, I can peer out and see life simply everywhere. From the homeless to the students to the growing number my age, to the musicians and artists and actors and local business owners, it’s all here.
Much of what I need is within walking distance. And walk I do — to as many places and as often as possible.
As decisions go, this appears to be one of the best I’ve ever made. Maybe age does confer some wisdom, after all.
So, now I have a question from those of you who read this column. What interests you? What would you like to see spoken about in my weekly 650 words? What grabs you by the gut and won’t let go?
I’d really like to hear from you. Email is best: email@example.com. You can also “friend” me on Facebook and send messages that way. After all, it makes me look soooo popular to have lots of “friends” there!
But I’d like to know.
And, despite the fact that it was a superb decision to move to Denton, it’s also hot here in Texas in the summertime. So, I’m off to California in mid-July to spend the summer with that beloved brother of mine and to walk the beaches and explore the wine country for several weeks. I’ll wander back toward Texas via Colorado and some more mountain trail hiking, and I plan to be back in Denton by early September to resume my life here.
I will be continuing to write while I am gone. My life here is too important to leave that behind.
Thanks for welcoming me so beautifully. And do let me hear from you.
THE REV. CHRISTY THOMAS can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her blog is at www.christythomas.com .