Finally - signs of life around our neighborhood!!! A little background so you can understand how big this is for us...
When we first purchased our house over 3 years, there was NOTHING out here. Nary a grocery store, gas station, drug store, restaurant, drive-thru, N.O.T.H.I.N.G. The nearest grocery was about 10-12 miles away (and while they were off of roads you can go 60mph on - that's still a lot of miles for some milk and non-fat yogurt). And just forget it if you were low on gas - I'm not proud to say that I have run out of gas 3 times since I've lived here (but seriously - isn't the light is just a "warning" ?- it shouldn't be an immediate pull over now, you idiot type thing).
Now I do realize that for most people, this would not be a major inconvenience. In fact, some people may like living in more remote areas and taking a Sunday afternoon scenic drive to the grocery.
Me, not so much.
I grew up in Suburbia Dallas remember? Plano, the land of cement & shopping. I loved that land. I am comfortable with that land. I miss that land. Did I just actually say that? Oooooh - I take it back.
I was within one mile of everything I needed. It was fantastic. When my friends and I felt like rebels, we would walk all the way to the store & buy pounds of candy and come home (yes, friends, I was a TERROR in middle school. Most kids would be sneaking out to go drink or something, I was sneaking out to purchase a sugar high.)
Well, but there was that time when we took out my parent's car at 15 years old and went "joy-riding" all over Plano....hmmmmm
But really, how far did we need to go in our little joyride? (read: 1991 Olds Cutlass Supreme Convertible. It doesn't get much sweeter than that. Did I mention it had maroon leather interior? Don't be jealous.) Everything we needed was right there.
College was the same deal - Baton Rouge had everything close by. Need your nails done? Go 1 mile. Need a tan? Go one mile. Need liquor, I mean soft drinks, go 1 mile to the nearest Circle K.
Spoiled, I know. Slidell was the epitome of living close to everything - I mean, I worked, worked out, grocery-shopped, and did pretty much everything else in 1 square mile. It was awesome.
Except when I wanted Chili's. And then that little bugger was a 25 minute haul for chips & salsa.
So needless to say, I was a little bit put out when we moved here. I loved my house but man, I didn't feel like I was in civilization. Sign of a true suburban girl. Sigh.
Well, now we have signs of life.
About a year ago, we finally got our Sonic & a Shipley's in the neighborhood.
I didn't stop smiling for a week after the Sonic opened. My moods are tremendously improved by large Sonic diet cokes. Shipley's...well, I could really care less about the Shipley's - although I do think it's amusing to drive by in the afternoon and see who is getting a freaking donut at 5pm. I mean, c'mon - donuts is your first stop after a hard's day of work?? blech! What happened to normal happy hours? It's been a long time now since I've been to an after-work happy hour (you know, considering I work for a church now and all - they don't look too kindly upon that thing). But what I do recall of happy hour locales ---Shipley's was never at the top of the list.
And then I always think it's funny to watch people walk from my neighborhood to the Shipley's and grab a large box of donuts and a dozen donut holes and walk home, eating them hand over fist. Well, at least they tried to get some exercise.
I really shouldn't judge about that though. My gym is literally a block away now & I jump in my car and DRIVE there only to get there and run my butt off (literally, trying to run my butt off) and then hop in my car and drive home again. That's pretty pathetic... but hello?? have you been outside recently??? It's like 800 degrees. I don't want to sweat before I get to the gym. Geez.
Anyway, like I was saying, we have signs of life. For 3 months now, I have been watching with bated breath the Walgreens going in down the street. Progress has been turtle-slow. But maybe that's b/c I have watched it's progress with an eagle eye, checking it out for new additions every morning. I thought we were getting close when they put out the bike racks in one day, but alas, that was just false hopes. However, today I was driving home and my heart leapt with joy at the sign of a truck actually unloading products! I saw the Pantene & Nice 'n Easy boxes with my own 2 eyes. No more 20 mile drives to get milk or a prescription filled! Or to buy candy.
And that's just the beginning, folks. In case that's not exciting enough for you - we have a Kroger coming in. And not just an ordinary Kroger. But a Kroger Marketplace. Awww yeah! And yesterday I saw a sign for Tico's Taco Grill & Bar "Coming Soon". ACE Hardware will be making an appearance sometime this fall, the new vet's office just opened & we have a pizza parlor (does anyone call it a pizza parlor anymore??). Oh, and 3 banks. Would have been 4, but apparently Wachovia gave up on their building.
Just think of the opportunities we will have now: I can walk my dog to the vet, go get a work-out in, get my obligatory post work-out Sonic diet coke, then go blow the whole workout at Tico's Tacos, grab a donut for dessert for good measure, walk across the street to Walgreens to get antacids to protect my delicate esophagus from Tico's and the jelly-filled donut, make sure I night-deposit my paycheck so my payment to the vet doesn't bounce, pick up the dog, probably hit Sonic again, and then walk home.
Oh, the life I will lead.
But who am I kidding?
I'm not going to walk.
You just know I'm going to drive that square mile.