This week ends an era for me. I officially no longer live in Fort Payne.

After I left Jacksonville State University, I decided to relocate here to live and work a little closer to my family who lives in Pisgah. I started on a debone line at Koch Foods in Collinsville where I truly learned about hard work. I spent my time there covered in raw chicken and applying for writing positions and badgering the publisher here at the Times-Journal for a job, which obviously eventually worked.

The convenience of the “big city” has been great, but this mountain girl found the loud traffic, road work and distance from family to be too much. As a result, I went to the far extremes and moved into a secluded cabin in the woods, on a dead end road and near my parents and grandparents – next door to be exact. Some might think I’m crazy for trading my ten minute commute to work for a half an hour of driving, but my sanity has definitely prospered.

There are things I’ve come to miss since moving out onto the bluff, though. Now, it takes nearly 20 minutes to get to any eating establishment. While living in Fort Payne, I could leave my apartment at anytime, day or night, get a meal, and be back home in 15 minutes. The 24-hour drive-thrus were quite tempting.

Last weekend I decided to venture out from my hide-away to make a late-night run to McDonalds in Henagar, the closest place to me with prepared food for midnight snackers. But God had other plans, as my truck broke down. At midnight. 20 minutes from home. My first action was to call the police department, who said they could not help me. Thankfully, two young men that couldn’t have been older than 17, stopped and had a set of jumper cables and made sure I was in working order.

I suppose my moving far out from the city was meant to be, and signs are now telling me that my late-night snacking should come to an end.

Emily Kirby is a staff writer for the Times-Journal. She can be reached at

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