Living on Floyd time


When a teller, grocery checkout employee at the grocery store or clerk somewhere else apologizes for what they consider as a delay, I usually answer with “if I was in a hurry, I wouldn’t live in Floyd.”

That response normally brings a laugh.

“Hurry” is not a word heard around here, nor should it be.  Out lifestyle in Floyd County is often called “laid back” or simply “living on Floyd time.”

Not so during our 23 years in Washington, DC.  When I worked on Capitol Hill, my office was 3.2 miles from our condo on North Fairfax Drive in Arlington.  I usually left for work at 6:30 a.m. for a workday that began at 8.  I might pull into the garage under the Rayburn House Office building in time to stop and get a cup of coffee and a muffin at the cafeteria.

Any problem along the route means a delay and the possibility of arriving late, never a good way to start a day in the nation’s capital.  Problems occurred often.

The pad in front of our garage at our home in Floyd County is exactly five miles from the stoplight at Main and Locust in downtown Floyd.  Covering court on Tuesday mornings allows me to leave at 8:30 a.m. and have plenty of time to have a couple of cups of coffee and a bowl of fruit.  The actual drive into town is just over five minutes.

Getting into my office these days requires a very short walk to my den/studio, which is the closest room to our bedroom.  A side trip downstairs to make coffee and pick up some juice takes less than five minutes.  A Bunn coffee maker delivers a full pot of hot coffee in about three of those minutes.

In places like Washington, DC, or Los Angeles, distances are measured not in distance but in driving times.

Not long after we moved from Arlington to Floyd County, a friend in DC called me and asked where I was.

“I’m stopped in a Floyd traffic jam,” I answered.  “That are two cars ahead of me at the county’s one traffic light.”

He muttered something obscene.

“I’m sitting in stopped traffic on I-395,” he said.  “Haven’t moved in the last 45 minutes.”

Been there, done that and have no desire to do it again…ever.

Time, one might say, is on our side in Floyd County.  It is not a driving factor in most of our lives here.

That’s a way of life all of us should live.


© 2004-2022 Blue Ridge Muse

© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse