This past Thursday marked the 5-year anniversary of when I rolled into Smalltown USA.  I spent the 10 hour drive from Hoboken wrapped in a king-sized down comforter, on the floor of a U-Haul, wedged between the passenger seat and the driver's seat because we wound up leaving Hoboken with an extra passenger that we hadn't originally planned on. 

I had no idea what to expect - only that there would be no Starbucks and therefore getting iced coffee would probably prove a challenge.       

When I arrived 5 years ago I didn't plan on staying.  When I arrived 5 years ago I had BIG LIFE PLANS and they did not involve living in some podunk town.  When I arrived 5 years ago I was somebody's wife and he was the main reason I was being uprooted in the first place.

A lot can change in 5 years. A lot has changed in 5 years. I could write a lot about what's changed for me in the last 5 years, but I find that looking in the rearview mirror isn't very helpful.  Everything that's happened has brought me to where I am now, and for that, I am grateful. 

But what's done is done.  What I am more interested in is: what lies ahead?

I've been sitting on the fence for a while now: stay in Smalltown USA or relocate to the Big City where 1) I work and 2) there's a better likelihood that I'll meet an attractive eligible single man with a college degree and all of his teeth. (When I tell you my standards are low, they are low. That's about it. Oh - and he can't live with his parents.)

Staying in Smalltown USA is crazy.  Staying in Smalltown USA as a single girl is even crazier.  Staying in Smalltown USA as a single girl who drives 90 miles round trip at least 4 days a week and when gas costs $3.85/gallon is even crazier still. 

So I guess I need to adjust my lithium drip because it looks like I am staying. For now. 

For a long time I felt compelled to defend my decision. Or at the very least, somehow justify it. Explain it. Especially to friends and family in New York who didn't understand how their NYC born and bred Rougie could be happy living in town where canned peaches are considered a vegetable and this is what you see on the road:

Coon Hunter.jpg


My decision wasn't arbitrary.  A lot of thought went into it and a lot of things were considered. 

I don't know what my ultimate future holds, but I know that right now, today, my life? My life is in this wee little town.  And I am totally ok with that.    


I find it creepy that I can tell what intersection you're at just by the 25% of that photo that isn't that ridiculous truck.

Only you know what's best for you! I think you need a sticker that says Coon Hunter. Then you'll really fit in.

Coon Hunter? Wow.

Hooray for you and finding/making yourself a home.

I can't believe you didn't propose to that guy the second you saw his bumper sticker.

how very "interesting"? what about moving to Canada? :)

Rougie, I'm so proud of you. Take your time. Soak up your decisions. When you are ready, you will know it. There's no such thing as a normal life, it's just life. We all have our issues, and only we can work through them. One step at a time. One town at a time.

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