Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Almost a Year

It's hard to believe we have lived here for almost a year.  Going into this, I thought that 4 years sounded like forever.  And some days it does feel like it.  But I am also marginally astonished that 12 months have passed so quickly.  Then again, I think that we've had something going on every month, so there didn't seem to be a lot of downtime - visitors, new school, new job, new house, new town, new dance school, new soccer league, new friends, new hobbies, new job #2, new preschool, new vacations, new new new.

Our local library

I do want to record some thoughts about our town, just for posterity.

  • I feel like I've adjusted pretty well to living in a small town.  With a population of 15,000, the options are limited.  Generally, you can choose between Take It or Leave It.  Often the default choice is Take It, as Leave It puts me back at square one.  While I do not LIKE shopping at Walmart, I have accepted it as my (almost) only option. If other options are available, they usually come with a catch.   For example: our town does not have a soccer league with Saturday games.  In order to find one that does, we ended up driving 80 minutes round trip, 3 days a week.
  • I am much more appreciative and active in supporting local businesses.  And we've found a lovely bakery, coffee shop, burger place, summer camp, and more because of this.
  • But I still do a lot more online shopping.  What can I say?  I do love the internet.  And especially when it comes to seasonal shopping, the UPS man and I are on a first name basis.  
  • And when we do get to "the city" for some reason, the trips often feel rushed because I have the perception that I need to cram in a visit to every possible store because I just don't know when I'll be back.  I find that preparation helps, and will make very specific lists of what I need so that we can hit 4 or 5 stores in quick succession.  Much less window shopping (boo) and much more get in, get out (which the husband appreciates).  I also appreciate those visits much more.  A trip to Target feels special when you only get to go three times a year.  
  • I know my neighbors!  I feel so lucky to have chosen this house.  Not only is this neighborhood perfect for our kids, but we're getting to know our neighbors, too.  This is a big step for us.  We tend to keep to ourselves (I think it's a little bit of the "we're not going to be here that long" mentality), and I am enjoying chatting with the neighbors in the area.  
  • This area holds strong to the Appalachian values of family, independence, and hard work.  They take care of their own.  
  • Poverty lays heavy on Southern Ohio.      
  • People here are "wavers".  This took me months to get used to.  Every time I took a walk or stepped outside, I would get a wave from someone.  At first I responded with a slightly puzzled look while racking my brain to recall if this was someone I had met & already forgotten.  But then I realized that is a community of wavers.  It's a friendly change that I have embraced.      

1 comment:

Lisa @ Trapped In North Jersey said...

My grandmother lived in Lancaster OH nearly her whole life (Zanesville as a child, Lancaster after she got married, New Jersey after she got Alzheimers). I flew back for her funeral and was startled at how much Lancaster had grown from a rural farming community when I was a kid to a commuting suburb of Columbus. The people are still the same though--very friendly and helpful. Its a worldview that doesn't seem to exist on the coasts.