Because I Hate on Chartown Way Too Much…

by caitlin

Here are 10 things I really, no REALLY, like about Charville:

1. We live .8 miles from A’s store.

2. There is a Dean & Deluca…come on people, gourmet grocery/delightful deli all-in-one! AND there is a Trader Joe’s–the world’s coolest grocery store (and where ALL the genuinely nice people in Chartown work, seriously, not anywhere else)

3. Uptown Charville is more vibrant than Jacksonkill’s downtown (uptown? downtown? It’s all the same in The South.)

4. Our first child will be born here. Yay!

5. There is real, live agriculture nearby. It’s not too hot to grow lots of produce in the surrounding area, and there’s lots of land to pasture (free-range) livestock.

6. The Matthews Farmers Market. Saturday mornings, historic downtown Matthews has a cute little farmers market that (gasp!) hosts REAL farmers selling their wares. No wholesalers here. I got fresh rainbow chard, garlic, chives, lettuce, and free-range beef (flank steak) all from with a 20 mile radius of the market! I.cannot.wait.until.tomato/peach/berry.season.

7. The Plaza-Midwood neighborhood and its funky restaurants and adorable, crack-house-proximal homes. P-M reminds us of Riverside in Actionville, alas, we do not live there. If we were to stay in Chartown, I would do my best to convince A that we should be on the fringes of P-M, and he would probably oblige because bad things happen if he doesn’t he’s cool like that.

8. We have GREAT friends. After a few months of loneliness from exile in Waxhaw (a HUGE thank you to the Gillmings, who let us stay with them for a time; but Waxhaw is SO far away from every other part of life) and commuting between Jax and Wax, we have settled and found an AWESOME group of friends. We no longer feel sad or lonely, and could see people every night if we wanted to (I’m kind of a loner, thus I do not allow that to happen).

9. God is growing us in immeasurable ways by bringing us here, and leaving us here. It’s painful at times when we recall that we were only supposed to be in Chartown off-and-on for three months, then realize that (6 months later, and signed into a 10 month lease) we are more than just passing through on our way to cooler places. A and I have more “healthy discussions” (i.e. me having an emotional breakdown and my husband gently reminding me that God IS moving and that we ARE {mainly me, but he would never say that} sinful…he is pretty awesome considering the number of times per week that this happens and that he still loves me) than we did when we were engaged (yikes!).

Jesus is teaching me that there is meaning in all that we do, if we do it for HIS glory. This is a tough one for me, remember? I like to comfort sad children and give poor kids hope and teach the next generation and save the world. While I also enjoy shopping at farmers markets and spending hours reading and praying and baking treats and going on weekend getaways with girlfriends, I feel like my activities are pretty futile. Again, that amazing hubby of mine points me to a grander scheme, one in which God uses ALL of our passions (travel and baking and deal-hunting) and giftings (building relationships and sharing information) to great effect in HIS timing. If I could throw a tantrum right here, I would–believe me when I tell you that I did on Mother’s Day about this very topic.

10. The greenways. Chartown has a system of sidewalks/wooden walkways that snake around the city. There are big plans for connecting them all at some point, but for now I can take a 5 mile walk on paved trails through the woods and the swamp in the middle of South Charville. It’s a wonderful escape from the fancy cars that drive inconsiderately fast on the roads. For the time being though the woods are overrun (flown?) by noisy, giant, red-eyed monster cicadas (apparently they’re different from your average cicada…even better). I am too scared to go on the greenways right now.

So the next time I talk smack about living in Chartown don’t you dare tell me to do everything without complaining or arguing remind me that there are FABULOUS things about this place we currently call home. Let the record show that I do not despise this stage of life; in fact, there is JOY in my heart about our life right now. They will, however, write songs about my martyrdom if you hold a gun to my head and tell me to confess my love for NC : )