Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Small Town Tuesday: I'm a traffic snob

This is my bi-weekly installment of Small Town Tuesday. Here in the boonies life is just a little bit different and I enjoy sharing slices of our unique lifestyle. If you have a small-town story please send me a message at vash_ii@yahoo.com or on Facebook.

I recently had the opportunity to travel around my old stomping grounds of Columbia, S.C., a town I lived in for six years and where Brady was born.

The metro area of Columbia has nearly 500,000 people. As I drove ... and drove .... and drove... to get anywhere, I realized just how spoiled I am in my little haven here. I have to admit it.

I'm a traffic snob now.

In our little boonies town, with less than 1,000 souls residing, there are about 20 different streets and the same amount of stop signs. We have one 4-way stop up by the school and one very small subdivision on the edge of town.

There are no stop lights. We're even a good bit off the nearest highway, a true "blink and you miss it" town.

The speed limit is 20 mph. Many streets are dirt. Many in need of repair. People drive golf carts and four wheelers around (there was a city meeting about this at some point before I got here). I've even seen people go by on horses.

In Columbia, I found myself constantly underestimating how long it would take me to get somewhere. It was a minimum 30 minutes, but traffic or construction could increase that significantly. Thirty minutes of stopping and starting, stopping and starting, driving and driving and driving, cars whizzing by me, trying to find someone, ANYONE, who would let me get over into whatever lane I needed to be in.

One time I got on the wrong highway and ended up two exits down from where I needed to be. It seemed like I wasted half my day in the car.

Sigh.

I've forgotten how to drive like this. And the thing is, I don't want to learn again!

Don't get me wrong. I did enjoy the wide selection of restaurants, parks, museums, department stores, grocery stores, gas stations, etc. Here we don't have much and there's exactly one of anything we do have.

But there's a measure of freedom in that simplicity. The longer I am here and let this style of living seep into me, the less I am cut out for the big city.

It was fun to visit, but it was also nice to come home.
No big trucks on our little streets!
We have street posts instead of street signs.
There are lots of gravel roads around here. 

44 comments:

  1. yes. That is exactly how I feel every time we have to go back to the Twin Cities, where we lived before we moved to this little country town. It is fun for about oh...ten minutes, then we want to go home. :)
    Perfectly happy being the country mouse. :)
    Blessings,
    ~Heather

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heather, it really does change your perspective when you get away from the fast pace, doesn't it? :)

      Delete
  2. My son is terrified of learning to drive where we live now. He says he'd rather not get his license. I love going back to where I'm from and knowing that people actually stop at stop signs and lights. Here you have to wait after a green for all the people who are running the red to get through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, I never thought about that, a kid learning to drive in a big city! The town I learned in had 40,000 people, so bigger but nothing like Columbia. There are 3 interstates cutting through town. I hate that no one will let you get in a lane in busy cities :(

      Delete
  3. Our "small town" isn't as small as yours but just like you, when we go back "home" we hate the traffic there! Our small town is wayyyy better! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's just one less layer of stress you have to deal with :)

      Delete
  4. I feel the same way Stephanie! I so enjoy living where I don't have to travel. We are so close to getting down to one car even! I will enjoy the savings (even though the car is paid off)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, I can't quite imagine just having one car! That's the next level. I travel too much for work though, I guess. I'll be interested to hear your journey with that if you share it on your blog!

      Delete
  5. I've never lived someplace like this, but the simplicity seems peaceful. I drove my kids 20 miles (taking 2 freeways) to high school everyday. That one-way trip would take 10-15 minutes to get to the freeway, and another 15 to 30 to get to school...if we didn't hit a big accident. And taking Rory into the hospital in Los Angeles (50 miles from home) has taken up to 4-hours one-way. That my friend IS ridiculous! Of course those trips have to happen when she is the sickest.

    I'm not sure how I would do with muddy, snowy roads, but it would sure be nice to spend about a month on a really nice restful vacation. Sounds heavenly! :)

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, I only ever once drove in LA. We were moving my mom from Kansas to Lompoc, CA, and we accidentally missed our turn to bypass LA and had to go through it. IT was THE MOST stressful driving I have ever done in my life. It trumped Miami and Atlanta even! I can't imagine driving the kids that far every day! I guess you probably get used to it though.

      Delete
  6. My town is bigger than yours at 25,000 people and our main road is 40 but we can get to the other side of town in 5 minutes and I love that! (And we can walk to our church) My parent's live in a suburb of Houston and it takes for ever and tons of traffic to get anywhere!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good sized town, but not too big! We often travel to one that is 20,000 and it isn't bad at all.

      Delete
  7. That is too funny. While I live in what's considered a relatively small town (I even live on a dirt road), it's a bit more populated and we not only have traffic lights - we have a rotary :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, that's big time for us! :) I did notice we do have a second 4-way stop, LOL.

      Delete
  8. I also don't like a lot of traffic but I live in a big town so I have to drive in it. You are lucky to be able to live in an area where you don't have to worry about all the lights, traffic and congestion. It is hard to get used to when you are a way from it for so long.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really do feel fortunate. The worst traffic was actually Salt Lake City when they were building for the Olympics. They had 24-hour construction in a town of 1 million!

      Delete
  9. I love a small town! How interesting that people drive golf carts and four wheelers around sometimes. Speaking of gravel roads, we had one in our town that only got paved around ten years ago. I thought that was odd having a main road made of gravel, and I see there in that town there are many. Thanks for sharing these quaint pictures and your thoughts. God bless! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! It's the weirdest thing to see someone go by on a 4-wheeler but then you get used to it. Thanks for stopping by, Angel, and God bless you and yours as well.

      Delete
  10. We were down in Philly last week, and I remember why I could never live in a big city. Looks like a nice place to live.

    ReplyDelete
  11. i'm pretty lucky the traffic in our town is OK but in the town over it totally sucks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess a lot depends on how well the town was designed and if the designers had some foresight into how it might develop.

      Delete
  12. I've got to say, my commute to work each morning takes 25 minutes, but it's all back roads. Lots of strawberry fields and cow pastures. I LOVE IT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that's fabulous! My commute to work is actually 45 mins but it is mostly country. Every 10 miles is a small town to break it up and then the town I work in is only 15,000 so traffic isn't bad at all.

      Delete
  13. OH MY DO NOT... DO NOT... Come to Los Angeles! LOL!!!!! The only way that I live is by my Sirus Radio! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did one time and I still have nightmares! We got stuck there for like four hours just driving. ARGH!

      Delete
  14. Haha! I live in South Florida which has tons of traffic but not like NY where I grew up. Every time I go back driving scares me! I should be used to it since I learned to drive there but I hate driving there now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, that's true. You could probably gauge every place by NY and LA. I can't imagine bad traffic AND snow, that'd be terrible. Miami was pretty bad driving too.

      Delete
  15. My home hometown was so quiet and there were a lot of traditional vehicles when I was kids. Now it is cramped with cars already.

    ReplyDelete
  16. well, I'm in just about the most opposite city of what you just described, and even though I would love to live in a small town, God helps you to love to be where He has planted you! I also babysit 4 days a week--and my kids can walk to the Christian school, so I don't get out of the house much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true, there are different seasons of life and things you have to get used to. I guess maybe it didn't bother me as much when I lived there and I embraced all the things there were to do. I didn't realize you babysitted. Wow!

      Delete
  17. i grew up in a similar small town area (though gravel roads are mostly "outside town" - now living in the outskirts of Mumbai... WHAT a traffic difference :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I totally agree with you about small town. Where we live is so small, there is a sign saying "Unincorporated". We do have a post office, mostly to accommodate our rural area. There is also 2 convenience stores, a hardware store and of course a Dollar General. That is pretty much it. There are lots of farms out here. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, wow you're out in the county area! We do have a city hall and mayor, so we discuss traffic issues, LOL, like whether people can ride golf carts in town. Wow, a Dollar General! You're doing better than us! I'm just glad I don't live on a road that says, "Minimum maintenance road, travel at your own risk."

      Delete
  19. I would love to live in a quiet town and enjoy the peacefulness. I work at home, so it would work except the kids love their schools. : (

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to hear the kids love their schools. That makes a HUGE difference in the joy of where you live.

      Delete
  20. I so prefer small towns. I get overwhelmed when I'm in a city and such. I'm forever getting lost, even with a GPS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have a GPS! Maybe that's part of my problem, except I really don't want one, LOL.

      Delete
  21. I love it...grew up in a small town~~abt. 300 people & dogs! Now, live in our state's capitol & traffic is so much crazier!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh boy, yours is even smaller than mine! I have lived in a capital, also with the state's major university and it gets crazy! Good luck out there!

      Delete
  22. I hate traffic! We live in a small community too (not as small as yours though) and I hate driving into the next big city to work. The traffic on the highway drives me nuts! Those are the days I curse that I can't make all of our income blogging yet. I just want to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you work there every day? I have to drive to a town of 15,000 four times a week (45 mins each way, ugh), but it's not too bad. In Florida, people on the interstate would fly up on your tail, honk and flash their lights at you. I hated it! Maybe someday you will be traffic free and blogging all day :)

      Delete

I truly enjoy your comments and love to interact. Be sure to check the "notify me" box below to see new comments and replies to your comment! Thank you!

Popular Posts