I drive the same route to work every day. I travel different directions to and from work for lunch depending on where I’m going or if I have errands, and the same applies after work. But the morning is always the same. Until it isn’t.

Either the Water Commission or their contractor has been working on lines on Church Street off and on for quite some time now. And that’s a good thing, because a historical town is bound to also have some historical infrastructure that needs upgrading to keep up with the times. I’ve seen the size of the lines and some of the pipes they’ve dug out of the ground on Church Street, and they are whoppers. It is definitely not a one-day job, and I understand the necessity.

I am not a “morning person” though, so my brain refuses to remember the road closure on Church Street until I’m too far down Bernard Avenue to turn before I get to it. Every single morning, without fail, I top the little hill just past Double D Tire and see the “road closed” sign. Why can’t I remember to go a different way until they finish the water and sewer upgrade? It seems like such a simple thing to remember.

So then I have to go straight through the light on Bernard and either cut through at Lake Street or go on down to McKee. It isn’t really that far. It’s just that I have to backtrack, and as is typical with non-morning people, I’m usually already running late.

They’re also rebuilding the culvert on East Depot, near the intersection with College Street, and I need to get through on College to the office if I make the Lake Street or McKee Street detour, unless I go on to Main Street, and then circle back to Church Street in the other direction.

Getting to the post office from the Light & Power building where I work is another maze because the road closings around the Depot Street renovation that is going on now change more than the East Tennessee weather. I am also expecting to have to park in the gravel lot to get to the old Super Dollar building sometime soon, because of Depot and Cutler work closing off our parking lot.

The only complaint I have about anything in the preceding paragraphs is about my memory. If I could just remember to take Tusculum Boulevard to College Street in the mornings, I wouldn’t have to loop around the back way.

The rest of it, though? I am thrilled to see the road closings and the big pipes and the dump trucks and the gravel because they represent an investment in our town’s future. We have talked for years about how we would like to see our downtown area come alive again, and this mess is the first big step in making that happen. I am excited for it.

I know it makes things harder for the businesses that already exist on Depot Street. Most of the folks know it is an improvement that will bring rewards when the work is done.

Growing pains are indeed painful, but every morning I scold my memory and not the detour. I am choosing to focus on the growing instead of the pains.

Greeneville native Paige Mengel is a Tusculum College alumna, CPA, arts admirer and business coordinator of Greeneville Theatre Guild. Contact Paige at paigemengel@gmail.com.