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Making The Most Of the Town Where You Reside

I've heard people speak negatively about the town I reside and I've heard people sing it's praises.
Typically, at least to me, those who speak ill of my town tend to feel that way about most things in life. Like every town in America, this place has it's noteworthy features and it also leaves some things to be desired. For the most part, I absolutely love living in a town that is close enough to everything big while retaining a vibe that still feels small.

What stands out differently about my situation in regard to where I live is that I came here. As an adult, my husband and I left the bustling, busy, chaotic and expensive life in Maryland and opted for a slower, kinder, cheaper existence in North Carolina. Some would argue those sentiments but I have found them to be true, for me. 

Because I chose to come here, I have a different sort of appreciation for North Carolina. Even after living here for over 16 years, I continue to be amazed at the beauty that is this state.

On a cool day somewhere in between the winter blues and the spring hues, my kiddos had a day off from school. I thought about playdates, spring cleaning and a cluttered playroom in need of an overhaul. Instead, we packed up the pup and electric scooters and headed for a nearby park that we figured wouldn't be too crowded on a Monday. 

One thing I love about the town I reside are the parks. In every direction, you can find a beautiful park that is scenic and dog-friendly. This particular park has a small lake with various points along the way to admire it's charm. With my two sons zooming by on their electric scooters and the pup enjoying a plethora of new smells, the hubby and I decided to sit on a bench and take in the view. 

The view today encompassed precious beings I hold so dear to my heart. We watched our 11 year old venture far off into the distance, gliding along the paved trail that crosses the lake by way of a narrow, wooden-planked bridge. As he and his younger brother traveled further down the trail, my husband and I admired their friendship. The friendship between two brothers who are 18 months apart is complex and dynamic. Neither could possibly push the other's buttons more while simultaneously causing laughter that bursts from their seams. We sat and did what all parents do: commented on how fast they are growing up... as well as how fast they were flying down the paved hill ahead. 

Within minutes, the younger of the brothers had turned back toward mom and dad. At just 9, he is happy to see us as more than tiny specks across the pond and prefers our presence to be a bit closer. He found a spot at the water's edge to splash minnows and skip rocks. His older brother happily zoomed up and down a large hill on the other side of the pond, far enough to be on his own but still visible. 

In the dull light of the overcast sky and the quiet of a Monday midday park, I never once regretted the choice to leave the chores. 

On the drive back home, we spontaneously pulled into a local market that serves amazing ice cream by the scoop. The oatmeal cookie flavored ice cream hit the spot I didn't even know existed! The sweet lady who scooped, chatted with my boys so kindly and involved them with tastings and order placement of their scoops. She was so dear to them and it touched me that she took the extra time and put forth the effort to interact with my kids. 

Once home, everyone seemed to meander off to do their own thing as often happens in our family after a big "together" outing. My hubby went to work on his upcoming fruit and veggie garden in the backyard, the youngest helping him dig, while I spent some time reading my new novel. Our oldest crashed with his Nintendo and some crackers for a much needed, afternoon rest. The pup got a warm shower and proceeded to take a nice, long snooze. 

When evening rolls around, we will gather together around the table, as we do every single night and enjoy a simple dinner. The playroom remains just as uninhabitable as it had been and there are countless chores that stay queued up for tomorrow. We didn't "accomplish" much today by way of to do list productivity, but we got out of the house and experienced our area for just a few hours. 

We spent time laughing and taking in the view. While the water and rocks were lovely, the growing children that scootered off and up the hill captivated our attention. I suspect they always will. I suspect that these moments are fleeting as I feel my boys getting older and gaining ground in their independence. 

I leave you with this: These are the good old days. These are the moments you'll look back upon and miss. Even on the hard days and even when the water is murky, there is beauty to be found beneath the surface. Head outside and find reasons to love where you live, with someone you love living life with. 



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