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Plans Change

by Rochelle Harper about a year ago in extended family

My Story

Beaches, parks, malls, stores, restaurants, golf courses...all within

reach. Now I have to drive over an hour to get to a store other than


I had a great childhood. I was brought up in a loving family. We lived

in a great neighborhood. I had everything a kid could want. I had

plans. I wanted to go to college and be a doctor. I took a lot of

science courses in high school get me to where I needed to go. I knew

I was going to live in Florida, in the big city all my life. Well,

plans change. So do people.

In May 2000, I graduated high school. I worked all summer at Wal-Mart.

Until that fateful day, when my dad told me we were moving. Not to

another city but to a small town in north Florida. Talk about culture

shock. What! We are moving? Yep. My entire future plans were gone.

See, my dad is a preacher. He was called to pastor a church in north

Florida. We moved to Jasper, Fla. in August 2000; two months after I


The scenery was different. I went from lots and lots of traffic to

hardly any traffic. Many traffic lights to one traffic light. I also

had to drive almost an hour to get to a decent mall. Although the

scenery was much more different than what I was used to, it began to

grow on me.

I loved to see the yellow peanut hay fields when the flowers would

bloom. I loved looking at the old buildings and store fronts. It was

pretty awesome to see the horses and the cows. The sights were

definitely different, but enjoying every minute of it.

Then in June of 2003, I met the man of my dreams. My Prince Charming.

After six months, we were married and dare I say I moved to another

small town of Fitzgerald, Georgia. This small town has quite the

history. It was founded as a community for war veterans from both the

Union and the Confederacy during the Civil War in 1895.

I know my neighbors. I walk down the street and I know the business

owners by name and they know me.

I used to watch Hallmark movies of these little quaint towns where

they live in a small town. They have community festivals and

activities for the townsfolk to fellowship one with another.

We have our own newspaper that gets printed once a week. While

watching those Hallmark movies, there were a couple that the girl gets

to work for the local newspaper. She gets to cover stories in the

community like business grand openings, ribbon cuttings, school talent

and pride programs, graduation. I get to do that.

The best thing about living in a small town besides knowing your

neighbors and the community as a whole is part of your family. We

love each other and look out for each. By no means are we perfect. But

we are a community that loves each other and cares for one another.

Most of all, the best thing about living in a small town, my children

get to grow up in the small town. I loved my life in the big city, but

my boys are getting to do things that I didn’t get to do. They drive

the golf cart down the road to the creek. They can go outside and play

in the yard without all the noise and traffic.

I am so glad that God had other plans for my life. I loved living in

the big city, but living in the small town exceeds my wildest dreams.

We have a great life and a great family.

extended family

Rochelle Harper

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Rochelle Harper
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