Just a Small Town Girl8:31 AM
Okay, I admit it, I am homesick.
Have you ever heard the saying that once you leave home, you can never go back again? Well, I think in many cases that is true. I get homesick a couple times a year, but then I think about it or go visit and realize, Hey, I could never live here again.
I admit, I love Small town living, it's like the TV Show "Cheers' sometimes you wanna go where everyone knows your name. I miss that, but y also, right along with them knowing your name, they also know when you went to the grocery or who you talked to , basically everything about your life. It's a little like posting on Facebook, you put it on Facebook for everyone to see, you choose to live in a small town, then everyone is going to know and see, that's just how it is.
I like knowing that if I wake up at 3 a.m. and need something I can run to Walgreens or Walmart in 5 minutes or less, and the fact that we have 4-5 major Hospitals within a 15 mile radius if we ever need them , all with specialist on hand at any given hour.
In small town life, the streets close pretty much as soon as the street lights come on, you may get lucky and find a place open til 10 through the week, later on the weekends, especially if you want Beer of Liquor.They have one hospital which I have heard has improved over the years, but to see a specialist you have to drive an hour away.
I miss the waves from everyone you pass when you drive down the road, the people who just stop by unannounced to chat or gossip ..but only sometimes. I also love the life I have now, where I have 2 sets of neighbors and their families who I can step outside and chat with, or sit outside with on a warm Summer night. The race to see who between the three of us can get the grass mowed first each week. Needless to say we all get that award at least once a month depending on how you look at it. Considering I have a yard twice as big and ten times more hilly than they do, I usually lose if we count the whole yard, plus a hill that can take hours just to weed-eat and that I can no longer do and Chris barely has time to sit much less weed-eat. I wish I could just hire someone to mow the huge hill and weed eat my yard all summer, every week and I would do the rest of it because I love to mow.
Small town living also has some advantages, you always have a friend you can call or a family member and everyone knows everyone else. If someone dies, the Funeral home is a constant revolving door where most everyone in town comes to pay respects, yes, even if they didn't care for the person, after all, it's a place to socialize at the same time as you pay your respects.
The town I grew up in has changed a little but not much since I left 21 years ago at the ripe age of 17. I usually only go back once a year for our family reunion for a few days but will sometimes go back for a few hours just to see my Mom, but since getting sick that drive takes all I have, so she comes here more often than ever to help me and be with us. One thing I can say is, My Mom and I have become close again after ten years of hardly talking, but the minute she found out I was sick she took leave for 3 weeks from her job and was here for me to help me recover, we went to Yard sales, cooked together, grocery shopped together. I think I would even like it if she ever chose to leave Small town life and move here, but she moved away a few times and always went back, so I will take whatever time she gives me when she visits.
As you can see, I am jumping subjects here and there, but that's what I like about blogging, I can write a post about anything I want, you don't have to read it, but many of you do and I love that, especially when you leave honest, heartfelt and true comments and your own stories.
I honestly don't think when I was growing up, many people took the time to see me for what and who I really was. They based the opinions on the fact that I was poor, sometimes hung out with the wrong people, yet I never really did all the things they imagined in their minds I did. I grew up being raised by my Grandma until around age 11, then I moved to live with my Mom because My Grandma was just too old to take care of me. My "Ma" got me up every Sunday morning for church, then again on Wednesday nights and Sunday nights. We never had money but somehow I got to go on all those school and church trips, because maybe you have heard the saying it takes a village to raise a child, and this village helped raise me and look out for me. I was never Miss Popularity, I didn't cheer lead or play many sports because I knew we didn't have the money it took. I started working when I was 12 at a little place called Mr. B's diner, rolling silverware and cleaning tables. The money I made helped pay our bills and put food on the table. Now this was a little more than 20 years ago, when many of my friends or the people I knew didn't need to work, but I knew I needed to and I loved it. I have always been the type of person who likes to work for what we have, and never ask for help, because I grew up knowing that even being poor, you had pride and my Grandma sure had a lot of pride and did not like to ask for help even though she never learned to drive, we made many walks to the grocery store and always rode the Church Bus each week. I honestly don't know how she managed to feed and clothe me on her Social Security check which was tiny and we lived in the Housing projects until I moved in with my Mom.
I look back now, and think, and know, that what I didn't know was, growing up, I was just as equal to those folks who didn't care to be my friend as I was to everyone else. I may not have had the money or the new clothes or cars, but I had pride, I worked hard and more than anything I had a whole lot of love. So small town living did have and still does pull at my heartstrings now and again. Here, it's like a constant rat race to get things done and driving all over to get from point A to point B. When I lived at"home" you could easily walk across town in 15-20 minutes and make the entire loop in less than an hour through the entire town stopping to say hi to folks on the way.
When I left, I vowed never to go back, never to have my children living in a place like that where they would always be judged. I guess deep down, I still feel that way but I sure do enjoy going back and seeing those familiar faces once a year and feeling like I belong. If we visit the local bar, I still know 75 % of the people inside, same with the grocery stores there. Sometimes you really want to go where everyone knows your name. So, can you really go back home once you leave? I guess that depends on your frame of mind and your own perception. I don't think i could or would ever go back to live, because a long with all those wonderful memories, I have just as many not so fond memories. I do know that when I die, I want to be buried there, as Knoxville holds no special memories to me, it's just a town I chose to live in, a place I call my home now, and one day, when I die, I will go back to my real home, the have my end where I had my beginning.
So, this started out as a post about Small town life and I covered a few other topics. I would love to hear your thoughts on small town living versus City life.