My Top 10 Pet Peeves About Small Town Living

My blog entries have mostly highlighted what is wonderful about living on the Olympic Peninsula. But I’ve shared very little about my pet peeves. This has a lot to do with the fact that there are so many attributes and so few disadvantages.

It’s taken me just over 2 years to realize that Sequim isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. But it comes really close! So in the spirit of full disclosure, I present my 10 biggest “adjustments” from a big city past to a small town present.


  • Since people who’ve never heard of Sequim rarely pronounce it correctly,  unless it’s a known local, I no longer say I live in “Squim” I say “See-quim.” This way I don’t have to repeat Sequim’s spelling.  If I simply mispronounce Sequim the first time I utter it, magically the common person will get the spelling right. I hate to mispronounce my city to a customer service phone rep back East whose never heard of Sequim; but I hate even more to repeat its spelling.


  • Boots, an umbrella, a raincoat and a hat must travel in my car at all times. This means less room for other stuff like my dog’s bed, real estate signs and groceries. It doesn’t matter if sunny skies are predicted. This brings me to my next point.


  • The weather forecast is almost always wrong. The only time I can accurately predict rain is if I’ve washed my car.


  • My car’s exterior is almost always dirty (see above bullet-point.)


  • Though premiumly located and easy to access, the local Costco doesn’t feature the abundance of larger Costcos in more populated areas. Which is great because it means the absence of parking wars. And though I’d much rather have a smaller Costco than no Costco, how I miss those single serving  pre-packaged organic salads.


  • Mailing a birthday card to California a few days before a birthday? Better make it a belated birthday card because that card may take up to a week to arrive.


  • Target, Sephora and Trader Joes have become idealized and exotic destinations. One must plan, make shopping lists, and in some instances; bring along a cooler. I stock up on Smashbox BrowTech to Go like I stock up on Trader Joes O’s and Speculoos Cookie Butter.


  • Animal owners who find solace in leaving their small indoor pets at home with a doggie-door need a new game plan. We have coyotes and eagles here!


  • The ubiquitous CA taqueria is hard to find in these parts. So are doughnut shops, acai cafes and poke bars. We have at least 20 coffee stands but I can’t find a pearl tea to save my life.


  • Expect to travel for mainstream live entertainment. McStadiums are nonexistent here. Instead you may find some tribute bands performing at the casino like U253 performing on St. Patty’s Day. I’ve also seen advertisements for Heart to Heart and Petty Fever.


These “complaints” (that really are more like mild annoyances) can easily be perceived as attributes, not disadvantages. For example, I may not like to prepare for rain with a sunny day forecast but it’s not like preparation is a bad idea. My muck boots have saved my faux fur heels from irreparable harm. And not having an abundance of chain store shopping options has a way of reducing impulse purchases. Making a shopping list usually means spending less money. Long car rides to Seatac ensures time for introspection, quality conversation or even enjoying a good podcast. Of course I can’t think of any advantage to not being able to get my street taco fix but I’m sure I can find a great  how-to foodie podcast somewhere between Sequim and the Hood Canal Bridge.


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