T — True Moves to the Big City

True is a friend I made when we were both in Ft. Stewart, Georgia. Our husbands were in the same unit.
I met her at my first FRG meeting. (That’s Family Readiness Group, which is supposed to provide support to families of deployed soldiers, but is actually slightly annoying, rather invasive, often boring, and totally depressing.)
Anyway, when True stepped out, I held her baby, and listened to other mothers complain about her nursing. We became fast friends that day BECAUSE I WILL DEFEND A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO NURSE HER BABY PUBLICLY, OPENLY, UNTIL THE DAY I DIE. (I may blog about it one day, and I won’t even write a trigger warning to let you know the offensive breasts are comin.)
Anyway again, True and I bonded quickly in 2007, and remain close friends to this day.


So, True had lived at Ft.Stewart, Georgia, in Vilseck, Germany, Williston, Florida and Bancroft, Michigan. Her concept of towns and cities was slightly askew from my own.

I’d lived in a few smaller cities, but for most of my life, I’ve lived in Indianapolis.

The entire time I lived at Ft. Stewart, I complained about the lack of city. Our nearest ‘city’ was Hinesville. Hinesville had a nice dentist, great pediatricians, a yummy Mexican restaurant, and good sushi. That’s it. That’s all I got. The nice dentist retired right before we left, prolly due to my visits, and Sushi House went out of business after we left, prolly cause we weren’t there to eat it.
Hinesville is a hole. I’m sorry, but it’s a hole. If you want to find the rudest, most indignant, least competent people in America, then find the civilians who work on and around military bases. They are an atrocious segment of the population. Without the military, they’d have no livelihood, but they hate the military and it shows. Godforsaken Hinesville has a population of Who The Fuck Would Choose To Live Here Voluntarily?!? 34,000. That’s probably 33,700 Army and their dependents and like, 300 really angry, sunburnt, dehydrated, displaced people.
No apologies.

I shouldn’t need to explain further. This graph is enough to make me hate anywhere.


Do you not sweat just lookin at that?!? Ew. Icky icky ew.

Our closest real city was Savannah, Georgia. Yes, it’s beautiful. Hot as blazes, but beautiful. It was also an hour away and it’s not particularly… urban. There are fewer than 150,000 people in Savannah.
In order to get to Savannah, we had to endure what I called The Pine Tree Way which was the longest 17 miles of road anyone ever drove. Residents in the southeast corner of the country might love their pine tree landscapes as much as I love my cornfields and forests, I dunno, but I find them sad. My MIL, big tree lover, said that those trees were the saddest she’d ever seen. Well she was right; the poor things are forested, burned and culled regularly. Fuckin tree skeletons and whatnot.


i took this photo. i call it “where trees go to die.”


The Pine Tree Way was bleak. It was so bleak, you wanted to do 90mph the whole time, but you couldn’t, because speed traps, and because the Army put signs up all along the way. Panic-inducing signs featuring coffins and shit. Safety First, y’all.

One goes from this to I-95. People who know I-95 understand this.

I understand some people enjoy living far from the crowds and the noise. I am not one of them. I understand some people enjoy living out in the country. I am not one of them. But I don’t know who would want to live in a small suburban environment in the middle of bloody nowhere, where you have no peace and quiet, nor do you have convenience and variety. *boo*

We usually did Savannah as a day trip. We’d drive an hour plus to shop at the big mall with the Target and Game Stop, eat somewhere with air-conditioning and cloth napkins, and then make the journey back home.

I had written before about military housing allowances, but while The Mister and I, with our brood, took up residence in a nice, new, two-story, multi-unit, True and her crew were shoved into a two bedroom ghetto-ass apartment, (for the same price!) so it wasn’t long before they moved off-post and into the hole that is Hinesville and its sister town, Midway. After all, True had dreams of being able to sleep in a queen size bed and cook in a kitchen with more than four floor tiles.

Now after being stationed at Ft. Stewart for 10 years, True’s husband is out of the Army and they’ve relocated to Columbia, South Carolina. I find this comforting, because I don’t even have to drive through Georgia to get to South Carolina. I hope to never step in Georgia again.
Indianapolis is twice the size of Atlanta, in both land and population. I have seen its aquarium, its zoo, and the Coca-Cola bottling company. There is nothin else good to see in Georgia. *hiss*

Since True moved, she tells me of the wonder that is the big city. Sometimes with horror, sometimes with joy, but mostly with awe.
True’s oldest goes to school with 900 other kids!
There’s a zoo! And museums!
So many educational resources and programs for her kids!
Her good sushi is 20 minutes away now.
She complains she has to take the interstate to get places.
She says, “I’m going to Michael’s! Guess what? It’s only five minutes away!”

She tells me her city is SO BIG.
I blow her mind.
“True, there are about 140,000 people in Columbia and there are over 800,000 in Indianapolis.”

For reference, The Mister and I both graduated in a classes of 300+; Sassy and Moo will graduate with 500+.
I loved DoDEA schools, but I didn’t like the off-post schools that Bubba and Sissy attended in Georgia. They were HOLES.
The Indianapolis Zoo is 64 acres big.
Indianapolis boasts the world’s largest children’s museum, and the 9th largest collection of Art in the U.S. is at The Indianapolis Museum of Art.
My good sushi is also 20 minutes away and shares a parking lot with Michael’s.

Now True understands my prior suffering. It’s all about choices. More city, more choices. For a girl like True, who grew up with population 500, Columbia may as well be NYC.

Have you ever made a drastic move? Are you a country or city mouse? What does your city  or town have the best of?


About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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54 Responses to T — True Moves to the Big City

  1. xloribethx says:

    ive grown to love it. Kinda. Lol

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Benson says:

    I am a city boy. Through and through. I have lived in small towns before. Didn’t mind them. The smallest was probably Moriarity New Mexico. Pop. 2400. Elevation 7500 and the “business district” was maybe 2 miles long all on old Route 66. In that 2 miles was 4 motels, 2 grocery stores, 4 restaurants and 3 bars. It was about 40 miles east of Albuquerque, the only “big” city in the whole state. One thing I didn’t care for about small towns was the lack of any privacy. Everyone knew what you did and made sure everyone else knew as well. Well I written more than enough already. Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess I’m half and half. I grew up in a rural community and still prefer the slower and simpler way of life and the surrounding natural beauty. I work in the heart of downtown of a city with a population of nearly 500,000, I get my urban fix on the daily. I currently live in the middle of the two. Best of both worlds. And as anyone from around here will say, you can get anywhere in 20 minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I live in the city’s commuter section, just before you get to the suburbs. It’s 20 minutes to the center of the city for me. I’d agree, you may have the best of both worlds, if you can get to the city in 20 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. orbthefirst says:

    Lets see..my towns got trees. I like trees..OH and a DQ. Thats pretty high class right there for a town of 3000. Oh, and meth. Did you know Polk Country used to be the biggest producer of meth in the US? Yea. Though they did put a small liquor shelf in the gas station I like to go to (Because I dont have to cross the highway to get at it.) Gotta love small towns. Theyre quaint, quiet, and like things the way they are.
    It is pretty here though. Ill give it that much.
    Im so glad she moved. It sounds nice there.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anxious Mom says:

    I’m definitely a country mouse. (Graduated with 75 people.) We live less than an hour from Charlotte NC, so we are close enough to fun stuff while keeping our space. Used to drive to Columbia all the time for USC games.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ally Bean says:

    ,em>So how do you REALLY feel about Hinesville? 😉

    In answer to your questions, I like living in suburbia outside of a very large city. This way I can have the small town feel of activities nearby + the variety and educational opportunities that the big city provides. Best of both worlds is my answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I could go on a lot more about Hinesville. I restrained myself and edited quite a bit! 😛

      I think a lot of people enjoy suburbia, finding it the best of both worlds, and I’m glad you’ve found your spot. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel like we have hit the jackpot here. We are 1 hour from Philadelphia, 2 hours from NYC or Baltimore, 30 minutes from the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country. We have space, live in the woods by a river and can get pretty much anything with a 20 minute drive. Blend of city mouse/country mouse life. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carrie Rubin says:

    How nice that you two stay in touch, and I loved how you met. Yay to anyone who supports women nursing in public. We can stare at a giant billboard with a model in a bikini, but we can’t see a woman breastfeed? And it’s not like most women let it all hang out. They do it discreetly. We really need to get over this issue-that-shouldn’t-be-an-issue once and for all.

    I’ve not been to Georgia, but it does sound toasty. I love where we live, because although we’re in a city of about 25,000, Akron is twenty minutes away and Cleveland thirty, with a bunch of suburbs around both. It’s like one continuous town. And I can get to a Target in any direction within ten minutes. That’s pure heaven.

    Liked by 3 people

    • joey says:

      Indy has that continuous town feel as you describe, where growth spreads from the center. Since that’s familiar to me, I enjoy that, and kinda hate cities that are too spread out. (Like Dallas.) You know, Target’s still not particularly close to me. I have three to choose from, and my closest is about 20 minutes, still. Hmm. Maybe they’ll build a Target here one day. Have you tried their goat cheese pizza yet? Omaword.
      Anyway, yes on the nursing.Thank you! It’s ridiculous and hypocritical. I agree, most women are discreet, but I don’t even care about discretion, because Sassy wouldn’t nurse with anything over her face, ever. I learned to sorta build a shield with my arm and a crisp blanket.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Norm 2.0 says:

    I spend a week in Atlanta every two years for business and have to agree with your assessment.
    I was born and raised in the big city – Montreal is around 1.7 million within the city limits and closing in on 4 million in the metropolitan area. Growing up working class (poor) we didn’t own a car, so leaving the city for a fishing trip up north or a visit to a family friends farm in a rural Ontario was a big deal.
    Honey and I made the move to the deep burbs a dozen years ago mostly because houses were more affordable, lots were bigger, and property taxes were lower.
    Today I have to say I really love my peace and quiet; being able to leave the windows open and not hear car horns, and screeching tires, and sirens has its advantages. But we’re still close enough to town to fill any fix for action, adventure, or culture whenever we want; pretty much the best of both worlds.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dan Antion says:

    As always, I really enjoy your artful storytelling. I feel like I’m listening to you across the room. I’ve moved coast-to-coast twice, but throughout most of my life, I’ve been near a sorta-big city. I grew up in Pittsburgh, big enough. I’ve lived in New York City (one year) Seattle and Morgantown, WV. Morgantown is tiny small, but an hour from Pittsburgh on a good road. I also spent one year in Athens, GA as a freshman at UGA. I frequently fly through Atlanta these days, but I hope I never get closer to Georgia soil again. Hartford is a small city, but we have tons of sprawling suburban crap. We also have New York – 3 hours, my door to its door via a nice comfy train, and Boston, a 1:45 drive where your car needs to be outfitted with shields and Phasers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Shields and phasers for a trip to Boston, because?
      I was a 20-somethin in Boston, and it’s kinda blurry, what was Boston and what was Walden and where there were lighthouses — too much at once, and too much alcohol. I remember Legal Sea Foods VERRRY well, That’s how you know you’re a foodie. lol
      Thank you for the lovely compliment about the writing. I was hesitant to post two long posts back to back, but that makes me feel better.
      Hartford reads like a village. Like the best of both worlds, ferreal. A lil of this, a lil of that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan Antion says:

        Hartford would probably pay you for that description. I like it, but it needs to improve, everything.

        Boston, shields and phasers necessary for the drive up and back. There’s a reason we call ’em Massholes, just sayin. Legal Seafood is my second stop. First night in Boston, I always go to Jacob Wirth’s. German food and a great bar.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Judy Martin says:

    I am a small town kind of a girl really. Large cities make me anxious, and I can think of nothing worse than being stuck right out in the middle of the sticks with no neighbours, shops or anything! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. jan says:

    We moved from the farmlands of Michigan to the deserts of Nevada when I was about seven. It was very traumatic. I still can’t stand Nevada!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Oh yes, I agree. I don’t like barren landscapes or deserts. How awful that would be. I wouldn’t get over it either, Jan!


  13. Chez Shea says:

    I think that whatever you’ve got, you need a bit of the opposite to keep you from going insane. A break for me would involve cities, shops, cafes, music..because I have the country thing all year round. Your post is great. Those pine tree landscapes really do look creepy.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love having access to both the city and the country. I’m not sure you’d call any place in Maine a “big” city but I’m super close to Portland which is my favorite city ever. It has everything but in a small little package. I’m also only a few hours from Boston if I need something bigger. I made it down to Savannah for the first time last year. It was a fun trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. dalecooper57 says:

    I actually like the look of Pine Tree Way; very primeval.


  16. lv2trnscrb says:

    I too agree with you about nursing moms. The majority I have seen out and about have been very discrete in their nursing. Its a natural thing to do; don’t know why people get upset about seeing it.

    True does seem like a great friend! Glad you guys connected and are still friends 🙂

    I’ve made lots of drastic moves, LOL. Worse one I think was moving to Santa Fe New Mexico. Hubby knew his job before that one was about to be eliminated so I basically said “anywhere but the deep south (sorry couldn’t think I could do the humidity) or Montana.” Santa Fe natives don’t like people that are not “locals” nor do they like people from California. We had 2 strikes against us and 2 hard years there. When we realized it was never going to get better, hubby started looking for a new job and guess what, we ended up in Montana and I loved it for the 8 years we lived there 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  17. reocochran says:

    I am from Cleveland and very much a city girl but was fortunate to have a babysitter in the country, so I got to feed baby lambs bottles and enjoy hay mowns and swinging and landing in the straw, playing hide and seek in the corn fields. I am like you a little bit, at least! I don’t really like boring places, which small towns drive me nuts. Delaware has the university and five elementaries. My kids graduated in groups of 300 plus and my class was over 250 but not sure of the total anymore. I like that you enjoy a friend who is opposite. I have posted about breast feeding and how the Catholics don’t like breast feeding Mary with baby Jesus but many have drawn, painted and sculpted this. It was demonstrated in a beautiful collection at University of Dayton, the few remaining pieces that have this. I am so glad you supported and defended your True. I have Trista, my DIL who does breastfeed the robust Hendrix, I did this for all 3 kids but most successfully with my youngest daughter, who didn’t need to have supplemental food for months whereas my oldest was on cereal, veggies and fruits (baby style, boiled and smashed from fresh) and then my second, my son, liked his sweet potatoes and carrots so much his face turned orange. Well, sorry I missed a few letters in the alphabet. I have been working long hours…. but will try to stay in touch. I love your posts, Joey!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Thank you so much, Robyn! I’ll catch up with your posts here in a bit.
      I don’t think I know any Catholics who don’t like religious nursing images. Maybe I just know some really great people 🙂 I’m glad you nursed your babies, I feel that makes us sisters that way.
      When I was teaching, I had an orange kindergarten student, so I know all about the love of beta carotene! Haha!
      Thanks, as always, for stopping in 🙂


  18. John Holton says:

    Geez, Hinesville isn’t exactly in one of the nicer parts of Georgia, is it?

    Mary and I moved from Chicago to Atlanta, and we’ve mostly stayed around Atlanta and thus missed some of the more Georgia parts of Georgia. I drove to Augusta once, and it was Godawful. For all the good stuff there (Augusta National Golf Course — no, I don’t play golf — and the Medical Coillege of Georgia), it’s like Tobacco Road there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Well lemme tell you, John, when we lived on Ft Stewart, we went to the VA in Augusta and spent many, many days there. In comparison, Augusta was NICE. Mk?

      Liked by 1 person

  19. joannesisco says:

    I feel like I’m a little late to this party, but I’m going to throw in my 2 cents worth anyway.

    I grew up in a small town in the north an hour’s drive from anything – no exaggeration. I thought living in a city would be the best.
    I now live in a city with a population of 5.5 million wrapping in the suburbs and some days I long for the small town existence.

    I think Chez Shea said it best – we need some of the opposite of what we have to maintain some balance in our lives.
    Generally though, I agree with you. As much as I might long for the slower and easier pace of a small town, I would miss the shopping and endless activities that are always available in the city.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. garym6059 says:

    I fight this every day with living in Madison and coming from New Albany/Louisville area. As for military bases that is a no shitter. If for some reason you get lost in BFE Kentucky and land near Fort Knox lock your doors and speed as quickly as you can out of Radcliffe, KY!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. We have lived in ten houses in three states. We kind of have the best of both worlds here – kind of rural but the stores are minutes away. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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