Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Where's the Starbucks?

I admit it; I’m a city girl. As an urban dweller, I had taken some things for granted—the neighborhood Starbucks, a choice of movie theaters, Chinese take-out, and high speed Internet connection. These are luxuries I had grown accustomed to. But that all changed when my husband took a job as a full-time fireman in a rural fire department.

When I say rural, I mean the boondocks—the town boasts a population of three thousand. It’s an old mining town stuck out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by mountains and desert. Civilization is a forty-minute drive away.

I wasn’t thrilled with the move, but really what choice did I have? There was a rule on the books saying that any fireman had to live within the town borders.

Weeks of packing, and suddenly I found myself smack dab in the midst of small town living. Everywhere I went people demanded to know who I was and where I lived. People I had never seen before waved at me as I drove by. I was accustomed to being a faceless cog in the city; now I felt as though I was constantly being stalked by strangers.

Slowly I learned to adapt. I bought a French press, learned to use a wok and joined Netflicks. It was an awkward, and at times painful, adjustment, but I survived. Still, sometimes I can’t help but laugh at the odd quirks that come with small town living.

The UPS driver will find me wherever I am. He stalks my red Bronco, the only one in town, and he will deliver my packages to me as I stand in line at the bank.

Everyone in town owns a scanner. Let’s face it, there’s not a lot going on, and if something is going on, everyone wants to know about it. I got tired of being out of the information loop and demanded my own scanner so now I can sit with the rest of the population and listen in on all the fire and police calls.

All aspects of your life are up for public scrutiny. This summer we decided it was time to get a pool. It didn’t take long to realize everyone was keeping track of the pool’s progress. I was bombarded daily with questions from my bank clerk, the UPS man, the grocer, the postmistress, the bank manager. The foremost question on everyone’s mind? When was it going to be done?

The desert is now all around my house, which means the creepies and crawlies don’t have far to creep and crawl. Every year we find five or six scorpions in the house. The most memorable scorpion experience over the years? The morning I got out of the shower and grabbed a towel to dry myself off only to realize there was a scorpion hanging on it. I went from dead tired and half awake, to wide eyed and screaming in a matter of seconds.

I have to admit I have grown to love the odd quirks of small-town living.

So, readers, do you live in a big city or small town? And what are things you love about it? And the things that drive you nuts? And if you join in and give us some examples of your big city or small town life I will get Sherryl to randomly pick from the comments, and I will send the person she picks something from Superior, Arizona. Thanks, Sherryl, for allowing me to stop by and blog.

Chaoscat, www.romancejunkies.com

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