Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my small-town life.
I love that I’ve only been here six months and everywhere I go, I see at least five people I know.
When I lived near Birmingham (where I had been since 4th grade), I rarely ran into anyone I knew. I can’t imagine starting over somewhere like that by myself. Jen, you’re my hero. For years, I thought I’d love living in New York, but now I realize how alone I’d feel. I’m most definitely a “people person.” Running into familiar faces has helped me adjust to my new town so much quicker than I ever imagined.
I love that the people here have welcomed me so warmly and gone out of their way to make me feel at home.
I was shocked this summer when Scott’s parents let me stay in their camper at the lake. They had only met me once, but when they heard I’d be in town for an internship and couldn’t find anywhere to rent for two months, they happily offered up their weekend retreat for me and Toby. Not only would they not let me pay them, they regularly called to make sure I was doing okay. Their kindness was just the beginning of what I’ve felt ever since.
I love that from home to work, and back again is three miles round-trip (six if I go home for lunch!)
I can drive FOREVER on a tank of gas. Also, as I am perpetually running late for everything, it’s amazing that I can pull out of my driveway at 7:28 and still make it to work on time. Couldn’t do that in the city!
I love that when I moved into my house, my neighbor welcomed me to the street by bringing over four jars of fruit preserves.
This is not a joke! My very first afternoon in my house, the doorbell rang. My neighbor, who is in her sixties, was standing in my driveway with an armful of brightly colored jars.
Side note on why she was in the driveway by the time I got to the door: I live in an old house with the chime-type doorbell. The chimes hang in the hallway and when the doorbell rings, they clang together (VERY LOUDLY) and usually scare me to death. Well, when I moved in, I didn’t realize there were different rings for each door. One chime for the side door, and two for the front door. So that afternoon, when the doorbell chimed once, I went to the front door and got thoroughly freaked out when I opened it and no one was there. I began to wonder if my house was haunted. While I was standing there at the door, the chimes rang again, which only heightened my sense of paranoia. I had just about decided to quit unpacking and move somewhere else when it dawned on me (genius) that there was another door. So, I ran through the house, opened the side door, and low and behold…no one was there. Key panic. I walked into the carport, and only then did I see my sweet, sweet neighbor, standing there looking startled with her arms full of jarred fruit.
I love that I don’t have to sit in traffic — EVER.
I never thought much about it until I didn’t have to do it anymore. Now, when I visit Mama, I get a strange “road rage” at having to drive around so many other people. They cut you off, slam on brakes, ride your bumper…It’s so frustrating!
Overall, there are many, many things that make small-town life wonderful.
HOWEVER, this weekend I’m going up to Alabaster for the weekend and I could not be more excited. Sometimes, I miss having a theater that shows more than three movies, a bookstore that’s not located inside Wal-Mart and a coffee shop that stays open later than 5:00. (Again, not joking. What are you supposed to do when you get a late night need for caffeine?)
Every place has its pros and cons, and at the end of the day, the pros win out down here in the deep, deep South. But every now and then, it’s nice to escape to a busier place for a few days. Even if it does just make you thankful for your quiet, small-town life when you get back home.