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Nine Minutes...

Updated: Aug 30, 2019

I was driving home this afternoon contemplating when I should start decorating my house for autumn when I looked over to my right to this area of undeveloped land and I was once again blown away by its beauty and serenity. All my thoughts about decorating just completely left my mind. It's amazing how many thoughts and memories you can think of all in about 9 minutes-that's about what was left of my trip 'till I got home. In those 9 minutes I remembered moving from Cincinnati to Kentucky with my husband and three kids who were only 4, 5, and 7 years old. We were foreigners to this area and knew nothing about anything. All we knew was that we were in love with the house we were building in a brand new subdivision and the people either in parking lots at the local grocery store or just in passing would smile and wave to us. These were friendly southern folk and we were nervous northerners...

What grabbed my attention today (and every time I pass it) was the rolling hills dotted by cows, horses, a couple of homes, and property lines sectioned by trees. Each section seemed to have a different shade of green, possibly from animals feeding on the land or farmers growing their yearly harvest. All I know is that it reminds me of pictures I've seen of the English countryside (minus the sheep and rock walls) which is a huge dream of mine to visit. The rolling hills I get to pass almost on a daily basis are stunning, and if I wasn't driving so fast I could probably get pictures of the beautiful sunsets or drifts of fog scattered throughout when temperatures drop. Literally, the world stops for me whenever I see that.

My 9 minutes took me to the area where the new grocery store is being built and getting ready to open. This is a massive grocery store and when we moved here, we thought the grocery store 7 houses down was plenty big. Sadly, that grocery store has become the neighborhood "stop-n-go" due to the amount of development over the past 17 years. An enormous farm, 2 blocks away from the current store has now become home to a grander, modern, and immense grocery store. It will house a restaurant, more diverse foods, a coffee shop, and the typical pharmacy and bank. There will undoubtedly be a sushi bar, artisan bread and the bakery, more fruit I can't pronounce, a floral department with no excuse to never bring flowers home to your wife, and of course, a clothing section. I shouldn't complain, as we shop at the same chain with the same size store only in another town about 15 minutes away. I only complain because I feel like more and more slowly the "rural" is disappearing. I understand development will happen-we contributed to it when we moved here, but selfishly we wanted to keep it our secret. Deep down we were hoping no one would ever find this part of town. Which brought me to my 6 minute or so mark...schools.

The schools in the area are some of Kentucky's best. All grade levels. Once word got out and people started taking their little drives to the country, they saw the new development opportunities, the mansion of a high school that sits like a palace on top of a hill, and the farmlands that broke up plots of civilization. Who couldn't resist the area??? I mean, how many high school football games have you been to where there were cows and llama cheering from across the tiny street?

5 minutes into the drive I notice the once small town postoffice that rarely had a car in the parking lot 17 years ago but is now busting with business. I'm a frequent visitor to that post office (in part because of my wonderful pen pals and in part because of my child(ren) I still send "care packages" to). I love that I'm on a first name basis with the clerk and that she knows all about the kids, how I went back to school, where I work, and of course my pen pals. Then I thought about how small it is during the holiday season where cars have lined up on the street waiting to pull in. Not so small town any more...

Then 'being on a first name basis' brought me to the thought of how many people we've met in 17 years. I can't count that high. In 2016 the population was 5800 people. I'm pretty sure I've met at least 3/4 of them lol. I've met them through school both working and kids going, sports, through neighborhoods we've lived in, local businesses/shopping and eating, banking, etc. That's when I started to realize that we're STILL a small town. When strangers no longer out number, then maybe it's not near as big as I thought...

Our subdivision

Six minutes into my drive I had just rounded the corner into our subdivision. I remember when these houses were being built. I remember when some were occupied and lots hadn't sold. And now, 99% of the lots have been sold and homes built. I notice some homes have faded exterior paint, some yards are dried out from having grass cut too short. I notice the one house that year after year has the most beautiful flowers and landscape and how I would dread being their neighbor only to have my yard not be up to par. Then I see a lady running while pushing a stroller and her daughter peddling her heart out on her bike trying to keep up. I remember when we first moved to Kentucky how I was so excited to have a neighborhood full of trick or treaters and just enough homes for the perfect trick or treat walk for the kids to collect the targeted amount of candy needed for a successful Halloween. Oh how I used to love decorating the house with pumpkins in the windows and hay bales on the front porch and luminaries to light the path to the door and sitting outside on my front step with my dad who would come over and help me pass out candy.

the moon in my backyard

Decorating...yea, that's what I was thinking about. As I popped open my garage door I started to wonder when I should start decorating for autumn. Hmmm, we sure do have a lot of finches eating the thistle off our cone flowers. I wonder when we should cut those down. I remember a few years ago when we grew sunflowers and the birds...

#rollinghills #bonfire #driving #ourtown

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