By Tom Ehrich

Five years ago this week, I took possession of our first apartment in New York City. I slept on the parquet floor and tried to decode strange city noises 12 stories below.

An empty apartment feels empty, of course, and it felt small, compared to our house in North Carolina. But the adventure had begun. When my wife and youngest son joined me a month later, a dream born in graduate school at Columbia was coming true.

As we explored Central Park, found the streets and vistas we enjoyed, and set up our work, home and school routines, we quickly learned that Manhattan isn’t one exotic adventure after another. It’s folks living their lives.

The three big differences were much more diversity – a fact I have come to celebrate as essential to healthy living; walking everywhere, rather than driving; and no grass to mow (yea!)

Our jobs here have evolved. They seem to fit us. I feel as if I am doing the work that a lifetime has prepared me to do. I found a wonderful office just off Fifth Avenue.

I am traveling a lot these days for my church consulting work. I love visiting other places. I marvel at the vast scope of America. I am privileged to be consulting with some extraordinary church folks. But when I board the final plane for LGA, EWR or JFK, it feels like going home.

More five-year reflections to come.