We live in Jacksonville, Florida and while Brian was born and raised here, I definitely was not. I was born in Virginia but was mostly raised in Michigan. When we moved down here it was culture shock for sure. It's completely different here than it is up north.
I was raised in a super small town, well actually it's considered a village.... Brian likes to point out that it has only one stoplight. While the town is very small, I still love it there. I always look forward to visits there, no matter the season. I just love the feel of the wide open fields, the small town and being no where close to a city. I'm definitely a country girl at heart. There's a sense of peace I get when I visit. The small town that you could walk to both ends in 20 minutes, the waves since everyone knows everyone, the lack of anything to do but visit with friends, cook and live, it's perfectly simple. When you take away this complaint of nothing to do, you find things that really matter, that really enhance who you are. People who live in Jacksonville love to complain that there is nothing to do and every time I hear that it just makes me smile. There's always something to do. When you take away the movie theaters, malls, all of those distractions, the only things left are the things that really matter. You have your family, friends and a few little things to do. Instead of spending your time spending money, you spend it visiting people, getting work done, and loving your family.
When I visited during summers after we moved to Florida, I loved to just see old friends, spend time with my family and curl up with a book. Life sort slows down and you get to enjoy those cool breezes. When I'm in the city, life gets put on fast forward and I never feel as if I can get caught up. When I'm caught up in the speed of life here in Jacksonville, I always think of life in Deckerville. It helps remind me of the important things in life. Does everything on that list of to dos have to get done? Or am I getting caught up in the speed of life here? It reminds me to take a break and make myself slow down.
Sometimes we need a reminder that what we think is important becomes distorted by the lives of others. We see others doing things every weekend and we feel the need to fill our lives with those things as well. Then we become overwhelmed and stressed. We need to cleanse our lives of those unnecessary things that have been put there because of our perception of other people. It's like when you plant a garden, every so often you have to go through and weed it so that the plant can have enough room to grow.