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Comparing life in my rural area to the bright lights of a big city

A few days back, I received an e mail from the talented Kendra Thornton, requesting me to write an article about my home town. Well, I immediately e mailed her back and told her there was no reason to do an article because we live in a very rural area, and there is absolutely nothing here. Well, she e mailed me back again and asked me to reconsider, because she wanted to do an article and compare our area's of living. So many of you bloggers already know that I will ask you where you bought something, and then I will say, "oh, we don't have one of those stores within 120 miles", and I am honestly telling the truth.

Here is the comparison of my "town" and Kendra's.

My Home Town

I live in Mathiston, Ms and chances are, you have never heard of it. Actually, I live outside of the city limits of Mathiston, so technically, I am not a “city” girl. Depending on which map you have access to, our little town of 700 may not even show up. Yes, that is a population of 700 people. I know, most of you may have more than that residing in your “neighborhood” or “subdivision”.

What is there to do in Mathiston, you may ask….well, actually nothing.  It is a very rural area, and you travel elsewhere for any major shopping and most all activities. Our nearest “real” mall is sixty miles away, in Tupelo, Ms, so when you go, you make a day of it. We hit the mall, Sam’s club, and whichever restaurant we choose to dine at since we had to travel so far.  Our nearest wal-mart is approximately 20 miles away, so that is not that inconvenient, and it is a super-center at that. There are no grocery store chains to shop from. We do have a family owned/operated grocery store in our little town, and a post office. There are also a couple of little quick stops with gas pumps. There are no “chain” style restaurants here of any kind, but there are a couple of family owned/operated restaurants, so eating out is very limited in our little town of 700. Oh, did I mention that our little town doesn’t even have a red light? That’s right, no red light at all.

We do have a beautiful landmark here…..Wood Jr. College. It is an old college campus that had sat vacant for many years until the tornadoes of 2011 destroyed our local high school. The beautiful landmark now houses our local high school, and looks more beautiful than ever with a campus full of students.

Am I complaining about our “lack of’s” in our little town? Am I sorry that I can’t get to the mall in five minutes, or eat out at my choice of restaurant any night of the week? Oh, it would be nice occasionally to be just a stone’s throw to all of these little luxuries. As much as we enjoy our visits/vacations to larger areas, I would not be willing to trade the peacefulness/serenity of my rural living for the hustle and bustle of big city living.

Now, we have Kendra Thornton here to discuss why, though it is not for all people, she loves life in the big city. Her hometown is Chicago, and she has written about some of her favorite places there…

My Favorite Things About My Hometown

Of all the cities I’ve been lucky enough to visit in my life, Chicago is definitely my favorite. Call it a hometown bias, but I think we all feel a certain sense of endearment for the place we call home. And just like we have this sense of love for the city, we have our favorite places to frequent. I've picked some of my favorites below.

I love to go shopping, and downtown Chicago has some of the best areas for me to utilize this urge. I recommend you try some areas besides just North Michigan Avenue scene. It's probably the most popular place to shop, but that doesn’t mean it's the only place! You can find hip stores by heading to the Ukrainian Village. Just a few miles from downtown, you'll find plenty of vintage stores and shops. The best thing about this type of shopping is you're never quite sure what you'll find, and always end up with something great!

One of the “tourist” spots in Chicago that I frequent even though I live here is Shedd Aquarium. It's located right on Lake Michigan, making for a beautiful setup. If you visit, you'll have the chance to see over 30,000 animals! With over a thousand different species of animals, just about the only thing you won’t see is a mermaid! I have always been fascinated by the aquatic life, and the Shedd Aquarium is a chance to feel like you are living amidst the sea creatures. Also, this last week of September is sea otter awareness week, and the otters sure are enjoying it!

When I am looking to change up my usual eating pattern, I love to enjoy a Chicago diner. This classic American food spot is a common sight all over Chicago, but one of Chicago’s truest is Lou Mitchell’s. This has been frequented by everyone from presidents to famous actors, making it feel like you are part of history when eating there! You can order breakfast at any hour, from classic eggs and bacon to cereal and fruit. Also, you don’t have to eat greasy; they have plenty of healthy options! I always go for the cantaloupe!

If you have several nights in Chicago, make sure to watch the sun set on at least one evening. Chicago has a notably beautiful skyline and you won't regret finding a spot to watch day become night. You can be right up in the skyline if you choose a hotel downtown. When visiting Chicago, choose a hotel room on a high floor so that you can look out over the town; the site gogobot is great for finding the best places to stay.

We all have our favorite places in our hometowns, and these are just a few of mine. If you ever choose to visit, for just a few days or for a few weeks, there is so much to do in this great city that your time will be full of fun!

Now that we have compared our area's, which one would you choose?? 


  1. Well, I love to shop but I grew up in a rural area and I think I would choose yours:) I think rural living is a healthier way to live! Have a blessed and PEACEFUL day:) HUGS!

  2. Oh, I think I'd prefer something inbetween the two cities. Our town is small, but we do have shops with everything that we need within 3-4 miles and I'm a bit spoiled to that. The nearest mall is about 22 miles, so not that far and easy enough to run to without it being an all day trip. So enjoyed this entry!

  3. Teresa, I would love to live in the country; that's how I grew up. I'm not a city girl and prefer the peacefulness of the country life! I know how difficult it can be for shopping though! I remember it well. Even in Peachtree City, 25 years ago, we had to drive to another town (10+ miles) to shop. It has gotten better, but is still not a huge town, I still drive to Atlanta for clothes, shoes, HomeGoods, etc. Great post! I hope you're on the mend now! Hugs to Sophie!

  4. I will take your town any day over any city . We live in a village in a valley and have 800 people but our property's are mostly wide spread from each others properties . We have a wonderful forest all around and a river that runs through . Our village has a lot of history , we have a small verity store with gas station a Ma & Pa restaurant and a family run and owned hardware store . Lots of farm land between us and a 20 min drive to at least three farm towns either way and a 6 min drive south to a lovely port town on the shores of lake Erie , There are other port towns with all kinds of wonderful shops restaurants old hotels and so on with in a 40 min drive west and east of us . I grew up on a farm way up north of where we are here . I love it here in southwestern Ontario on by the north shores of lake Erie . Thanks for sharing , your area sounds lovely !

  5. Teresa, we go a long way back and you know from my blog that I have the best of both worlds, the country in Michigan and the city life in Chicago. It truly is like comparing apples and oranges and I would be really hard pressed to say which I enjoy more. I feel at peace and relaxed in the country, more in tune with our world and myself. In the city I am connected to friends and family and a busier way of life. Everything is at my fingertips but it's just not appreciated all the time.

    I think you wrote a beautiful, honest piece. And I have always believed that home is in your heart, to feel at peace wherever you lay your hat.


  6. My parents live in a similar type of area. They drive an hour to a moll.

  7. This is such a great post, Teresa! I've lived in small towns, although not as small as yours; but I do prefer living in a bigger city. The population of our town (and it is still classified as a town) is approximately 225,000 and has every convenience that a person could want. I enjoy having these things close at hand when I want them, but I'm still pretty much of a home-body.

    Okay, I have to ask -- is Farmer Dr. P the only doc in town? I remember you talking about how busy he was last winter during flu season.

  8. Teresa, you wrote a lovely piece. There's something to be said about country living. Peace, quiet and neighbors, we cannot see. We can always drive down the hill and visit a larger selection of restaurant and the mall. xo Linda