Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ten Minutes To Heaven, Ten Minutes From Where I've Been

I make fun of this little town sometimes. It's inadequacies. It's lack of conveniences and amenities. It's smallness. It's nosiness.

For the better part of today, I stepped back in time. I traveled to the city from which I originally came. The busy streets. A food joint on every corner that cover every possible taste choice or craving. Multitude of clothing stores from which to choose. The streets as I traveled them, seemed familiar. Flashes of memory darted in and out of my mind. But I knew no one. No matter what road I went down, it was all the same. I felt empty and lost. I don't know what the metropolis is there now. All I know, is it's too big for me.

I can remember when I used to travel from Albany to Quincy twice a week with my job. For four years, I went back and forth. And every single time, I can still remember being so relieved to see the Albany Airport. For me, that was the next step to being almost home. Back to MY territory. My roads.

Today, I'm coming back home. My home now. Ten miles outside of the Florida line, and my skin begins to crawl with anxiousness. I know, that in ten more minutes, I will be home. Everything in Quincy is ten minutes away. From wherever you are..ten minutes away. Every third car I pass, I know who's in it. Everyone you pass, you raise your hand or finger to "wave". Whether you know them or not. The streets are lined with trees that meet in the middle and shadow the pavement. The yards are not only filled with flowers, but your neighbors are actually in the yards working. With gloved hands, sun hats and worn knees. And they never fail to throw up a hand as you go by. Wheelbarrows up and down the curbs, filled with soil, the next flowers to plant, or straw to lay out.

I pass truck after truck with boats hooked to the back. Fishing poles strapped to the side and coolers lining the floors. Windows rolled down, and smiling sunburned faces looking back at me. Expressions telling me, what a great day of fishing they must have had...reeling em' in!

It's early evening, and the streets are already slowing down. The Square is almost empty. The patrons are closing up shop and headed home. To grill in their backyards and be with their families.

That old thing we did when I was a kid and traveled...that thing where you blow the horn when you cross state BLEW THAT HORN HARD. I  blew it hard and I blew it long. And smiled from ear to I crossed into Florida...and ten minutes from Heaven. Who would have dreamed, I could have turned into a small town girl, just by moving to one?

They say, you can't go home again. I think they're right. You can visit. You can hang out. And you can spend time with friends and family. But come dark, it's time to head to the house. Head back to familiar ground. To the stomping ground that feels good and fits like an old shoe.  I pull into my driveway, waving at my neighbors who are crowding out their front yards with kids and toys. I walk into my house, greet my folks, and am greeted back with "Hey Baby and Hey Mama"..and shouts of come on in and see how far you made it, have a seat, take a load off, and tell us about your day".  I look at my two fellas, and I begin to smile, and tell the story of my beautiful day.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims


  1. That is a beautiful story, i love being a small town girl even smaller than where you are,

  2. Who is this?? And where are you from?

  3. Love this story ... Scott and I have been seriously thinkin of movin to a small town ... and not a small town metro Atlanta town either ... a true small town. Dang we live in a neighborhood of 100 homes and have NO friends here ... oh we know a few people by name but we really know no one! And yes we are 5-10 mins from everything ... grocery stores, pharmacies, post office, UPS store, YMCA, Home Depot, Lowes, Kohl's, Target, 2 Wal-Marts, Petsmart and Petco, and tons of restaurants ... I could go on and on and only a short drive ... heck you could walk to most of it but know people? Heck no ...I never even run into 'friends' from the HS our kids attended ...when you have 6 high schools all within a 10 mile radius of your home ... it aint no small town!!! I envy you GF!

  4. We really like it here Debbie. Not that Albany is huge...but this was definitely an adjustment. But now, I don't think I would trade living here for anything. It truly has a Mayberry feeling to it...