Small town living feels like home

  • Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I have to go to the DMV today, and weirdly enough, I’m kind of excited about it. After moving about nine times in 12 years, I get a great deal of satisifaction from the fact that the address on my driver’s license, car registration and my check book are all the same.

Moving frequently can be difficult but there are also silver linings: You get to see new places, meet new people, get taken off the church’s “Call for Casserole” list.

And at least for me and my husband, it strengthened our marriage — without close friends to devote time and energy too, we spent all of our time together.

Moving to Greenwood was the easiest move of our life because we didn’t start from scratch.

My best friend, Sister Wife, was here and ready to tell me everything I needed to know about this town from where to bank, which doctors to use, to which gas station had the best car vaccuum.

She unpacked my kitchen, introduced me to “our friends” and walked me through the process of getting settled in.

It didn’t take me long to fall in love with The Delta — even though we had lived in two of the most beautiful cities in the world, Savannah, Ga and Charleston, Greenwood offered something that they couldn’t — good old small town community.

While living in larger cities, my kids took dance with one group of kids, went to school with another group and to church with a completely different group.

In Greenwood, all of their acquaintances overlapped in the most wonderful way.

A trip to the grocery store often found my kids introducing me to their friends — it’s pretty hilarious when two 4-year-olds introduce their mothers in the dairy section.

Errands that used to be a chore before we moved to Greenwood are now not quite as unpleasant.

Vikki at the bank drive through knows I can’t remember to bring a deposit slip and has all of my account numbers written in her “little black book.”

Chatter in the line at the DMV will be pleasant with talk of crops, river levels and children. Lisa at The Whole Foods store texts me to let me know when my favorite gluten free items are in and I allot at least half and hour to go pick them up.

Even though her store is only a block from my house, I know we’ll stand around and talk for at least that long. I look for Valeria at the check out line in the grocery store, she scans the sale papers every morning and will match prices for me without me even having to ask.

Even sitting at home doing laundry, cleaning the house and working are more pleasant — I never know who is going to drop by to chat, drop off a casserole or borrow a book.

My phone buzzes throughout the day; friends checking in on me, sharing news, prayer requests and the occasional joke.

My plans for the day are pleasantly interrupted by invitations to lunch, walks in the park with friends and the random home decorating project or trip down the street for some impromptu antiquing.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and found myself wandering on the wrong side of the bed to find the bathroom.

Disoriented, I was walking to the restroom as though I was in our South Carolina house.

I still stutter and have to think when someone asks for my phone number and occasionally have to pick up a piece of mail to double check my ZIP code when entering my mailing address online, but it feels good to know that I am home.

(Robin O’Bryant is an author, humorist and speaker. Her latest book is “Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves.” Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter and visit her blog at www.robinschicks.com.)

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