Last night Michele and I took the kids into Sioux Falls, about an hour and a half from where we live. We spent the night in a hotel and spent the day shopping for a few things we needed. We did have the joy of taking the kids into Falls Park, a public park in downtown Sioux Falls, where some nice walking trails and a tower have been built for people to view the waterfalls. It was beautiful.
On our trip, which goes through northwestern Iowa, southwestern Minnesota, and southeastern South Dakota, we had some time to talk and think about some of the ways our life has changed since we moved up here.
--Though Sioux Falls is not a large city, it is still a city. Having been in a small town, even for only a month, we've gotten used to a lack of traffic. This is a nice thing to get used to. We easily acclimated to the lack of a 25 minute commute, the lack of traffic, the lack of 1 mile drives that take 30 minutes because of poorly planned traffic lights, and the absence of tension that driving in such an environment creates. We both have recognized how we're a bit more relaxed due to that lack of tension, and how much time we have now in our day because we don't have an hour-round-tripper.
--Driving through rural Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota will quickly bring your attention to smells you don't get every day in the city. On a very windy day the smell of hogs is inescapable. We've gotten far better at holding our breath, which means we may soon take up snorkeling.
--The other day I was downtown meeting another minister for coffee. It was a bit chilly in the morning. I was surprised when I parked my truck that there were two cars nearby that were parked with no one in them, but the engine was still running. I could never do that. Too many years in the city have made me paranoid. I've had my car broken into before. I know people whose cars have been stolen out of their driveway--in broad daylight! To leave your car running is something that requires great trust, which apparently comes more naturally in less populated areas. It's still a big adjustment for me not setting an alarm on the house when I leave, so leaving the car running will take a while.
So how has our life changed moving to rural Iowa?
We are now less tense for driving much less.
We are now better snorkelers for avoiding the ever present hog smell.
We are becoming more trusting, but not yet trusting enough to leave the car running.