Theresa shows her humorous side here. She is one who loves to laugh at herself. She tries to not take herself too seriously.
Leaving City Life Behind
Making the Transition to Small Town Living
Long before we left the city four years ago, and moved to the country, with its beautiful peach blossom orchards, I worked at an insurance company as an underwriting examiner. To my defense, I will say I was very young at the time.
I will never forget the day, after examining the back of an insurer’s policy amendments, which lists any accidents, etc., which I had to review and red flag anything out of the ordinary to then be given to the Underwriter for approval. At that time, we were all out in a large open space with hundreds and hundreds of desks all lined up (no cubicles at that time).
So, I was examining a particular policy amendment, which indicated this person had an accident, and that his vehicle was totaled due to a bush hog running out in front of him. Well, my naïve self commenced to comment out loud to everyone nearby, “Wow, that must have been one big hog coming out of that bush to have totaled out his vehicle!!!” Then, I also added, “That must have been a huge bush to have hidden a hog that big!” Ha. Ha. Well, there was dead silence (I wonder why?) Ha.
Growing up, although we did not live in the country, we drove through the countryside many-a-times, and seeing the farm equipment out in the fields, etc., I just always thought of any type of tractor-type equipment as just being a tractor. I did not realize they all had different names. Ha, again.
Needless to say, my co-workers, at the time, never let me live that one down!!!
So, when we moved to the country, I was prepared to be informed of bush hog equipment, etc., not being a tractor and what the difference is between the two.
New Home in Small Town
At Home in Small Town Country Life
One of the very first differences I noticed about small town life, as opposed to big city life, was when I went to the nice little post office to mail a package.
While waiting in line at the post office, every single person who spoke to the postal employee behind the counter, started up a conversation of how their family members were doing, etc., and they both conversed back and forth, naming each person, i.e., “So, how’s Uncle Joe doing and your brother Bennie?” This went on with every single customer, i.e., “So, is your Momma out of the hospital and doing well?” or “Did Eddie get that job?”
Then it was my turn to speak to the postal employee, who was nice and greeted me, but then after the salutations, dead silence. I could tell she was trying to figure out who I was, as was everyone else waiting in line behind me. Hmmm, someone new in town has arrived.
So, I instinctively said, “Well, my husband is doing much better after our dog chewed him up the first day we arrived here in town, thank goodness.” Everyone present, in unison, said, “Oh, that is good!!!” Apparently, a lot of people in town heard the commotion of all the rescue people, blaring down the road that day.
Found out later, it was in the local paper. In small towns, etc., news travels fast to say the least.
Small Town Post Office
Everybody Knows Everybody...
Speaking of that first day we arrived in town, while my husband was still in the hospital from, you know, being chewed-up by our dog, I had to go to City Hall to get our utilities placed in our names, as we just moved in.
When I arrived at City Hall, the police lieutenant noticed me, and asked about my husband. I told him that I was so appreciative of everyone for arriving so quickly that day and I apologized for causing a commotion on the very first day we arrived in town. I told him we just wanted to come and go peacefully and not to disturb anyone. That is why we moved here, for the peace of country life. He was beaming with pride, and said that they were happy to be able to help and implied that much of nothing happens around there, so they were glad to be able to help someone.
Then he commenced to ask me in a very southern accent, and seemed to be very excited at the possibility . . . but he asked me, “Would it be okay if we posted a giant blown up picture of your bloodied-up husband lying on the ground, right here on this big wall in City Hall, so people can see it when they first walk in, and have a caption saying, ‘Could your dog do this to you?’” Ha. Well, to say the least, I was taken aback when he asked that, and I really did not know how to answer him, other than, “Well, I’ll have to run that by my husband and get back with you.” I never got back with him on that issue.
Thank goodness, when I went to vote, I did not see my husband up on the wall at City Hall!
I sure did not want any small children coming in there with their parents and being terrified of seeing a man all chewed-up and bloody on the ground! I am assuming the point of him wanting to place such a photo in City Hall, was to bring awareness of letting dogs run loose around town and the dangers, if you happen to have a dangerous dog, of course.
Soon after that incident, we found out the town had adopted a resolution regarding dogs not being able to run loose in the town. However, I still see a lot of dogs running around town.
Small Town City Hall
Home Sweet Home
No Locking the Doors Here...
On another occasion, I noticed up the road from my house, someone was having a giant yard sale, and they had even advertised it on a billboard in town that this particular family (well-known) was having a giant yard sale, and you would not want to miss this yard sale. I had to run up to the post office to have something mailed, but then noticed all the people there for the yard sale, and they did have plenty of items.
So, I stopped to check it out, and was able to find some great stuff. I saw two beautiful, long cement planters painted black, that would be perfect to place on the bricks lining my driveway, and they were only seven dollars each. They were so heavy that I could not pick them up. So, two nice, big gentlemen were kind enough to pick them up for me and place them in my car.
I walked with them to my car and opened my trunk. Then I had to get my keys out to unlock my car to place the other items I wanted in the back seat of my vehicle. When the two gentlemen saw I was unlocking my car, they asked, “Why did you lock your car?” I was surprised by the question, and said, well, just a habit, as we just moved from the big city, and one always had to make sure one’s car was locked. They just laughed and laughed, and said, well, you do not have to worry about that here, as we do not even lock our doors at the house!
So, I told them I had to run to the ATM to get more cash, as I had picked out more items to purchase from the yard sale. When I arrived back, the two nice gentlemen, once again, helped me to load up my car. As we approached my car again, I had to get my keys out to unlock it. Both men just laughed once again, and said, “You locked it again, didn’t you?” I replied, “Yes, I know, it is just a habit.” Ha. Now, that is one big difference between big city life and small town life. However, one can never be too safe even in a small town, as it is not always immune from crime.
Granddaughter at Town Park
Small Town Park
Another great thing in our little town is that they have “Movie Night in the Park” every Friday night and it is free.
The park is so nice and right in the center of town, just up the road from where we live.
Our granddaughters love that park.
So, if the children do not care to watch the movie, they can go play on the playground while the parents are watching the movie.
It is not a big park, so you can watch your children play easily without worry.
A Cool Class of Sweet Tea Is Always Waiting
When you go out to dinner, the waitresses are always so pleasant, and I noticed that the majority of them always call you, honey, baby, sweetie or something of that nature. They are always happy to see you and actually enjoy waiting on you.
And, of course, they always have a nice cool glass of sweet tea ready for you.
Oh, how sweet it is in the south!
Small Town Families
In church, what I love is that there are families with a whole generation of family members who are members of the church. You will see a great grandmother, grandmother, daughters, sons, grandchildren, and so on, all right there at that one church. I think that is so neat, as my family is spread all over, i.e., my brother and his family and one sister and her family and my mother are all in Georgia, and one sister and her family is in a city in the southern part of our state.
I would love just to be able to go a few houses over or a couple of streets over to have coffee with my sisters, brother or see my mother, without having to travel several hundreds of miles. However, I know that having family too close, is not always the best thing either.
We learned the hard way, about what the saying, “playing possum” really means. One night we had a possum in our front garage and our dog was just barking up a storm. So, we went out to see and sure enough there was a possum.
Our dog, a little Jack Russell, jumped on that possum and grabbed it by its neck. We thought it was dead. Little did we know, it was just “playing possum.” I told my husband that we could not allow our dog to be running around all day with a dead possum in its mouth while we were in the city working, as other critters may come into the yard and try to fight her for it.
When I looked out the window I saw my husband and my dog playing tug-of-war with the possum!!! I could not believe my eyes. My husband finally got our dog to let go of the “dead” possum. So, he placed it in a plastic bag and placed it in the large trash container.
After we arrived home that night, we had taken more trash out, and noticed that the possum had squirmed out of the plastic bag. So it had been alive the whole time my husband and dog were playing tug-of-war with it, and it could have bitten my husband in the stomach, and he may have had to have rabies shots or whatever!
Our Dog Notices Cows for the First Time
Black Angus Cow Behind Tree
City Dog Notices Cows for the first Time
Oh, when we first moved to the country, our dog, keeping in mind she is a city dog, and never lived in the country either – is obsessed with fetching the ball when it is thrown and will do this for hours if you let her, regardless of how tired she gets. Anyway, I was on my front porch after coming home from work one evening and decided to throw her the ball from the top of the ten brick steps leading up to my front door.
She loves to jump in mid-air and catch the ball. Well, it did not dawn on me that my dog had never seen a real live cow up close and personal before, and that afternoon, all of a sudden, a lot of the Black Angus cows appeared in the pasture. There are three pastures that run alongside our home across the road and around back of our home, which is good that they do not use just one pasture all the time, as we never have smelled any bad cow smells.
Anyway, I go to throw the ball to my dog, who leaps from the top of the ten steps in mid-air to catch the ball, and I guess, out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the cows, and she immediately forgot about that ball (which is amazing) and almost flipped over in mid-air and flipped out after seeing those cows. She immediately ran to the side of our yard facing the pasture and just was barking out of control at the cows, and I could tell she was trying to figure out what the heck kind of animals they were over there. It was hilarious.
The poor cows got so tired of her barking at them, they all, almost in unison, turned around and went to the back of the pasture out of sight. I had to finally bring her into the house, just so she would shut up.
What is that Noise?
And finally, one more little story. After arriving home from work one evening, it was so pleasant out and peaceful, I decided to get the garbage container at the end of the driveway and pull it back up into the garage.
Our driveway is on a little slope. Anyway, about a third of the way up the driveway, still enjoying the peacefulness of the country, all of a sudden, I heard the most terrifying noise, which I could not even identify at the moment, coming from the back of the pasture.
I did not have a clue what it was or exactly where it was, but I was so scared that I let go of the handle to the extra large garbage container and it rolled all the way back down the driveway. As I turned to run back into my house, I saw in the pasture a donkey bucking so fast and braying so very loud, and realized that it was the donkey I heard. If you have never heard a donkey braying up close, just let me tell you it is deafening and scary when you hear it for the first time!
I thought then, well, I know if the neighbors saw me, they were probably thinking, that girl just needs to go on back to the city from where she came. Ha. To top it off, that donkey is really getting to me, as almost every morning right at 5:00 a.m., when I am in the bathroom, I can always hear in the distance that donkey braying. I just have to laugh. That must be its wake-up time too. Ha.
Settled by Scandinavians
What is really unique about our little town,
is that is was settled by Scandinavians,
and every year in October,
the town has the Swedish Festival,
which is great fun.
How the Scandinavians wound up in the middle of
Alabama is bewildering, but they did.
Also, every year there is a Peach Jam festival, as we have the best peaches here ever!!!
We even have a giant peach water tower!
Never Know what One Will See in a Small Town, Maybe even a Car in the Air
One never knows what one will see in a small town. Maybe, there will be a car up in the air for some unknown reason. Ha.
Loving and surviving life in the country, or should I say, small town life. Kind of like a nowadays Mayberry.
© Copyright Faith Reaper July 25, 2012.