Due to an unfortunate series of events that started with my apartment being flipped into a condo, I somehow ended up moving from Chicago to, not just the suburbs, but small town USA.
I called my mom in over dramatic tears one day. You know the kind. The ones that send you into a dry heave because you can’t find your keys or you are having a fat day. I didn’t have a permanent place to live, so maybe it was a bit more serious, but I did have a place to live.
It just so happened that a home owned by a family member was still vacant and needed to be rented out. The problem? It was over 50 miles south of where I was living in Chicago. Just under 50 miles south of where I worked. Yikes-a-mundo!
So with about as much thought as it takes me to decide what I’m having for dinner, I packed up and moved into a small house in a small town.
Boy. Oh. Boy. I had no idea what I was in for when I made that decision.
First of all, did you know that having a house typically comes with having a yard? Sure that sounds like a good thing now but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Grass grows. And apparently townships don’t like it when said grass gets too long so they expect you to mow it. Like weekly. I’m not kidding- Google it.
Suburbia also comes with snow. Like a lot of it. Sure the city gets it too, but in the city the plows do most of the work. Here they actually expect you to remove the snow on not only your driveway, but also the sidewalk. Come again?
It doesn’t end there. In the city, many apartments include heat because, well, radiators. They also typically include water, sewer, and trash. I paid an electric bill in Chicago. One utility.
You know what I pay here? A gas bill, an electric bill, AND a water, sewer, trash bill. Three utility bills! Holy cow.
And guess what else they expect me to do. Not only do I have to bring my trash all the way outside to the garbage can, but every Tuesday night I have to roll a garbage can AND a recycling can down to the end of the driveway. They don’t even bring them back up for me. I have to do it before I leave for work on Wednesday’s or I can’t get out of the driveway. How rude!
To be fair, there is are many more positives than negatives. Like instead of slinging three large blue Ikea bags of laundry that piled up for weeks at a time over my shoulder and lugging it to the laundry mat, I now get to leave it in heaps on my basement floor for weeks at a time. In unit washer and dryer is seriously the best thing since sliced bread. Trust me.
I get to live out my lifelong dream of being a gardener. Sure each garlic turned out smaller than a dime and the neighborhood’s furry residents enjoy more food than I do, but hey, I’m a true gardener now.
Last but not least, I can sing to my little hearts content, all day and all night long without the neighbors above, below and next to me stomping on the floor, smacking the ceiling with a broom or retaliating by blasting Metallica or, um… adult films. Seriously. It happened. True story.
So here I am. Typing this blog inside of my house in small town USA. My life has been forever changed and I do not regret the decision even one iota.
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