Living in a small town

DowntownJuneau-psdA couple of years ago, I moved to a small town, way up North for a variety of reasons, work being one of them. At first, I was excited because everything was new, people were friendly, scenery was crisp, I was introduced to that “hometown” feel and everything was just rosy. Since I moved to a colder climate, I got to experience Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Witnessing the trees go through seasonal changes were like small miracles and experiencing my first snowfall, in this town, made me giddy. Can’t forget the first time I saw the sparkling landscape after an ice storm, it was absolutely mesmerizing. You know, even playing in the snow was down right fun. That was YEAR ONE in a small town.

After going through the seasons, I started to see things in a different light and ask some pretty thought provoking questions. Questions like: I thought it couldn’t snow below 32-degrees? Will the sump pump explode after working non-stop for three weeks? Why was my brand new bird feeder pole, out  in the front yard bent in half?  Do bears remember who put out bird seed after they’re done hibernating? Why do they call those little bugs “no see ums’ when you can see them? And is there something a lot stronger than Deet available?

I also had some realization scenarios that hit me like a ton of bricks. Being that my small town is only accessible by plane and/or boat, I can only drive on one main road . . . 40 miles from one end to the other. At first, I said to myself, it’s OK, we really don’t go on that many drives when we lived down South. The whole reasoning thing goes right out the window, when you CAN’T go to any other town in your car, unless you drive onto a Ferry and travel first by water then by land. It’s not like I’m trapped (well technically I am, but that’s beside the point), there is plenty to do and places to explore, but there’s always that little voice that reminds me that I can only drive so far.

Another realization had to do with the inhabitants of my town. Just like any other town, there is the “right” side of the tracks and the “wrong” side – I quickly learn which is which. With that being said, the ugly truth was not brought to light by the town’s travel guide, but by my lovely Realtor when she wrinkles her pretty nose when I ask to see a  particular house in an undiscovered neighborhood. Yeah, you know that neighborhood where there are homes that have a revolving door, those who always have new clothes, jewelry and the latest electronics, but don’t work and those poor souls who’s life revolves around that age old charmer, alcohol. Yeah, year TWO was a humdinger, but I’m gonna stick around for some more.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never regretted my decision to move to a small town. There are just times I would love to go and eat at a fast food joint other than the two choices we have here. I miss the close proximity of a huge multi-leveled Mall (yes, my eyes are sparkling at the mere mention of Mall), I miss Olive Garden and Applebee’s, I miss the tactile experience you get when you shop for something special (what you ask! The Intranet is my alternative due to the fact we only have two major stores in town) and I do miss shooting the breeze with my friends in person. Wow, it looks a lot different when you put it out there – guess I am a bit whiny today! Moving on.

In retrospect, I’ve learned a lot about myself being here. Taking time to enjoy my surroundings with the family, going fishing, catching my first salmon, watching the bears catch fish, walking up to an iceberg that’s frozen in the lake, bird watching and just taking part in everyday life. My greatest realization about moving to a small town is during tourist season. Every year,  thousands of people flock up here on vacations, oohing and aahing over the stuff we see everyday. That is what make me realize that I  have it good, even if I can’t drive more than 40 miles in a straight line:) Sometimes you just got to look at the little stuff to put it all in perspective:)