Happy Friday friends! (Assuming I finish this blog today, Friday) Often times I will sit down to begin to write and can’t find the words to finish until I feel inspired to do so…. I really gotta figure out why that is?
I grew up on a nice enough albeit busier street and lived there until I moved away for 4 years to university. I then came back and lived there for a few more years. It was comfortable. It was familiar. I lived down the street from all of my schools – within walking distance. I had a best friend across the street with whom I grew up with. However one thing all of us (my mom, dad and brother) didn’t really like was being able to touch the house next door, to kind of the know the neighbours but not in the intimate way you might in a smaller town, not to mention the nosiness, the crime rate, the peeping tom we had when I was 15. Not feeling safe in my surroundings in general, not wanting to walk anywhere once it got dark and triple checking that everything was locked at all times.
This continued until I moved in with my husband – out to the boondocks. Driving through country fields and farm land to get to our little town. Population tiny. What did I expect? I got married to a cowboy 😉
Don’t get me wrong…we still know ALL of our neighbors and I do mean all of them lol. Or I suppose…they know me. We live on a quiet old street in our little town. Our house was built in 1890 so it definitely has charm and character. But it’s so different from where I used to live. It was definitely an adjustment and I have had to work on my closed off perspective and personality that I just developed from living in a busier more populated city. People on the next block over know my name. Lets just say news travels fast in this neck of the woods. They know that we got married and even sent a personalized note card and bottle of wine as a gift to celebrate. Now that is small town charm! Basically…it’s normal to know everybody’s name, business, and pant size. Ok…I kid. But you get what I mean.
I’ll give you some small town tips now that I have lived here for around a year. Despite being taught to keep my head down in my old city and not to converse with strangers – here in Stars Hollow (get the Gilmore girls reference? yes I do believe I live in my very own sleepy Stars Hollow) you keep a smile on your face, your eyes up, you make eye contact and slap everyone you greet with a high 5. Ok…so I suppose that’s going a bit far but if you don’t say hello to the townsfolk here then you can’t be one.
Next, you learn to support the local restaurants and grocery store over the one and only big chain shop in town (Timmies) despite the fact that it’s double the price than Tim Hortons. We have one (amazing) Chinese food restaurant, one buffet style/comfort food restaurant (think roast beef and gravy, sausage suppers and malted milkshakes), one local breakfast and lunch coffee shop which serves amazing sandwiches all locally sourced, of course, Tim Hortons and just recently, a Subway opened – however half the time you go in they are out of bread. Fact. It was big news when the subway opened and Brent and I went for the big opening. Yes folks, this is my real life. Date night! haha
If Brent had his way and it were currently in the budget we would probably move further out of town STILL onto a farming property where no neighbors existed. Brent grew up on his families dairy farm so he is used to living quite off the radar. And I get it…I might poke fun of it here from time to time – but I’ve kind of gotten used to the sleepy town feel. It’s nurtured my spiritual side and given my emotions room to breathe and flow. Everything moves slower here which I admire and find it necessary in my life in order to function properly. Nobody is rushing from place to place and in general, people here seem to be happier. Could it be because we tend to spend more time outside of our houses and away from the screen?
I feel safe again outside of my own home. I take Lola for walks around the neighbourhood after 8:30 pm even if it’s dark and my heart doesn’t start rapidly beating out of fear. I don’t have to look over my shoulder. I say hello to my neighbors (despite my introverted ways) Even though at times it canfeel a little intrusive I still find it slightly comforting that everybody knows everybody elses business. Neighborhood watch is amazing for crime prevention. I take a walk over to the local cafe and pay for overpriced coffee and sandwiches …why? Because it’s important to support the locals and I am now a local! Not to mention I know where all of the food and drink is coming from because they tell you each and every time you go into that cafe! They are insanely proud of that. The churches here are also heavily involved in the community and always putting on some sort of fish fry night, coffee morning, pig roast or some sort of community event. Yea…Brent and I don’t need to drive into the city for date night. We got all we need right here!
Overall my stress levels have definitely decreased. I sleep better at night. I feel happier where I am now. And that is no coincidence.
“Country Roads, take me home, to the place…I belong”
Do you live in a small town? Big city? Do you have any pros or cons to mention?
I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!