Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Small Town Snapshots

Over the past few years I've regaled you with stories of life in  my small town, given you snippets of my childhood, and shared some pictures that have probably given you a good indication of what life is like in my quiet little valley. After an email conversation one day, Nilsa and I had the idea to do a photo essay of what our lives looked like on a daily basis. So often our conversations revolve around how we were raised, where we currently make our homes, and how we choose to spend our time we wanted to know what home was for the other and thought you might like a little glimpse into our lives too.

The ranch style house I call home sits perched on a hill offering spectacular views of the valley and the river. To one side I have neighbors and the other pine tress that are several decades old. My house is one of the last houses on the hill so the street is incredibly quiet. I've lived in the same neighborhood since I was a child. My mother and neighbors are avid gardeners so there are always plenty of flowers blooming in the warmer months. One of my absolute favorite places is the swing that sits overlooking a little pond my stepdad dug several years ago. In the evenings I can be found sitting with a cold beverage, reading or just talking the days events over with my mom or a friend. Swinging while listening to the water from the pond usually helps calm my frazzled nerves.

Outdoor Space
In addition to the swing and pond area, my other favorite place to hang out is on the back deck. When a few friends are over, this is where we congregate. In the hot, sweltering months of summer nothing beats deck drinking. We play cards or board games until the early hours of the mornings, have long talks about life while star gazing and sometimes I just choose to sit with the dog while lost in thought. On Sunday mornings its where I gather with my mom, stepdad and brother for morning brunch while reading through the morning newspapers. Some evenings its where I have dinner with my grandparents when they are down or help my grandfather crush fruit for our latest attempt at making wine. My brother, a talented craftsman, made the bench and side tables. From the deck I can see the river and a few miles in all directions.

In a small town there really is no other option for me but my car, a Buick LaCrosse. While there is limited bus service its unreliable and takes hours longer to get where you are going in the valley. Honestly, I'm not even sure where all the stops are. I've only ridden the bus once, when a friend and I were teenagers we rode the bus from her house, across the river to have lunch and back. It took all day. I like to have freedom of going where I want, when I want so my car it is. Its hard for me to fathom relying on public transportation to get everywhere, not have a trunk to throw all my Target purchases into, and sharing the ride with someone else. Besides, you can't take your dog on public transportation and I'm usually carting around a large golden retriever who hangs her head out the window.

The downtown area of my small town is a basically two blocks long and two, maybe three blocks wide. There are a few hardware stores, a video rental shop (No Redbox in town yet!), a jewelry store, a dollar store, a big independent toy store and a few other little mom and pop type places that have been run by the same families for generations. There's a well known (well at least in the valley its well known) tattoo shop where many go to get inked or pierced (including yours truly). There's a Subway, an Asian restaurant and a few other fast food joints though you won't find a Starbucks on any of the corners. A furniture store, the post office, library some insurance offices, a bar, and the town paper offices pretty much round out the downtown shopping district.

Hopefully you enjoyed the few snapshots of my home area and little town. Pop on over to Nilsa's site to see some pictures of her home, neighborhood and way of life in the big city! 

What does your home/neighborhood look like?