My First 7 Months After Moving to a Small Town in Missouri

mailbox small town life

It’s hard to believe I have been here in small town Missouri for 7 months. It feels like I was in a fog the first 3 or 4 trying to get settled in. There were things to learn about yard care, what is available in town, updates to the house, and my initiation into the culture of small town football.

Being near my family has been a blessing and they also keep me pretty busy. I love the time I get to spend with them and never take it for granted.

My first real winter is almost over. Continue reading

Living the Small Town Life

 

small town life lifecoachlinda.com

When people find out I moved from Southern California to a small town in Missouri, they seem surprised that anyone would want to do that. And then they start to look amused and ask how my transition is going. They know that I am a fish out of water, a stranger in a strange land, and am sure to be a source of silly entertainment as I learn to navigate this new world.

And, they are right.  I’ve done some silly things and I’m learning a lot.

My new life in this small southern town is not better or worse, it’s just different. Here are some of the things I have noticed:

There are no lines – not at the post office, the grocery store, city office, or restaurants. I can’t seem to find one anywhere.

Speed limits are really, really slow – I thought I would have trouble keeping to the 20 to 35 mph speed limits in town until I realized there are so many stop signs that you never get up to speed anyway. A few days ago I was with someone who got pulled over for going 33 mph. That would never happen in CA.

The crime rate is low – most of the posts on the police department Facebook page are about pets that have been found.

My weather app is my new best friend – you never know what the day will bring. I now check the weather every day and have alerts set for severe thunder storms and tornadoes.

If I don’t go to the high school football game, I can hear the play by play at my house – in small towns you always live near the high school.

But, I enjoy going to high school football games – mostly because I am with my family, but the rest is fun too.

It’s hard for a vegetarian to eat out – I always say I can eat anywhere, even in a town where biscuits and gravy with eggs and bacon are considered a healthy breakfast. What I have discovered though is that they cook everything on the same grill, so when I order pancakes they taste like bacon. I doubt there is much sensitivity toward vegetarians here.

Shopping and errands require strategic planning – the local city with “regular” stores is about a half hour away. I intend to shop local when I can, but still haven’t quite figured out how to plan the city trips well and make them efficient.

My yard is full of wild life (and bugs) – birds, rabbits, and squirrels are a part of my everyday life now and at night I get to listen to cicadas and watch lightening bugs flash across the lawn. My cats love watching out the windows, especially the antics of Seymour, the squirrel that lives in my front yard tree.

Mosquitoes love CA blood – it must be a delicacy around here.

The trash men will pick up anything – you just set it  out by the street and it’s gone. Maybe only my CA readers will understand how strange this seems.

There are a wide variety of accepted forms of transportation – it is not unusual to see people going down the street in golf carts or riding lawn mowers or tractors.

Customer service is a priority – everyone seems eager to help. I think I disappointed (or maybe insulted) someone the other day when I insisted I could carry my own bag of groceries out.

People are friendly – almost everyone says “hi” and I feel very welcome, but deep down I think they are just watching me carefully to see how I am going to do and if I will stick around.

And, that is okay. Because I WILL learn, adapt, and stick around, I also know that I have a lot to offer and will be able to serve this community in some way. I just haven’t figured out how I want to do that yet.

If you are looking to make a change in your life and would like the support of a Professional Life Coach, I would love to hear from you. Contact Me

Related Posts:

My First 7 Months After Moving to a Small Town in Missouri

Adjusting to Small Town Life – The Shopping Dilemma

Scenes from a Small Town Morning Walk

My First Big Storm in Small Town Missouri

storm

My son and daughter-in-law’s van after the storm

Just when I thought my transition from Southern California to a small town in Missouri was moving along gracefully, Mother Nature sent a welcome committee to test my commitment.

We were hit by a storm with 70 mph winds while I was still unpacking. It was the worst storm in decades and left most of our town (including me) without power for a couple days.

Sounds bad, right?

Not as much as you would think. There was a moment when I was standing in the middle of the street after hearing some of my roof shingles were found in someone’s yard and felt totally lost. My cell phone was not working. My landline, wifi, and everything in my home was electric and had no juice. I didn’t know what to do.

But, not for long.

A man I had never met before offered to help. He borrowed a tarp from one of my neighbors and nailed it to my roof. I had a rescuer. Can’t remember that ever happening to me before. A few days later he came back and replaced the shingles and wouldn’t even let me pay him for the work.

I was impressed with how quickly people came together to help each other. Chain saws were in action within minutes of the storm passing and every one worked together without regard to who owned what tree or property.

People here are resilient.  And, I learned I am too.

Without electricity I couldn’t cook, get water from my refrigerator, boil tap water if needed, and my new tankless hot water heater didn’t work.  Someone showed up at my door with a case of bottled water, which was a blessing since the stores were shut down. But mostly, I simply did what needed to be done.

I felt calm and capable, like the rest of the people in this town.

My search for wifi the second day so I could work was fruitless, so I let go of my attachment to getting work done. When something like this storm happens, you do what you can and accept what you can’t. I guess the serenity prayer would work well in times like these.

You might be surprised to hear that I am grateful for the experience of this storm. I now have a sense of how well I can adapt and accept situations outside of my control.  I also learned who my neighbors really are. No one complained. They just took action.  And, I am proud to live in a place where people take pride in their town and come together in times of need.

Photo of my son’s car at the top was taken by my daughter-in-law, Alexis Hudson.

Related Posts:

Living the Small Town Life

Leaving California

Scenes from a Small Town Morning Walk