I live in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, a city that is losing population. People who’ve left cite a variety of reasons: incompetent local government, high utilities, a lack of good-paying jobs, nothing to do.
I admit my hometown has problems. I can be the first to rant, for example, about city council members who vote to hold their annual retreat at an exclusive, out-of-town resort during the hard times of a pandemic. At taxpayers’ expense, of course. But I’m not here for a roll call of all that’s wrong. Not today.
Instead, I want to talk about what’s right. Why, with all that’s frustrating about this city, I still choose to live within its limits. Here, in no particular order, are five reasons I like my Rocky Mount life.
#1. My neighborhood. See that street below. It’s part of a two to three mile walk I often take within the residential area where I live. Notice the speed limit. Residents generate most of the traffic, and most of them obey the law. The wide streets, low speed limit, and little traffic make it an ideal place for walking, just one of the features I love about my neighborhood here in the city limits of Rocky Mount.
#2. Stoney Creek. Whenever I go to Lowe’s Home Improvement, I pass over the short bridge between it and Sam’s Club. I think of this tucked-away shortcut running adjacent to Highway 301 as a secret passageway. I’ll glance in my rearview mirror, and if no one is behind me, I stop and look at Stoney Creek for a minute.
#3. Mama’s Pizza. A sign hanging in the front window of this Italian restaurant on Benvenue Road proclaims: “There’s a big difference between the big chains and the Independent Pizzerias.” I agree.
I love Mama’s lasagna and pizza. A friend of mine swears the restaurant has the best shrimp marinara she’s ever eaten. Service is good; prices are reasonable, and Mama’s is a ten-minute drive from my house, right here in Rocky Mount.
#4. The Rocky Mount Garden Club. Since retirement, I’ve been a member of this group of ladies who love their yards as well as their community. Pre-Covid, we met monthly for a program, refreshments, and catching up with one another. Just this past week, a few of us got together in a member’s garage for a “plant exchange.” I took iris bulbs and came home with an aucuba plant.
The club has been in existence since 1934 and is open to anyone interested in learning about horticulture and serving the community.
#5. Hobby Lobby. Now I know other cities have a Hobby Lobby, but the one in Rocky Mount is sooo conveniently located. (I’m thinking about the time I drove over a half-hour from one side of Charlotte to the other to find a Hobby Lobby). It’s also well-stocked, clean, and attractive. This weekend, I popped in twice to buy these cute little Easter bunnies and eggs (40% off!).
This is my first installment of why I enjoy living in Rocky Mount. Stay tuned for more. Maybe I should rename this blog myrockymountlife.