Happy First Anniversary, John Howerton Honda!

On February 10, 2012 John closed the purchase of the Honda dealership in Beckley, WV and renamed it John Howerton Honda. On February 11, 2012 he walked into the dealership to meet his new crew for the first time. So I'm not sure if our anniversary date is technically the tenth or the eleventh. John says the eleventh, since that was his first full day of business.

Although there wasn't actually any business that day. There was a big snow storm. A blizzard to this California girl!

I so remember that day. I stayed in our room at the Holiday Inn & Suites while John got to know his sales force. Those poor guys had no idea who their new owner was or what kind of guy he would be until John showed up for work that Saturday morning. But I knew they would like him right away. What's not to like? And I was relieved when he came back to the hotel that evening and told me how much he liked all of them. Since they had nothing to do but sit and talk all day (I don't think they had a single customer), it was a good opportunity to get acquainted. But I remember looking out the window at all the snow, being quite congested, and wondering what life was going to be like here. So many unknowns. And a little snow goes a long way with me. John admitted that as he sat in the showroom with no customers all day, he did have the thought a time or two . . . What have I done?

We drove back to Tennessee together. John stayed one night and then drove back without me to begin overseeing his new store. I stayed at home and started packing. The movers came and loaded up a truck. Then I drove back to WV to meet them March 2 and unpack as much as I could before returning to TN for foot surgery on both feet March 6. After recovering at a friend's house for a couple of weeks, John came and got me. And I finished recovering right here in our little condo. That was at the end of March. And spring was right around the corner, thankfully.

John has been here a year now and I have been here for over ten months. I've loved every season; spring, summer and fall. But I was not looking forward to winter. And today I told John, "I expected winter to drag by very slowly and feel like forever, but I really haven't minded it -- even the snow -- and it has gone by much more quickly than I anticipated. I guess life is just going by quickly, no matter what season it is." And we both laughed because it's so true. When even winter is flying by, you know you're old.

This has been a great year for us. And we're looking forward to the next. We quickly found a great church and made many new friends. Not just acquaintances. I mean really good friends we feel like we have known forever. And thanks to Facebook, I don't feel like I've given up any of my old friends. I still get to see and interact with them regularly no matter how many miles separate us. I made so many close friends in Tennessee. And some of my lifelong friends are as far away as California, but they are just a click away on Facebook. Facebook gets criticized a lot for a multitude of reasons and many of them are valid, but for me it's a lifeline to friends and family that I would not have the opportunity or time to share the ordinary details of life with otherwise. I so enjoy the random conversations, the pictures, the jokes, the laughter, the tears, knowing immediately when a dear friend needs my prayers. For all its obvious warts, I can't imagine giving it up. Some say technology has depersonalized relationships, but I don't find that to be true for me.

Thanks to my friend "Super Duper Sonya Cooper" and Facebook I know how many days are left until spring every single morning. As of today we have 37 days to go and 27 more until Daylight Savings Time! It will be 55 degrees today with a little rain. Not bad for February in the mountains of West Virginia.


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