By Renee Cain (Customer Service)
I live in a little mountain town just about an hour from a big city. Our neighborhood is very small and there are no sidewalks, but the woods and big lots make up for it. I remember joking with the real estate agent when we first drove in here that you would need an oxygen mask just to take a short walk because it’s so mountainous, haha! I do love the greenery here and the views and secluded yards finally sold me on the place. I’m a city girl at heart, and I love the electricity of the city, the noise and the pace. Moving here, the middle of nowhere was quite an adjustment for me to be sure. I’m a bit of an introvert and it’s pretty easy to get lost in the city. You can shop, go to restaurants and even movies alone and no one even notices. I’m pretty independent and I love that anonymity. But here, well, it’s different, in a charming way that took a minute for me to embrace. For instance, our first week here, the mail lady rang the doorbell and introduced herself and chatted for more than thirty minutes. Haha! It’s just that way here.
You know, thinking back on it, when I lived in the city, in an apartment, I didn’t even know the porter’s name. That makes me sad to think about now. Wish I’d stopped long enough to get to know the man who was the gate keeper to where I slept.
Anyway, the personalized mail delivery wasn’t the only surprise here. Another delightful surprise was the Friday night concerts in the park which are held in town where everyone brings collapsable chairs and blankets, snacks and drinks (some even sneak in local wine from the winery nearby) and the children play and the adults chat, enjoy the music and each other’s company. The music is fantastic too. I mean sometimes the bands aren’t great, but it doesn’t matter because we’re hanging out and being together and it’s a great way to spend a Friday night, you know.
We have a beautiful post card ready town. We love going to one of the restaurants and sitting on the balcony outside looking over the dogwoods, red brick buildings and smiling people going about their business. It’s peaceful and delicious! One day, around Memorial Day, I had to go “to town” to the post office and sitting at the traffic light, I was stunned to see white crosses lining both sides of the street. It was that way all the way through town, every street. Each cross had an American flag, and the name of a veteran who had died. It was amazing to see and my heart swelled at this charming town which spent countless hours, no doubt, to erect these memorials. Shortly after when Fall arrives, the town and outskirts explode with radiant color! I do love that time of year with the crisp Fall air and smell of burning leaves. And then as if the town performs an encore, the lights go up for Christmas and this little town is more alive and vibrant than ever.
We’ve been here now almost ten years. I’ve grown closer to my husband, to my church, and to small town living. I feel like I belong to a community of family and though I’m still a bit of an introvert, I look forward to bumping into my “family” in the grocery store and my mail delivery visits. I read somewhere that life is all about perception and I think there’s a lot of truth in that. A small town community doesn’t mean you have to be born there, you just have to open your heart to it, and embrace it and live it. For the first time ever, I’m home.