I've just entered the Twilight Zone and I think I like it.

Big front porch, old and heavy woods, gas heater, built in storage closets, screen door and a Baptist Church across the street. A post office, sheriff station, privately owned market, barber and city hall all on one block; the only block. This is my new home.

I was raised in a small town and hated it. I was secluded from any friends that I might have had and knew little more about the world outside of the Wal-Mart. Once I became a teenager, I recall quickly finding interest in neighboring towns surrounding states. At that time, any marginal difference in size was enough to peek my interests. After setting off on my own at almost 19, I found myself in an even smaller appendage that I grew up in. Who has enough money to venture into the big city all at once?

After years of goofing off, I met my life partner, Brent, and we moved away to our college town. I quickly adapted to being able to do anything that I wanted at anytime that I wanted. Granted, there are many places that vastly dwarf Valdosta, Georgia. However, going from having a 20 minute drive to the nearest Wal-Mart to having multiples with one approximately a minute from my house is a very big leap for a little Georgia boy. My rural upbringing is glowing true with all of these Wal-Mart comparisons. Geez.

Now, I find myself in the middle of nowhere yet again.
Culture shock.

In technical Wal-Mart terms, we are 15 minutes away from the nearest one. The one foody joint in town is Mexican due to the high Hispanic population and they only accept cash. Who uses cash? The small privately owned market reminds me of some of the European grocers that I've visited, so it's slightly interesting and exciting to me. They lack the tons of marketing that you see in the flashy (modern) stores of America. The fresh produce and the complete devoid of take-out will stimulate my focus on creating my own meals. There won't be any cheating around this place.

The church across the street doesn't bother me. My previous neighborhood was congested and the perfect place for the religious to come around and solicit homes with flyers and knocks on the doors at the most inopportune times. I may or may not get a visit, but I always anticipate people like that to be annoying at one point or another. Generally, they'll listen as long as you are clear with them.

The people here seem quiet. I like that. There were a few times that I heard banjos in my head when I saw old men in overalls walking across the road and noticed a few people in rocking chairs on their porches. There are many children. They ALL know who Brent is, because he teaches music to them all. This also creates a bit of interest, small town pride and desire to be here.

The anxiety and caution that preceded my first visits here have now calmed. I am not yet comfortable, but I am prepared to fix up this old house and turn it into a happy home that can satisfy our needs for the next few years.

When we reach a noticably mentionable point, I will be posting before and after photos.

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Tags: Wal-Mart, church, home, new

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Comment by Saint Fillan on December 4, 2008 at 8:34pm
I understand completely. I have lived in a very small town for the last fifteen years, but I am only twenty minutes from a major mall, shops, restaurants, etc. We are getting ready to move, and I am struggling to find a place that has it all...small town feel, privacy, seclusion, but close to conveniences. That is a cool thing about the metro Atlanta area. Atlanta has grown out so far, one can enjoy modern amenities and still live in a rural setting.

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