So we are officially two weeks into living in our hometown again after 25 years in the ‘burbs. It’s kinda weird, but I’ve already realized a few of the reasons we are back on home turf, more than just raising our little girl in a small town and being close to the fam.
First off, I went to the locker in Hancock on Saturday, got me some dried beef and Colby cheese, drove back, went to Dollar General or “DG” as the locals call it lol, got my hooks to hold my hairdryer and was back home in a shorter amount of time than it would have taken me to even drive to Target, let alone shop and drive home! Oh, the efficiency! Yay!
Secondly, I’m outside Sunday trying to lasso my child back into the house when my former, I know better than to call her old, English teacher shows up at our door to welcome us home. Can I just mention how sweet that is? Now, I’m sure she has a few ulterior motives, but I’m game.
Third, a couple of nights ago, I had an actual conversation with my neighbors IN THEIR HOUSE! I have not hung out with neighbors just to shoot the sh** since I was in college. I feel like I should show up at their house with Domino’s pizza and Bahama Mama (if I could even find it) to celebrate!
Fourth, I went to pull out of my very soggy driveway yesterday morning and see a guy using a flashlight to look around on the ground in the cul de sac. No need to panic! As I suspected, he was simply gathering nightcrawlers! I love living in a place where people put a priority on fishing! Yes, ma’am.
Finally, I won some silent auction items at a Relay for Life event a couple of months ago in which I got babysitters for 3-hour blocks. I texted the first one this week to see if she might be available this weekend and she was! And she even sounded excited to babysit for us! Dude, if you have ever had a 2-year-old you know how damn happy that can make a person!
PS – we will be attending the Betterment Committee’s Murder Mystery Theater Saturday night if you’re interested, go here to buy tickets!
Seriously though, I will be honest and tell you that after it has rained every day for the entire time we have lived there and commuting, I was starting to have reservations… Starting to doubt my decision to load up and haul my hubby and baby out of the city. I may, or may not have, had a few meltdowns along the way, but I know in my heart, I was meant to be back home. Bon Jovi and I, we know these things. So here’s to my discovering even more great reasons to be home and here’s to all of you who continue to put up with me no matter where I live. Love you guys.
What great things have you realized once you moved? Or is there something you really love about small towns or the ‘burbs that you want to share? Are you mid-life-changes and got advice for me? Bring it on!
So, I have mentioned a few of the reasons why I will miss Bellevue, but I feel like that means I also need to say what I’m looking forward to in my hometown, AKA things other people take for granted when they live in a rural community!
I am looking forward to people waving at me, and not the only-the-middle-finger kind. Nothing makes me feel more like I’m in a small town than a jaunty wave from someone I may, or may not, know.
And with that sentiment, I also love knowing whose car is whose. Yes, you can call me a Nosy Nelly, but I like knowing who I’m meeting on the road and if I need to take the gravel so Old Man Klaus doesn’t hit me or if I should throw my head out the window like a sloppy-tongued dog to wave at my bro-in-law.
Speaking of, I’m kinda excited to be living next to my family again. I know I haven’t been that far away, but there’s a big difference between 5 minutes and 45 when you’re carrying a prime rib or a 2-year-old. I am looking forward to being able to run to my parents’ house to let Ellen play with the calves or read a book with grandma when I know that my husband is going to be late getting home. I also will be able to get my hair cut on a weeknight, and I’m hoping my other sister drops off dirt cake occasionally. Ha ha.
You can also laugh at me when I tell you I’m looking forward to moving home in hopes of having a few more friends. I have found that the ‘burbs are full of acquaintances, but, at least in my case (which maybe it’s just me, I’ve often suspected that, but my sweet husband promises me it is not the case), it has not been full of long-time-laugh-and-drink-daiquiris-while-our-kids-play kind of friendships. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been blessed with some incredible people in my life while I’ve been in Bellevue, and I plan to hold onto the ones I’ve got, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more and I’m kinda hoping for some couple friends. We clearly need to get out more! Lol.
Another small thing is that I’m ready to see sunsets and sunrises again, or for that matter, stars in the sky. We live in a very treed-in neighborhood and although I love the trees, I miss seeing the sky. You will probably notice a sudden and annoying increase in my scenic view pictures on Facebook. Lol.
I’m also ready for that sense of community that only comes from a rural town. I want to be a part of something. I always have. I like knowing everyone and since I don’t have a lot of skeletons in my closet for the gossips to parrot about, I feel pretty safe about my rumor mill status. I think they call it nonexistent.
And, finally, I may sound like a snob and I don’t really mean to be that because Nebraska has been good to me, but well, I’m excited to say I’m an Iowa girl again!
I could go well beyond that list, but seeing how I should be packing instead of blah, blah, blahing as my husband would say, I’ll just say this: bring on the pott co! Peace out, NE!
Decision, decisions, decisions. Oh, how I hate to make them! Are you that way, too? I don’t mind the “where-are-we-eating-tonight” kind. Those are easy (and the answer is Johnny’s Café), but I hate the big ones like deciding to get married or moving to a 3rd world country to make two million dollars. I’m talking those kind. Lol.
Recently, I made the decision to leave my job after having been in that same building for 20 years. And yes, I am a habitual ready-for-a-vacation kind of girl so it probably seems that I am more than ready to ditch my job (which if you looked at the same snot on the bathroom stall you might want to, too). The truth of the matter is that it’s really hard to leave. Not because of the snot (lol), but partly because of the people I’ve met along the way and partly because I don’t want to be a statistic of another teacher leaving teaching and partly because I hope I’ve made a difference in the world somewhere along the way. So why am I leaving? A lot of reasons, but they start with my little girl.
Last spring, we debated about buying a house in our hometown. Finally, we decided to put a bid in. There ended up being 3 other bids. I said I was leaving it in God’s hands. If we got it, it was meant to be. If we didn’t, there was time for something else. We got the house.
It was about that time that I started hearing that Zac Brown song on the radio. Clearly, it was meant to be. And every time I seem to be having doubts over whether it’s time to go home or not, it finds its way to my radio.
(Thanks Vevo, Zac Brown Band and YouTube)
So when it came time to decide whether to stick it out in teaching or move on, I stressed out again. Could I drive from there? Yes. I probably would have a quicker commute than some of the people who live in West O going through 3000 stoplights. Believe me, I squandered an entire summer overthinking, worrying, and contemplating what to do. It was the day that I realized that I would have to drive 12 more years and that, in that time, my little girl would go from a toddler to a teenager. Not only that, but there will be bagels with mom breakfasts and Read Across America book-a-thons to see and I want to see them! But I wouldn’t if I was driving because I would believe that work had to come first, even when I didn’t feel that way. So what was the solution? Get out.
What’s next? I don’t know. I wanna be creative. I wanna be respected for what I do. I wanna help Mrs. Strickland get Oakland back to good, too. But here’s what I do know: About a year and half ago, I saw this Steve Harvey video, and it spoke to me. (I might be watching this at 2 in the morning next August with tears and a carton of How I Love Thee Reese Peanut Butter Cup ice cream panicking, but…)
(Thanks to Steve Harvey and YouTube for the clip!)
I’m not a gutsy person. I like my safe and secure world, but I do think I was put on this earth for a reason and I want to make damn sure I figure out what my gift is. So… I’m “jumping.” Ready…or not (mostly or not) here I come.
Have you been in my place? Any advice? What’s your talent or calling? Any success stories to tell me? Feelings about the videos or just a comment? Let me hear ’em.