As a reporter and someone whose job is to basically stick my nose into things that some people wish I didn't, I have been called a lot of things.
However, in a little over a month, people will be able to call me something they haven't been able to before -- a Franklin County resident.
More specifically, they can call me a resident of Youngsville.
I came to The Franklin Times in the summer of 2002, however, for a number of family, practical and financial reasons, I didn't move to Franklin County.
Every day, that has meant a roughly 50-mile commute and, depending on the time of day -- and my ability to spot law enforcement -- a 45-minute to one-hour drive.
I made peace with the commute a long time ago.
The commute does have its benefits. On the way into work, it gives me time to brace myself for the work day ahead.
Heading home, it gives me time to decompress.
Truth be told, I've made the commute so may times, I could probably do it in my sleep -- and depending on how early my day needs to start or how late it ends, I've probably come close to doing just that.
However, since circumstances have changed, I will soon be trading in my Durham address for a Franklin County address.
I must say, it feels like truly the best time to do it.
Let's start with Bunn.
It is home to two of the better restaurants in the county and while it is still the smallest municipality in the county, there are signs of growth everywhere.
Heck, even the town is looking at the prospect of a new town hall because of it.
And, during a meeting on Monday, I got the chance to hear from a mother about her son's plans to bring a business to town because that's where he was born and raised and that's where he wants to be.
Those are things you like to hear about a place.
In Louisburg, the transformation has been more evident.
As the county seat, it should try to take the lead.
Thanks to people taking chances on business prospects downtown, there has been a sense of energy and excitement in the heart of town that has been missing for quite a bit of the 16 years I've worked here at The Franklin Times.
But, there is activity taking place and, most importantly, plans are underway to widen U.S. 401 from essentially the Wake County line up to Louisburg.
That opens the door even more for growth and development to take place through the heart of central Franklin County and into Louisburg.
Let's look at Franklinton.
Honestly, the town's prospects have always intrigued me.
It's in a good spot, between Wake Forest/Youngsville and Henderson along one of the area's main thoroughfares. I assumed that Franklinton would have experienced much more growth opportunities by now.
But save for a cluster of businesses surrounding a shopping center at the intersection of U.S. 1 and N.C. 56, there hasn't been the kind of explosion of other businesses and residences you might expect either there or in the heart of town.
That could change soon, though, as Franklin County is in the process of bolstering the town's sewer capacity to handle planned and expected growth, including the renovation of an old mill into an apartment complex.
Rooftops can spur other types of development and fingers are crossed for that to take place.
In all honesty, if those mill apartments were ready now, I would have seriously considered renting one.
But, come the first week of September, unless something unforeseen happens, I will be calling Youngsville home.
If you've been through town there lately, you will have seen some things happening.
The town still has some of its stalwart operations, but you will have also seen some new business developments, most notably at the intersection of Five Points -- that nearly unwieldy intersection of Main Street, Holden Road, U.S. 1-A, College and S. College streets.
A little bit closer to the heart of town, a cluster of new shops have opened as well.
And, almost everywhere you look on the edges of town, a new house is going up.
So, yeah, Durham has been my home. Leaving there is certainly bittersweet. However, if there is a time to get in on the bottom floor of what's to be expected in Franklin County, now is the time.
Of course, being a Franklin County and Youngsville resident will require a new outlook, for me, as well.
As a reporter at The Franklin Times, the decisions made by municipal and county leaders did and do have an impact on me, as those decisions affect this business, like many others -- which have an impact on bottom lines, ie, my paycheck.
However, as a Durham resident, there was always the tiniest of buffers between those decisions and their impact on me.
But, soon, very soon, I will be all in as a county resident.
That means not only will I have to continue to keep an eagle eye on things as they relate to my job, I will have one thing -- and I will be called one thing that I had never been called before, and that's a Franklin County voter.
I am indeed looking forward to that day. It's just more than a month away.
I'm looking forward to the change ... and the changes I can help make.