As I tried in vain to put together a new set of shelves for my record collection, I was reminded of a friend who once put together a bicycle for his son one Christmas. Upon "completion," my friend thought the parts that remained in the box were just extras. That was until his son crashed onto the sidewalk. Those "extra" parts included the brake cables.
At some point, while juggling Phillips-head and flat-head screwdrivers and watching some of the football games, I began to wonder why anyone would manufacture a diagonal shelf.
Moving is for the birds, which explains why I've squawked like one so often during my nomad-like career in journalism. And trust me, experience doesn't make moving any easier, perhaps because the knees and back and shoulders, and... well, you get the picture... give out much faster these days.
Somewhere along the route to north Arkansas, I carried on a conversation with myself about this being my final move. Prone to playing devil's advocate, my left side of the brain said I should never say never. My right side, acknowledging aches and pain from both sides as well as in between, said the day to say never had arrived.
Friends, knowing I'm from a small town in Alabama and, having lived for eight years in a rural setting in Northwest Arkansas, had questioned if I'd be happy in the "big city" of Little Rock when I moved there last year. I usually quelled those thoughts by advising them I lived just outside of Atlanta for a year. You could use a day of vacation just to get down Peachtree Street, and two more personal days trying to navigate Hartsfield--Jackson International Airport, the busiest airport in the U.S.
Those same friends didn't question my decision to come to Areawide, knowing I would be more in my element.
Many of those aforementioned friends live in Northwest Arkansas, where I-540 can resemble a wildebeest migration on the Serengeti. I managed to get around Little Rock rather easy compared to some places in northwest Arkansas.
I love Northwest Arkansas, but it's far from the same place I first moved to in 1978. Fayetteville had only about 39,000 people back then, and there was a significant gap between it and Springdale. You traveled through the countryside to go between Springdale and Rogers, and Bentonville was just a small town. I-540 was still a couple of decades away; yet, traffic was never a problem.
Fayetteville was also a ways away from becoming Berkeley South. Things became a little nutty with the 2000 protest of a new business park where a grandmother decided to live in a tree for three weeks, until lightening forced her to seek safer shelter one night. Things have become downright silly in the lovely college town in the last decade.
My biggest pet peeve with Fayetteville is its citizens' unwillingness to use sidewalks. Developers are mandated, and rightfully so, to build these sidewalks. I only wish the city would enforce the use of said sidewalks for pedestrians. More than any town I've ever come across, Fayetteville residents feel as if it is their right to avoid them as they walk down a street, never mind that a perfectly good and safe sidewalk is only a few feet away. I've come around blind corners with mama and daddy pushing little junior in his stroller. I'm sorry, but I would not trust anyone behind the wheel of a vehicle to see me in time to avoid me while I'm walking in the road.
Speaking of trust, my albums remain on the floor. I'm just not real sure about my handiwork on those shelves. There are no extra screws, but the shelves appear a bit wobbly.