Tuesday, March 11, 2008

About me/a wee bit of clarification...

I have been asked recently via email..
"where do you live that has a "Small Town Feel" ..and still allows you to live near the beach??
I wanted to clarify a few things for those that might be wondering...
I do not live in a "small town"... as of yet..
It is my dream and goal to eventually live in a small town.

For now..and for the last 18 years..I have lived in a city...perhaps small on some people's versions of towns..but to me..a big city...as I grew up in a tiny South Florida town as a kid..

18 yrs. ago I transferred to the Panhandle region of Florida when I married.

Yes, we live near the beach/intercoastal waterway..but this town in no way qualifies as the "small town" of my dreams...where folks wave and smile while sweeping their porches.
Quite the contrary..here that just doesn't happen..here in this city..finding a scene like that ..one would be hard pressed to do so.

It is a very transient town..folks come and go often due to military duties and comings and goings and this being more of a "tourist trap"/"Spring break/party" type city...folks simply don't put down as many "roots" here or get to know their neighbors and be friendly with them.

Thus..I continue to dream towards reaching my goal of living in a "small town"..where a smile and a wave are commonplace.

Where a plate full of cookies are shared with neighbors, and you know each other on a first name basis.

Do I like this city that I live in?...No!

..have I adapted to it?..sort of..by creating an oasis in my own home and yard and bringing in a bit of the "country/small town feel" into my own life/home/family atmosphere.

Do I wish to escape the city?..you bet! and to live in a "small town" again?..absolutely!!
That is my dream and goal..and hopefully one day soon I can achieve that.

In the meantime I continue to create a backyard oasis by planting and planning little garden areas. Creating a lovely home and enjoying the joys of both gardening and decorating.

Do I actually have many friends here you might ask? The answer is no..actually I have "acquaintances"..but no true friends here.
I have found that a difficult thing to acquire here as ...well..folks just aren't that friendly here.
They don't smile and wave and ask how you are doing..here..that simply doesn't happen.
I can actually define this city/this area..as being rather "stuck up" if you may..ha.

But adapt..I think I have..a wee bit. I simply am continuing to dream about the day..I can pack the moving van and say "hasta la vista baby!" and move to an area as I mentioned..where the folks have a smile on their faces and a wave for ya as you enter town...and where..if you go to the local Wal-mart or any other store..they know you by name.

But for now..the "city" is home..and I continue to dream.
Since my husband and I are the editors/developers of the online magazine...
"Small Town Living" (http://www.stliving.net/)
I do see where the confusion could enter into the picture as to where I live/what I am about.
I thought this would also add a bit more clarification:

Who are we and how did we end up producing Small Town Living?
We're the Wilson family, Paul and Tina with three children living on the panhandle of Florida. Early in 2006 we were talking to some family members who were planning to move to Thomasville, GA. Their plans were driven in part by a desire to get away from the congestion and sprawl in their own town. On a whim we drove up to Thomasville for a weekend and fell in love with what we found. People were friendly, open and made us feel welcome where ever we went. At one point, lost, we stopped and asked a woman sweeping her porch for directions. She told us how to get to the street we were looking for and when she heard we were considering moving to her community she told us we would love it. Her friendliness and warmth were one of the many pleasant memories we still have of our visit.
Once back home we began to talk more about also moving to the area to be closer to family and to get away from the rampant development we were seeing in our own community. There were alot of things we had to consider, where to work, where to live, would we buy a new home? a historic home? land outside of town? We spent hours researching all these topics. My wife had been raised in a rural community and she let us know that if we got a place with a bit of land she would like to own a few animals and grow a few things - Her farm girl was starting to wake up again after living in the city for 15 years.
Small Town Living was born from the interests we have in living in a smaller rural community and from my own love of publication design. We'll share the information we find with you and resources we all can enjoy using. For the time being we're going to continue releasing the magazine in a digital format, but we're looking forward to the day that the first print issue rolls off the press. This topic resonates with many people who want things to move a little slower and simpler, who want to call some small town somewhere....Home.
I hope you enjoy Small Town Living. We'd like to give a special thanks to the numerous authors and photographers who help enrich the quality of the publication with each passing issue.
The Wilsons
~The Garden Goose~/Tina


the feathered nest said...

You're doing what I'm doing - I'm not too fond of this town I live in myself. But I decided to make the best of it when I realized last year that we probably wouldn't be moving until we retire.


GardenGoose said...

absolutely..you have learn to "bloom where you are planted"..until the wind blows you elsewhere and you can really set down "roots"

Valerie said...

I love your outlook on life. You are doing the best with what you have. I really enjoyed my visit.

Melissa's Cozy Teacup said...

Hi, thanks for the comment on my page! I'm also doing a survey. If you have a couple minutes sometime, could you go and fill it out? Thanks!
I too live in a military town we have 4! I am on a mission (literally-with books ha, ha ) to get women to open their doors to their friends and neighbors more. It can be disheartening when you're constantly inviting people over and you get 1 invite out of 5 (if you're lucky) to come to their house. I too long for life in a small town but must be contended, for now, to create a small town feel in my home and community. After all, if we run away, who will lead the way?

Bejeweled said...

What a beautiful vision of small town life you have. You're making me want to move :) I've lately been dreaming of a slower pace of life where you are part of the fabric of a place, but alas ... unless I win the lottery, it will always stay a romantic dream.

karlascottage.typepad.com said...

You really are lucky to live in such a beautiful area. I'm sure there are tons of us in the mid west that would trade our smallish towns for a costal view!!

Actually, I am in a very nice town, not too small, not too big, and 40 minutes from Kansas City if I need something there. Also it is a college town, so there is always something interesting happening here. But, no ocean, that is for sure!!

Ann Marie Newman said...

My family & I spent 13 years living in the same area as your family. Of course that's how we met each other! Your town is really on the small side for a "city". Other places that size usually have a more close-knit community feel. Inner city neighborhoods can have wonderful communities of supportive neighbors - I've experienced that first hand. But you're right, your "city" does not. It is partly due to the military bases, the geography, the overall transient work force and the constant tide of tourists flowing through. We now live in a major metropolis; the Dallas/Fort Worth area. No small town feeling here! But, we're in the process of buying a home in a neighborhood full of trees by a huge park with a nature preserve. People buy homes in this area and stay. (So we are told.) We hope this means that we'll have a good sense of community with our neighbors. I hope we can get a bit of county from the park across the road with its walking trails, lakes, ducks, coyotes, owls...etc. Oh, by the way, we'll be less than 5 miles from South Fork Ranch where the tv show "Dallas" was filmed. The town it's located in is protected from development. Everyone there lives on small farms & ranches with horses, cows, llamas... So I guess we can just head down the road when we need a small town "Fix". One of my best friends has a ranch there with 20 arabian horses. Yee-haw! Can't wait, for we are in the midst of a concrete jungle right now. Ugh!

I come from a family with a long heritage of farming and small town living. There are times when I am starved for the quiet, peaceful, rural setting of my youth. That is why magazines like yours are so valuable. It allows folks like myself to briefly experience through articles and photos a little bit of country life.

Someday, "God Willing" as my northern Minnesotan relatives say, your dream of living in a small country town will come true. In the meantime, you have created your little piece of country where you are. Very cool indeed.

A bird in the hand said...

The place you describe is a place I would love to live in. I'm used to big cities, but I still dream of sweeping the porch and knowing the mailman by name...

Cheers, Colette

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Hi Tina, Someday I hope you get to move to "your" small town. I posted on my blog today that you put the cupcake "recipe" up. I have my husband picking up the ingredients for me today. :)

Anonymous said...

You are a real sweetheart! I hope you find some nice friends real soon where you are.

Quinne said...

Hi Tina :) I enjoyed this - getting to know a little more of your heart. What lovely dreams you have! And what a neat way you have of translating them into where the Father has you for now. Love, Q

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

Ah, we used to live in Pensacola. I loved that area and would not mind going back there.
Thomasville is about 100 miles from me and, like here, it is the county seat. They have a larger population than we do though...and a much nicer town :)
I found Pensacola to be a friendly place...but then I was so happy to be back in the South after living on the East and then West coasts where rudeness is a way of life.
I'm just happy to be in the South.

Needled Mom said...

Small towns have their charm and the big cities have theirs too. It's nice that you can see the best in both.

We lived in Pensacola for awhile while we were in the military and enjoyed the change from where we had grown up. Would I go back???? I doubt it.

Jeanie said...

This is a really nice post -- a good way to get to know you!

I understand about some communities being less friendly than others. I've always lived in my hometown, which is a small capital city, so I know everyone (not really -- it just seems that way!) and it's just fine. But when I go north to be in the small town where my cottage is, I always notice how very friendly people are. Of course, lots of those folks are transplants or part-timers, but still, it's just a different feel to things. A different pace (and I have to say, seeing it in summer is probably about as busy as it would ever be.)

When I think of small towns, I think of the one my cousin lives in -- Chagrin Falls, outside of Cleveland. Within 10-15 minutes they can be near all the city stuff if they want, but their town is a town square, small businesses -- no chains. Everyone goes to the parade and the festivals, even the high school games -- even if they don't have a kid in the school! I love that.