Since leaving McDuffie County in the summer of 2004, I feel like I've lived just about everywhere. Athens, Atlanta, and now Columbia, SC. All in three years. To call it a whirlwind would be a gross understatement. So, what have I learned? Let's go to the videotape.
The horror that is Atlanta traffic isn't a myth. It's real. Be very afraid. For about a year, my wife and I lived in Athens and I commuted into Atlanta for work. Every day. Let's just say that one does not take to a three-hour round-trip daily commute all that easily. I think the first time it took me over two hours to get home on a Friday afternoon I cried myself to sleep. But I digress. Interestingly enough, when we moved into the city a year later, we discovered that there's little to no traffic on city streets, but once you hit I-85, it's a parking lot. So it goes.
Toyotas don't die on their own, you have to put them out of their misery. I finally traded in my 1992 Toyota Celica with 205,000 miles on it last fall. No air conditioning. Not very comfortable to ride in. Dents all over it. But hey, it ran. Nevertheless, when I was offered $300 for it, it felt like I had discovered the cure for cancer.
Georgia fans are more rabid than their South Carolina counterparts. There, I said it. I've lived in Athens, and I live in Columbia now, and it's not even a contest. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Bulldogs are consistently competitive and the Gamecocks, at least before Steve Spurrier arrived in Columbia, have matched Georgia's win-loss record. But in reverse. This just in: I'm now being electro-shocked by members of my wife's family, all South Carolina natives. Let's just move on.
Never, under any circumstance, go grocery shopping when hungry. I can't stress this enough. The other day I walked into Publix for eggs and walked out with three cans of smoked salmon and chocolate chip cookie dough, among other things.
Time to get serious. Finally and most importantly, time is too valuable to waste. After having a family member very close to me fall ill last year, I realized that we aren't around for that long in the grand scheme of things. We run around every day, occupying ourselves with things we think can't wait. We're under the impression our lives will come crashing down if our team loses on Friday night, we don't make it to the post office on time, or we can't make it to the sale. Sometimes we just need a little perspective. There. That's my spiel. You have my word it won't happen again.
I'm not claiming to be an expert on any of the above topics, I could be wrong. After all, I'm just a guy with an opinion. Well, excluding the grocery store bit - that one, I'm pretty sure, is spot-on.
Editor's note: Elwood Hamilton is a former McDuffie County resident and McDuffie Mirror staff writer currently living in Columbia, S.C.