Wednesday, Oct 5
Living in Indiana for five months doesn’t make me an expert, however it does give me a bit of a compare and contrast perspective. Certainly, these opinions and perceptions may change over time, I’m sure they will. Some of my friends back East have been asking about what the differences are between living in Northern Virginia and Indiana. I think instead of offering comparisons, I’ll to give you a list of seven things I love about living here in Indiana. Then wherever you dwell, you can make the comparisons for yourself. Sound good? Here we go!
- The people here are just nice. I love going out to run errands, whether with kids or without. People smile at each other when you pass by them in a store aisle. They smile at my three year old, even when she’s misbehaving. Many times, strangers have interacted with Little One, talking to her and asking her questions. I love that! Not to mention all the folks from school and church as well as our neighborhood and beyond who have gone out of their way to offer us a helping hand. The barista at the Starbucks or the waitress at the coffee shop are genuinely interested in striking up a conversation with me, especially if I share that I just moved to town.
- The landscape here may be flat, but it’s beautiful! Corn and soy bean fields are around every corner, especially the further you get away from Indianapolis. I’m sure they won’t be as pretty in the winter as they’ve been all summer, but I do love the fields of corn stalks now that it’s fall especially. I appreciate the amount of attention people put into their yards here. There is lovely landscaping all over town, and not all of it is maintained professionally. I have a neighbor who is retired and I tell you what, she is out in the yard pretty much every time I drive by her house! I should act more like a Mid-Westerner and write her a note telling her how much I appreciate her lovely yard!
- There is very little traffic. This may sound silly to many of you, but I just cannot get over how easy it is to get around town here. Granted, I do not have to drive during rush hour at all, so I’m out and about when the morning commute is over. I have had to drive to activities during the evening commute a couple of times and even that was not bad. There are sections of town that are worse than where we live, I have heard, but in the ten mile radius that I now call home, the cars just keep moving. And, just an aside, I have not been given the bird, nor have I been honked at since moving to Indiana. Just sayin.’
- It’s fun being the new kid! I feel free to go to things, or not to go to things. I’m able to fly under the radar for awhile, just doing my thing without the pressure to join/show up/participate/volunteer/sign up/entertain/lead/attend. I get to take my sweet time getting to know people, because as I shared in my last post, it takes a lot of energy to make new friends! And if I forget to do something important, or show up to something important, Hey, I’m the new kid! I know this may sound a bit immature, but for someone like me who is typically super responsible when it comes to wife/mom stuff, this has been really fun for me.
- Indiana style is cool. I like the way people dress here. In general, the fashion tends toward “laid back chic.” Women in particular seem to not try too hard when it comes to dressing. Their style is practical and effortless. I like it. Even kids’ style of dressing and wearing their hair is cool. Now, I did attend a Keith Urban concert over the summer and there were some pretty sketchy outfits goin’ on there, in my opinion.
- Our neighborhood is so quiet! That is not to say that it’s a ghost town all day. There are other moms and dads around during the day, either caring for their little ones, working from home, etc. I see them jogging, pushing their strollers and walking their dogs. But in terms of traffic noise, it is so nice to live somewhere where there is nominal noise pollution. Our old house backed up to a thoroughfare and there was a fire station just up the road. Our home here is quiet at night, and during the day (especially when Little One is napping and the other four are at school), which is a welcome change for me.
- We get to spend more time together as a family. I’m sure I’ve shared this before, but in case you didn’t know, my husband was commuting into Washington, D.C. at least four days a week for over two years. That commute included a thirty minute drive or bus ride in heavy traffic to Metro, followed by a one hour Metro ride into the city. That’s ninety minutes to work, and ninety minutes home. Here, he drops the four school kids off at school and either heads in to the office to exercise or comes home for a cup of coffee before driving fifteen minutes to his office. There is little to no traffic on his commute in the morning, and some traffic in the evenings. In general, he is home anywhere between 5:30 and 6:00, five days a week. Once in a blue moon, he’ll have a work dinner, but that is rare. But it’s not just the time spent at home, it’s that he no longer has to endure such a stressful and draining commute. I am so happy to see him so happy!
I look forward to sharing more things I love about living in Indiana as time goes by and we have more experiences and make more memories in our new home. Enjoy your day, wherever you call home. And I hope that maybe this inspires you to reflect on the things you love about the place in which you live.