Sunday, February 17, 2013
Commuting is a way of life for many who live in metro Atlanta. I am no exception. When I decided to move from Lithonia, GA to Covington, GA almost 10 years ago, I did not fully grasp what that would mean. My metro Atlanta commute went from being fairly manageable to a colossal pain in the butt. I never imagined that a few extra miles would make so much difference on I-20. At least in Lithonia, I had easy access to MARTA. From Covington, it's about 8 miles to the interstate from my house and then another 10 miles to the nearest Marta stop at Stonecrest Mall.
I tolerated this Newton County to metro Atlanta commute for almost 5 years although the traffic on I-20 just continued to get worse. Then life situations resulted in me taking a job in Columbus, GA and actually moving there for about 4 years. I absolutely hated Columbus and moved back to Covington last year when I'd just reached my breaking point. I had never lived anywhere that made me so unhappy just being there. Luckily, I still had my Newton County house because we were unable to sell it with the glut of foreclosures on the market.
I must say though I got pretty spoiled in Columbus. I had a 20-minute commute to work at most. It was wonderful being able to run out the door at the last minute and still get to work on time. Now that I am back in Covington, I have challenged myself to find a job with a similar commute. Since you cannot claim two homesteads in Georgia, I have officially been a resident of Newton County for 10 years. Why can I not live, work, and play in the county that I call home?
The short answer is that professional jobs are hard to find in Newton County. The closest movie theater is in nearby Rockdale County. The closest mall is Stonecrest Mall in Lithonia (Dekalb County). I prefer Lowe's over Home Depot but the only Lowe's in the area is in Rockdale County. I prefer Target over Wal-mart so although there is a Wal-mart within a few miles of my house, I drive right past it to get to the Target in Rockdale County. Are you starting to understand my dilemma?
I have settled into Newton County so the "live" part is accomplished. But can I work here and play here (most of the time), too? Stay tuned.