Finally coming home

As many will tell you, there really isn’t a more satisfying feeling than coming home.

Last week, I returned to Shelby County after having been away from the area for more than six years.

And though I may have traveled across the Southeast during that time, Shelby County and its wonderful communities never were very far from my heart.

Having lived in Helena most of my 24 years of existence, I feel Shelby County and its residents truly have had a tremendous impact on my life.

So suffice it to say I was elated when I learned I would be covering Alabaster, a city in which I spent the majority of my youth attending church, playing sports and making friends.

And as I grew up frequenting many of Alabaster’s plethora of offerings, the city seemed to grow with me.

What were densely wooded areas and barren country fields in 1991 now have grown into shopping malls, residential developments and beautiful city parks.

I also cover Calera, Indian Springs Village, Harpersville, Montevallo and Wilsonville, all of which have shown incredible growth since I last lived here.

I came to the Shelby County Reporter Sept. 3 after graduating from Auburn University in 2007 and spending nearly two years writing for The Commercial Dispatch, a daily newspaper in Columbus, Miss.

Upon my return to Shelby County, I was greeted with the same remarkable hospitality and friendship I grew to love before leaving for Auburn in 2003.

I feel this county offers some of the best places to live in the United States.

Though the county has grown exponentially during the past few decades, it has lost none of the charm or community oriented mindset that have made it a great place to call home.

Please feel free to share your feedback or story ideas by calling me at 669-3131 ext. 14 or e-mail neal.wagner@shelbycountyreporter.com. I look forward to covering the county well.