If You’d Only Open Your Eyes

From+left+to+right%3A+Chloe%2C+Joe%2C+Tori%2C+Caylea%2C+and+Josh+Ingram

From left to right: Chloe, Joe, Tori, Caylea, and Josh Ingram

Haley Vandergriff, Staff Writer

Here in small town Lenoir City, we don’t often consider the fact that there are many different people, places, and ways of living beyond our typical lifestyle. We go about our everyday business, not realizing that if we would just look around, there’s an incredible world beyond our own.

 

I was blessed to encounter a girl in our church several months ago who is just that–incredible. Her name is Chloe Ingram, and she is a homeschool student in eleventh grade.

 

Chloe was born in Seoul Korea because her father, Joe, was in the Air Force and was deployed there. Her mother Tori and sister Caylea had moved to Korea to be with Joe when she was two years old. Since then, Chloe’s family has moved a total of eight or nine times, but the place they were stationed at the longest (which was about four and a half years) was Germany.

 

Joe Ingram, Chloe’s father, grew up in Tennessee, and always wanted to retire here, so he did just that. Mr. Ingram recently retired from the Air Force, so the family finally settled down in Lenoir City with some family members.

 

The Ingram family has had a taste of many different cultures–they’ve lived in Korea, Texas, Florida, Alabama, Germany, Georgia, and Tennessee.

 

As Chloe moved from place to place, she noticed that the cultures varied quite a bit. “German culture is incredibly different,” said Ingram. From the way people act to the food culture, everything was very unlike our own here in Tennessee and even America as a whole.

 

“It takes a lot longer to become friends with Germans and get invited over to their houses [in Germany]. They have to give you permission to use vocabulary to address them as a friend on a regular basis,” said Ingram. The relationships in German culture are much harder to establish, and even their everyday living differs from ours. “People walk or cycle everywhere… The food in Europe is amazing and very fresh. There aren’t very many fast food chains there. Most of the restaurants are run by families and the owners live on the second floor above their business.”

 

Along with living in many different places as well as being raised very close to her parents, Chloe’s views on things differ from many things we tend to believe in our society. She sees things like dating much differently than most people, and is very considerate when it comes to the kinds of movies she watches and music she listens to.

 

She is a dedicated Christian and is very strong in her faith, always encouraging others and loving them as well as telling them about the Gospel.

 

On top of this, Chloe is also one of the most brilliant and talented people I’ve ever had the chance to encounter. She has tested out of many college classes and continues to learn as she is homeschooled by her mother.

 

In the mornings, she does her schoolwork in her family’s business, Key to Music and Art Academy. Later, in the afternoons, she teaches art to children.

 

Chloe is an absolutely phenomenal and incredible person. She’s lived such a different life from anybody that I have ever met, yet she continues to be amazing in so many ways.

 

I sincerely wish that the world outside of Lenoir City could be more easily visible to some of us walking through these halls, keeping our eyes on the ground. You never know what blessing you may find if you would only look up.

 

Talk to more people and open your heart to the things you normally wouldn’t. You’ll be amazed at what you come across.