Mike Cope's blog

Monday, December 26, 2005

Missouri is still my home in some ways. Here is where I've lived: July 1956 - August 1957 - Neosho, MO August 1957 - June 1959 - Austin, TX June 1959 - August 1974 - Neosho, MO August 1974 - May 1978 - Searcy, AR (Harding) May 1978 - July 1979 - Neosho, MO (one year internship) July 1979 - May 1982 - Memphis, TN (HGSR) May 1982 - October 1984 - Wilmington, NC (Pine Valley Church) October 1984 - July 1991 - Searcy, AR (College Church) July 1991 - December 2005 - Abilene, TX (Highland) So I've lived in these five states: Missouri - 17 years Texas - 16 years Arkansas -11 years Tennessee - 3 years North Carolina - 2 years Nine "homes" probably isn't many for someone who's 49--especially when there are only a total of six places involved. I just realized that sometime next fall I'll have lived in Abilene longer than I lived in Neosho at one stretch (because of the two years we were in Austin for my parents to finish college at UT). I know I wrote about this a while back, but there is still a bit of "home" in most of these places--all except Austin, I guess (since I was just a toddler). For isn't home where our loved ones and our cherished memories are? My brother and I took a ride around Neosho to most of the old places that were important to me as a kid. We drove by the two houses we lived in before my junior year of high school--when we moved into the house my parents are still in. What struck us--again!--is how small the houses were. In our memories they were so huge.


  • You really got me thinking mike. I have lived in nine places (Neosho twice) and have lived in Missouri gong on 31 years, Kansas for 10 years, Iowa for 6 and a half years and Arkansas for two years. The two things I remember most about those places are family and friends. Home is indeed where your heart is and filling our hearts with love from family and friends has been so important in our lives. And by the way, do things shrink when we get older or do we just get bigger?? Some of my memories as well involve very large surroundings. But when revisiting them, I am amazed at how much they have shrunk.

    By Blogger buzz, at 12/26/2005 05:18:00 AM  

  • Great sermon yesterday, Buzz. It was nice to be a civilian in the audience. But that that you've preached, I want to edit the newspaper for a day!

    By Blogger Mike, at 12/26/2005 05:31:00 AM  

  • Amen to things shrinking. Homes, schools, stores, etc. all seemed so much larger back then. I wonder what kids today think when they're in the toy section of a Supercenter?

    By Blogger KentF, at 12/26/2005 06:57:00 AM  

  • Welcome back to blogland, Mike! I pray your Christmas celebration was a joyful one!

    As far as where you've lived in your life, you have a long way to go, dear friend. :O)

    I've lived in: Oklahoma, Texas (3 separate times), New Mexico, New York and California (biggest part of my life). As well as the 4 states of Jalisco, Colima, Edo. de Mexico, Tamaulipas, AND Mexico City, (a federal district like our DC) during my 30 years in Mexico.

    It would be difficult to visit all the places I've lived - suffice to say, I attended 34 elementary schools, 1 junior high, and 5 high schools while obtaining my basic K-12 education, not to mention 2 universities; one in California, the other in Mexico City.

    That being said, there is one house in San Luis Obispo, CA that I consider our family "home" - simply because it was the first place I'd ever lived for more than 6 months [22 in total]. Like you, every time I visit San Luis the house is among the places I visit. Fortunately, the present owner is a grandson of the family that bought the house from my parents, making a visit possible. And yes, it too seems smaller than when we lived there. Curious.

    In all that mish mash of towns, cities and schools, there are bright spots that pop out of my memory. Most of those memories are tied, not to where we lived, rather to a teacher or friend. Precious memories they are too.

    By Blogger Kathy, at 12/26/2005 07:12:00 AM  

  • Wow, Kathy! I intended to whine about my schooling.....10 1/2 years to complete 12 grades in 13 schools....but now I see I have nothing to complain about. What's that saying...."walk a mile in someone else's shoes"? It was hard to develop close friendships in those days but I had some experiences I wouldn't trade for anything.

    Mike, I was born in Austin, lived in the area for 10 years, and I still love to go back to see the places dear to me in the 40's. The old schools and churches are still there, everything else is pretty much gone.

    Good memories....how I love them! I chose to forget the bad ones long ago.

    By Blogger Kate, at 12/26/2005 08:51:00 AM  

  • We are in our 13th home (8 cities) since being married 14 years The shortest being 6 months and the longest being 3 years. We just moved to our current ministry/town/home in August.

    By Blogger John, at 12/26/2005 09:18:00 AM  

  • Both my mom's parents' grew up in Joplin and my grandfather worked on the Army base in Neosho in the early '50s. I grew up hearing stories about that part of Missouri. Something about a ghost light outside Joplin?

    I have always noticed that my mother and other relatives from that area (and you, too, Mike) say "Missour-UH." My friend from St. Louis says "Missour-EE."

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 12/26/2005 09:50:00 AM  

  • Yes, Deena. And Muh-zur-UH is correct.

    By Blogger Mike, at 12/26/2005 10:22:00 AM  

  • Hmmm... I guess those big-city snobs in St. Louis think they're too good to mispronounce the name of their state...

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 12/26/2005 11:12:00 AM  

  • Whenever this topic comes up, I realize just HOW in the minority I am. At 41, I've lived in only two places, both in the same state, and one of them for only about 8 months.

    The downside is, Fresno is all I know. The upside is, I know it very, very well.

    By Blogger Thurman8er, at 12/26/2005 11:17:00 AM  

  • Oh Mike... I was born and raised in Mi-ZUR-ree, albeit on the other side of the state (southeast Missouri). Hearing that "other" pronunciation is one of the things that just gets me shivering with the oogies.

    But to address your post... It has been 16 years since we left Missouri; although I spent the first 25 years of my life there (22 in the same house, not counting breaks to live in the college dorm), it is no longer home to me, even though I still have family there. My heart is in Omaha, the place where my husband and I finally "fit" with a church family. That is where our heart lies and we can't wait to get back there.

    By Blogger Karen, at 12/26/2005 05:11:00 PM  

  • Nashville, my entire life. Four houses, including the one I live in with my wife now.

    Sometimes, living in multiple cities seems appealing, but also knowing this place like the back of my hand is also a very good thing.

    By Blogger Phil, at 12/27/2005 06:35:00 AM  

  • I remember doing 5 different schools in 5 years once. I have lived in Oklahoma, Memphis twice, West Africa twice, North Alabama twice, and the rest of the time here in Searcy. I remember the places I lived, and have visited them from time to time.......but it's the PEOPLE that I remember the most. They made each stop a special one.

    Your seven years of preaching in Searcy weren't long enough. But it was over 20 years ago when you came, and you are STILL influencing people and having an impact on this community because of those seven years.

    Happy New Year!

    By Blogger David U, at 12/27/2005 08:56:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    We would like another shot at being your home! Memphis is hardly a fair representation of the Great State of Tennessee! Head this direction and see.

    By Blogger The Prince of Tennessee, at 12/27/2005 11:16:00 AM  

  • I've lived in 3 different towns now in the Great State of Texas-Fort Worth, Lubbock, and Abilene-and all three of them feel like home!! They each hold special memories and special people. In fact, I will be in all three over the holidays...while tacking on Nashville. Who knows where I will go next? :)

    Sorry, Prince-you can't have him, we are keeping him in Abilene!! ;) Hope your holidays are being blessed, Mike~

    By Blogger Katherine, at 12/27/2005 09:59:00 PM  

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