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  • My little family was up too early on Labor Day morning. Instead of sleeping in, my son and husband were marching in the Labor Day Parade with my son's Boy Scout troop. After dropping my two guys off in downtown Garland, Texas I planted myself on the corner of S. Garland Ave and Ave F. In the middle of the parade, while watching the marching band pass by, I realized I had tears in my eyes.

    Garland is a little suburb on the edge of Dallas. King of the Hill is more documentary than comedy here. There's a mall, a Bass Pro, and a church on every other corner. It earned some interest about two decades ago when an Asian cult bought a few houses here because the name sounded like God Land. Eventually they moved away.

    My family and I moved here after a disastrous Kindergarten year in Dallas where CPS had to be called. For my son's sake, we needed to leave and an opportunity came up just before the start of first grade at a Garland address. We needed a new start and this small Texas town seemed like a good enough place to do it.

    Slowly, bit by bit, with an ADHD diagnosis and teachers invested in him, my son started to like school again. He was actually excited to start fourth grade this year. We have made good friends and found honest folk to connect to. That horrible year is fading and being replace with good times, piano recitals, and camp outs.

    So, I stood on the corner, my youngest in his stroller, and sniffed back tears. I was so happy and proud of this little Texas town and the good people that have helped heal my boy's hurt. There were clowns,bands, politicians, football teams, church organizations and hand-drawn signs on homemade floats to celebrate our town. This isn't a place for everyone, but for me and my family, it feels like home.
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