An interesting week

I saw a side, or sides, of Madison that I hadn’t yet encountered. Wednesday night was the Porchlight Inc annual dinner and awards presentation. Grace Church was very well represented to support our own Russ Boushele who received one of the achievement awards. We met some people, who were often introduced to us, or introduced themselves to us, as former members of Grace. It was a wonderful opportunity to make some connections with people, from across the spectrum. There were people who volunteer at the shelter who made a point of introducing themselves to us.

Thursday night was another banquet, this time Downtown Madison, Incs, annual affair. I went as a guest of Home Savings Bank, our neighbor across W. Washington, and where we do our banking, both as a church and personally. I had a great time getting to know some people and the presentation by the head of Portland, OR’s metro council was very interesting. He focused on the relationship between transportation and urban planning. It reminded me of how very different life is for us here than it was in Greenville. We only have one car, and there are usually several days in the week when it doesn’t leave the garage. Living and working downtown has made an enormous difference in our lives. We have gotten to know other downtown residents as well as people who work and own businesses on Capitol Square. It’s a neighborhood in ways the subdivision we lived in was not.

Friday night, we went to the Symphony concert, thanks to tickets passed on to us by friends. It was great fun, and something of a surprise. We had heard the Nashville Symphony, Spartanburg, and never made it to Greenville’s because, well, we didn’t think it would be worth the trouble. But Madison’s orchestra is quite good and they played a couple of interesting pieces (on the other hand, the concert opened with “The Fountains of Rome”). Afterwards, we went to the cafe on the top floor of the Art Museum for snacks and drinks, and again were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food.

We recognized a few people at all three events, and again, had interesting conversations with random people we met. A vibrant downtown is a wonderful thing, and I keep wondering how we might make Grace an integral part of that vibrant scene, not just scenery that people walk past.

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