Toto darlin’, we are NOT in the capital city anymore!
- Population of the Sacramento Metropolitan area from whence I came: around 2½ million.
- Drive time from my house there to the nearest interstate highway: 10 minutes, give or take.
- Distance to the nearest Trader Joes: 2 miles.
Population of my new abode? Not quite 4000. Drive time to the nearest Interstate? About an hour.
To the nearest Trader Joes? About 2½ hours!
It is illegal to pump your own fuel here, but burning trash in your yard is no problem.
So yes, this will involve some adjustment.
Driving toward the little bridge to the west of town, I noticed an assortment of rubbish floating on the collected rainwater.
Then I got closer: Ducks, Kat. Not rubbish: DUCKS! Despite the odd relationship my old town had with poultry, you just didn’t get THAT every day!
There is also a small crew of seagulls who assist at our local dump, sorting through the trash for any edible tidbits that missed being composted.
THEN there was my trip to DMV!
Have you EVER walked into a DMV office and not stood in line? If so, I assume you live in near me. I had never once had that experience until this week.
In fact, I haven’t stood in a line except at the grocery store since I arrived here! Nor, for that matter, sat in much traffic. It takes getting used to.
There are a lot of things we don’t have here.
It’s part of living in a small town.
But we have a hardware store that stocks nearly every genre of merchandise I am capable of imagining. Home Depot doesn’t hold a candle to this place.
And anything the hardware store might lack, the grocery store in the next town over has completely covered.
I asked at the library if anyone knew where I could rent a goat – and would you believe they actually had suggestions?!? (Since my lawn tools are finally arriving today, I did not end up renting the goat.)
Some of the adjustments, of course, are due not to the size of the town, but to the state it is in.
As I mentioned, in Oregon it is illegal to pump your own fuel.
I can see this quickly becoming habit forming! At first, I worried that it would bother me. Now I wonder if I’ll have to stay here forever just so I don’t have to give it up!
And while the main street of my town is perhaps three miles long, it boasts three coffee houses along its course (well, two coffee houses and one coffee boat, actually). And not one of them a chain store. I love that.
My route to the county dump is a Pacific Coast Highway Scenic Byway!
Then, of course, there’s the WEATHER.
Just thinking about it makes my vampiric little heart glow with joy.
It is JUNE, and today the high was 64, with gorgeous clouds covering the entire sky! People keep asking me what brought me here and most of them blink and look slightly lost when I answer ‘The weather.’
But I am slowly finding my kindred spirits.
The cashier at the grocers and I had this exchange, then both looked out, doe-eyed and dreamy, at the threatening grey sky, while she responded ‘Ah, yes. It is beautiful here.”
Not all small towns have a strong community feel. But this one does.
This is the first place that I have ever encountered a public library which has more volunteers than it can use!
At the dump, you sort out your bottles that can be exchanged for a deposit refund, and the dump donates those to a local charity that serves people with disabilities.
The second day I was here I saw a sign in a parking lot that said ‘You matter’. The kind of thing you’d expect at a church, right? Or maybe a high school? This one was in front of the hardware store.
Undoubtedly we have our share of jerks here, but everyone I’ve met so far has been really nice. Nice in a way I remember from childhood but had forgotten.
I imagine a move like this one isn’t everyone’s idea of a step toward abundance.
So far, for me, it is.