Wednesday, August 3, 2016

You Can Take the City Out of the Girl

I always thought I was a  big city girl until now. Maybe it's my age. Maybe it's that my soul has simply withered under the frenetic pace of commutes and congestion. Whatever the reason, I am learning a new way of being. Here are just a few observations I've made while living in a small town for the first time in my life.

1. People are friendly.
I am learning to look people in the eye - at the hardware store, in the market, walking along the beach. People greet one another with a smile, a wave, or a nod.

2.  People still drop by for a visit.
There is an old adage, "back door guests are best." It is not unusual to find that door open and welcoming a neighbor with a batch of vegetables to share from the garden. What does it say about a community where respect and trust are so implicit that the stranger is a neighbor not the other way around?

3. The window of time one waits for a service call is an hour or less not half a day.  
When my dryer didn't work, I called the local appliance repair. They were closed for lunch between noon and one o'clock. I called back at one o'clock. A woman answered. I explained my dilemma. She assured me that it was a common problem and that Roger would be over to fix it between two and three. At two sharp, Roger drove up.  The same thing happened with the cable guy. Imagine that!

4. Business deals are still done on a handshake and a good word.
They say contracts are really designed for protection - rooted in suspicion and anticipation of somebody doing something bad to somebody else. Not in this small town. The local realtor rented us our home based on the good word of my friend.  And she gave us the garage door opener so we could store some stuff before we took possession of the house.
That kind of good will engenders responsible action,  character, and old fashioned values of honesty and integrity based on relationships.

5. There is no traffic. 
This fact is slowly making an impact on me. A drive on a rural country road is actually calming not stress inducing.

6. You can see the stars at night.
My evening walk transports me into a dark vast cosmos of silence, stillness, and peace. I sleep better.

7. There really is a main street.
One street.  One straight shot to the market, the pharmacy, the tavern, the surf shop, the restaurants.
No GPS needed.

8.  No Street Sweeping Day.
Having lived the urban nightmare of dashing to move my car as the roar of the street sweeper gets closer and closer,  I only just came to realize the the lack of no parking signs along the curb!

9. The beaches are not crowded in the summer.
Now grant you, I have lived in Southern California my entire life where the beaches are packed with visitors on a hot, sunny afternoon. But here, where the temperature reaches a high of 68 most days, the unspoiled stretch of sandy beach and surf are wide open.  Given that my sun bathing days are long gone, I have found that I enjoy a stroll in my sweatshirt, along the shore dotted with sand dollars and sea glass.

10. There is plenty to do. 
My biggest fear moving to a small town was that I would be bored but quite the opposite has been true. The arts and culture scene admittedly has a local yokel feel but I find it comforting, reassuring, and inspiring that wherever human beings live, artistic expression exists. Festivals, concerts, theatre, and galleries are in abundance. I look forward to delving into the local writing scene.  The food and wine are superb and the landscape is reminiscent of Tuscany.

In this turbulent time of divisiveness, hatred, and fear, I am grateful to have landed in a place where  life is simpler and where basic goodness still exists. I think I've found heaven.

No comments:

Post a Comment