Tonia F. Stephenson Contributing columnist
October 8, 2013
Last year at this time, I was spending this week packing frantically as I prepared to move to my new home in Laurinburg. I was full of emotions during that week as I packed up my life of 16 years to move to a community where I knew no one. On top of that, my husband’s job was going to keep him in Archdale for a few more months, so that brought on even more emotions. In addition, I was thinking about my new job and was concerned about whether people would like me and accept me. I was in a whirlwind about making sure I saw everyone I could before leaving and doing all those things just one last time — like girls’ night out with my friends or one last Sunday at my church, or so many other things.
It is funny that a year later, I feel so accepted in a new community. I can’t express enough how welcoming this community has been to my husband David and me. A year ago, I was apprehensive about all the changes in my life, however, it felt right. From the moment when Becca Hughes and I were talking on the phone and she made me the offer to move to this great community, I just felt good about it. We continue to feel very blessed to be a part of what is now our home.
I began my exploration of Scotland County working with Brenda Gilbert, Becca Hughes, and David McLamb. For those of you who know these three people, you know I was in good hands and couldn’t have asked for better ambassadors to represent this community. They were so hospitable that I was overtaken with a desire to belong to the community they represented. I went on to meet the people who make up my Board of Directors and I continued to be in awe of the people in this County. And as I continue my trek throughout the county, trying to meet as many people as possible, I truly believe that the people of Scotland County are some of the greatest people in the world. I am very thankful to my Board of Directors for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to live here and become a part of this community.
It is hard to believe that it has been a year already; time has flown by. You know they say that time flies when you are having fun and this past year has been fun for me. Of course, my days got a little happier around Christmas when my husband was able to move in with me. Working with this community is fun and exciting! We have our challenges, but each one of our challenges is an opportunity for us to learn different ways to operate or find partners to work with to make a difference. I am honored to be able to work alongside Kaye, Jenn, Dee, Karla, and all of our volunteers each day to help make this wonderfully, bright community a little brighter for us and our future generations.
Thank you to each of you who has been so supportive in my first year — I hope that support will continue. This is an amazing community and the great, spirited people who compose it are one of its best assets.