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Burying the Lede

Seven years ago, Chip and I moved to South Louisiana. We'd talked about leaving Memphis for several years, but Chip's parents were elderly and we were the only family left in town to see after them. And it didn't seem right to move Elijah when he was in high school. Within a year, E graduated and both of Chip's parents passed away. It seemed like a good time to go, and start something new.

Chip mostly traveled and otherwise worked virtually, so he could legitimately live anywhere there was an airport and an internet connection. We didn't want to go too far from E, so I began looking for jobs in Nashville and New Orleans. I found the International Paper job - seeking someone with 10 years communications experience, willing to relocate to Bogalusa, La. Having grown up not far from there, I knew that we could live on the Northshore [of Lake Pontchartrain] and I'd be halfway between work and the French Quarter.

So seven years ago, we moved to South Louisiana, and left Elijah at the University of Memphis. But Elijah, who'd been an A-B student in high school and taken math a year ahead of his class, decided college wasn't for him.

This was a hard realization for us. We had saved a college fund for him. He would've been the first of my family to have had his college paid for. (Also could have been the first to graduate before the age of 30.) After bouncing around Memphis a bit, Elijah came to live with us in Louisiana some four years ago.

He arrived on a Sunday, and Monday morning he went to Chip's barber for a haircut. He told Patrick he'd just moved here and was looking for a restaurant job. Patrick recommended a local hamburger joint/sports bar (he cut the owner's hair). E left Patrick's and went to the restaurant where he was interviewed and hired on the spot.

E worked there for four years, quickly moving from server to bartender to manager. My boy is not afraid of hard work, and has a natural affinity for the restaurant business. Technically, the hamburger restaurant never made him a manager; they just assigned him several manager shifts a week. This naturally became a frustration for him. His friends in the kitchen left for kitchen manager positions at Walk-Ons in Hattiesburg and moved away. That was hard on him. Earlier this year, E worked with Chip on his resume and began applying for restaurant management jobs and starting getting a few interviews. A year or so after they left, his friends called from Hattiesburg to tell him their store was hiring a new bar manager. Elijah applied and got the job.

We are absolutely thrilled for him - as parents are when their child gets his first salaried job with benefits...and then moves out. I kid - we're not thrilled that he's moving out because of course we'll miss him. But he won't be too far; we plan to still see him often. AND...I get to turn his room into my office!


I'm more excited about that than I probably should be.

I have a vision board.

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