Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Top Ten Things I WON'T miss about Savannah!

10. The crime in Savannah.

I can honestly say I have never lived anywhere that crime was such an issue. Yes, we had crime in Oklahoma, but not at a level like this! Savannah is one of the highest rated crime areas in the nation. Sad, but true. Such a beautiful city, tainted with shootings, car jackings and other various felonies.

Believe me, I freaked out the first time Ike called me from work and said, "Guess what -- there was just a shooting with a triple homocide on the next block over from the station. I could hear the gunshots." WHAT ?!?!?


I also hate it that because of this high crime rate, I feel like there are things we can't do...just because it wouldn't be safe. That makes me mad. I've been a victim of a violent crime before and I don't want to be again....but it makes me mad that criminals "keep us hostage" if you will, by keeping us in fear.

9. The traffic.

You know, I come from a big city (Tulsa) and traffic was something you could expect when you were in rush hour, but I'm here to tell you the traffic in Savannah is worse than anything I ever experienced in Tulsa. It can take me 45 minutes or more to get to work sometimes....and it's only like 10 miles away! Blah! I won't miss that a bit! Everything in Topeka is 5 minutes away, maybe 10 minutes tops if there were a little traffic.

Not to mention, I will not miss Ike having a 45 minute commute, one-way.

8. The road construction on HWY 17.

When I flew out here in February of 2004 to buy our house, we discovered all this horrible construction on Hwy 17 (about 2 miles worth) on the way to Richmond Hill. I thought, "well, that's annoying, but it looks like they might be done pretty soon, so it won't be too bad!" WRONG!!!! Here we are a few weeks short of 3 years later and the construction on that stretch of the road is STILL NOT FINISHED!! Can you believe that?! According to ~S~ who grew up in RH, this construction has been going on for like over a decade!!!! That is ridiculous!! Bye bye construction zone!!!!

7. The Smelly Marsh smell.

In the summer, when the conditions are just right, you can smell the reek of the marsh. It's not pleasant. Enough said.

6. The hospital's inconvenient location.

At this point in time, the best hospital in Savannah is a 35-45 minute drive (on a good day) from our house in Richmond Hill and there is no "really good" way to get there from here. The straight shot involves going right thru the above-mentioned constuction zone, then cutting off to hwy 204 (Abercorn Street,) which is the main vein all the way thru Savannah and also the street with the most heavy traffic.

Believe me, there is nothing worse than worrying that you may have trouble reaching the hospital in an emergency. (and with 4 kids, we have been to that emergency room more than once!)

And, there is nothing like being pregnant with your 4th child and wondering if you might actually end up giving birth on the side of Abercorn in the marsh. For several months, we had a joke that we might need to name baby ~M~ Savannah Marsha Smith, for this was my fear, that I'd give birth to her in the marsh! Thank goodness I had low amniotic fluid and they took her a little early!

5. The Bryan County school system.

Yep, I said it. I know some people are freaking out reading this right now, but this school system is not all it's made out to be and I WON'T MISS IT AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!

From the moment we set foot in that mid-elementary school to just this week, it's been a place where you are judged by your social class, where simple things are made into a big deal and finally, they don't live up to the fine reputation they somehow have.

Actually, when you compare them to the City Schools in Savannah, you can see why RH public schools are considered to be excellent, but trust me, that's not saying alot!

Have you ever seen a school where the counselor judged us for the neighborhood you live in?? Yes, it happened to us the first day we set foot into this school. And she did it right to my face. (don't worry, my husband eventually put her in her place and even made her cry)

Have you ever seen a school where they fail you by not placing your "gifted" child in the "gifted education" program, when he had been in it since 1st grade? Yep, that happened here too. (What? He's gifted in Oklahoma in 1st and 2nd grade, but not in Georgia in 2nd and 3rd grade, but then amazingly gifted again when he leaves the mid-elementary and goes to the upper-elementary for 4th grade!!!!) Can you say.....THEY dropped the ball?!?!? Yes, this happened to our oldest child, despite our best efforts to get him in the program.

Have you ever seen a school that when a father comes to the school to see his child and speak to the teacher about a misunderstanding, they tell him can't go to your child's classroom, even though the bell HAS NOT wrung. And when the father announces he's going to see his son, they call the police! Yep, this happened here, as well.

Last but not least, I hate their over-zealous dress code, which starts at Kindergarten. I understand the need for a dress-code. But, why not make the dress code, age appropriate????
I know they don't want the pants to touch the floor to avoid having boys wear pants that are 5 sizes too big, with their boxers hanging out of the top. I know we need to have rules that prevent a 8 year old from dressing like Britney Spears. And I welcome it. But, please, please, please make the dress code reasonable!!!!

According to my oldest, he says they showed them a movie about dress code, in which, it showed how a gun could be hidden by a student under clothes that are "too big." Well, that's just great!! Give them ideas how to do it.....give my child nightmares in the process, why don't you?!?! Idiots!!!!

Obviously, whoever made up this dress code has never been the parent of a child who is different than the "average" size child. We have a child who has a little roundness to his middle and requires bigger pants that are a mile too long. Shoot, this Fall, I could barely even find jeans that would fit him at all. And then, I had to pay over $20 a pair for them. (he only has 5)I'm sorry, but I can't afford to have every one of his jeans tailored to meet your ridiculous dress code....that pants can't touch the floor. And I dare you, just dare you to send him home because his pants are too long!!!!!

Then there is the whole..."tuck in your shirt and you must wear a belt if you have belt loops rule!" Now, I'm all for looking "put together," but when you have a boy....many of these shirts are made, tailored, if you will, to wear untucked. They have hems meant to be untucked. In addition, if your child has a belly, this can be very unflattering. But, is any of this taken into consideration, HECK NO!! So, my poor child is forced to follow these rules and even though it could be damaging to his self esteem, he has to do it for the sake of the DRESS CODE!!

Good bye sucky Bryan County School District.....we won't miss you at all!

(Ok, well, we will miss the good teachers we have had......Mrs. Seiler, Ms. Farthing, Mrs. Emerson, Mrs. Blocker, Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Mozier, Mrs. Berry and Mrs. Howerton! And a special shout out to Joye Johnson, one of the best Principal's I've ever met! You guys are awesome!!!!)

4. The "ghetto" Wal-Mart.

Quite frankly, I am embarrassed for the Wal-Mart corporation that they own and run a Wal-mart that is this "ghetto." It is by far the skankiest, dirtiest Wal-Mart I have ever been in and I HATE IT!!!!!

For the first 2-3 months we lived here, I drove 16 miles one way down I-95 to get to the Pooler Walmart that wasn't quite so skanky. Then, when I was sick and pregnant, that stopped pretty quickly.

One time, I was here with a my friend Tammy. I accidentally barely brushed my Wal-Mart sack against an African American girls' 1999 Ford Bronco and she jumped out and threatened to "kick my ass!" Not very often do you have that pleasure, but at the ghetto Wal-Mart, it's an actual concern.

Right before we got here, there was even a car-jacking at gunpoint at the Wal-Mart gas station, at the gas pump closest to the bus stop at the end of the Wal-Mart building. I never forgot that story and even though it was cheaper...I almost never bought gas there. Just not worth it!!!!

The good news is....when I was in Topeka last weekend, I spied the biggest, nicest Wal-Mart I have ever seen. Seriously, this place had FOUR main entrances, with complete checkout areas at each one! Now that's crazy!!!! I can't wait to check it out!!

3. The BUGS!!!

Is this Savannah or is this Texas?! I'm not sure. Rumor has it that they grow everything bigger in Texas. I beg to differ. Texas has nothing on these Georgia BUGS!!!!

First of all, if you've ever been here, you most surely have met the Palmetto Bug. Well, let me just tell you, the first time I saw one of these, I about DIED!!!! Palmetto Bug, my ass! THAT'S A ROACH!!!!!! At least, that's what they look like to me. And the debate goes on! I don't think it matters, they are NASTY, whatever they are!!! I'm sorry, but that Palmetto Bug could have carried me off on it's back and I'm a big girl!!! GROSS!!

These darn things give me the heebie - jeebies and I want to kill them, but they are so big, I'm actually afraid to do it, for fear of them exploding all over the place! And nothing is worse than chilling out in your living room and all of a sudden catching sight of one of these nasty things high-tailing it across your wall or floor. BLAH!

Living here, I have seen mosquitos the size of a Buick, with a bite that will leave you a welp the size of a quarter!!! I've even had to take my kids to the doctor to seek medical treatment for mosquito bites that were huge and making them sick!!!

And don't even get me started on the SAND GNATS! Apparently, the problem with these bugs is so prevalent, they named their stinky baseball team after this lovely bug that bite's the crap out of you. These bugs are particularly pesky, because sometimes they are small enough you can't really see them. (hence: the nickname...."no see-ums")

The first few months we lived here, Ike and I got bit by these sand gnats and because we had never been exposed to them before, we had major reactions to them. I can remember laying in bed at night, itching all over, crying and miserable. Feeling feverish. It was AWFUL!!!!

I tried everything I read that might help....for the record, Witch Hazel seemed to be the most effective thing for relieving them.

In addition to these other delightful creatures of God, I'd like to complain just a little about FIRE ANTS!!! These little boogers I had not met until my arrival in Georgia. More than once, poor ~G~ has landed in a pile of these nasty insects and ended up eaten up and blister up by their bite! I hate these things. Every time I see one of their piles, off to Wal-Mart I go to get the fire ant killer.

(Since I don't have a mouse problem here, these fire ants are like then new "mouse" for me. And if you've never heard my mouse stories....just ask me, but be prepared to laugh your butt off!)

And last but not least, there seems to me to be an overabundance of little centipedes here, for I am always finding them in my house and yard.

And although these aren't bugs, they do "bug" me....all these tiny lizards. Being the mom of 3 boys, believe me, I've been UP CLOSE and PERSONAL to these lizards more times than I care to think about. They just "bug" me and secretly give me the heebie-jeebies, even though, I'd never admit this to the boys. They'd use that info against me, for sure!!!

2. The lack of Seasons.

In my opinion, everybody needs to live somewhere that you have Seasons. You know...Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Savannah doesn't really have that. There is basically one main season....Summer.

Just last week, it was 80 degrees and it was the end of December!!! Now, this isn't to say that it doesn't get cold. It's even been kinda cold (if 40's count) this week. But, it's short-lived.

I can remember being amazed that when we moved here on March 8th, 2004, people were swimming in the outdoor swimming pool in the hotel we lived in. Yes, I said swimming in the water in early March! That was weird.

According to my boss, Jamie, it hasn't snowed in Savannah since she was in high school like over 15 years ago. Now, that 's just a tragedy. I bet the city nearly shut down when that happened!

1. The Heat and Humidity.

Yes, my number one item I WILL NOT MISS is the heat and the humidity. When we moved here, I knew it was going to be bad. I had read about it. I had heard about it. I was not prepared for the reality of it.

When I first landed in Savannah, I learned first-hand, that you can actually experience humidity in the "Winter."

It's bad enough just normally, but what I hadn't counted on was getting pregnant in the first few weeks I lived here. And believe you me, every single pregnant woman who has been pregnant over the Summer in Savannah deserves a freaking medal for surviving it! Believe me, between the heat, the humidity and the bugs, coupled with having 3 kids cooped up in the house all Summer long and me nauseated and vomiting repeatedly every single day....those people on Survivor have nothing on me!!! After surviving the Summer in Savannah, circa 2004, I can SURVIVE anything! (Not like I'm asking to, though!)

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