Sunday, March 22, 2009

Small Town Living

I truly love living in a small town. Actually, I live out in the country between two small towns: one is my hometown (school, church, etc.) and the other is the town where I work. I'm only about 4 miles closer to my hometown than to the town where I work, and both towns are between 2,000 and 3,000 people. Of course, as all small towns go, the population is based on those that live within the city limits and doesn't include all of us rural people.

Here is a list of some of the reasons why I love living in a small town:

1. If you don't know a person, you can bet that you both have at least one acquaintance in common. This usually forges a common bond, even among strangers. "Oh, you know Pete?"..."Yeah, Pete's my mom's neighbor" (you get the picture)

2. People help each other out. When you know the majority of people in town, you tend to feel more compelled to help someone out. No one is going to let little Suzie Smith sit by the side of the road with a flat tire for very long.

3. When you go to the local shops, they already know who you are, and might even know what you want. Take for instance the tire shop that I frequent. I walk in and end up spending my waiting time discussing my family with the owner. His daughter is one of my aunt's best friends, my uncle worked for him, my grandfather used to keep his semi truck parked behind the shop... This happens all the time to people in a small town. Also, when I go to the local medical clinic, I don't even have to give my name to the receptionist...we go to church together.

4. Since I actually live out in the country, I can walk out to get my mail with a towel wrapped around my head or still in my PJs if I want to. I have two neighbors and they're my aunt and uncle. Now, I don't believe I've ever gone out to the mailbox in my PJs, but I'm pretty sure I've gone outside in my PJs for one reason or another at some point in time. And I know I've gone to the mailbox with my wet hair still wrapped in a towel.

5. If people don't know me, they are likely to know someone from one side of my family. My mom worked at the local bank for over 20 years and gave many people in town a loan for one thing or another. My dad's family is fairly well known because of the large hog farm they had in the 60's-80's. My mom's parents are pretty big in the local Baptist church (G'ma plays the organ and G'pa leads the singing), and my brother is the preacher there. Also, my G'ma used to own a local business. One of my aunts taught in the high school for over 20 years. I'm sure I could go on, but I think I've made my point. Of course, all this can be a negative if someone doesn't like one of your family members...which sometimes happens when it comes to the CG'parents.

6. Traffic jams? What are those?

7. You need a job? My uncle's cousin Jim is looking for someone to work with him at his construction business...or something like that.

8. There is so much beauty in and around a small town. I live in the Ozarks and I believe it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. We have hills and valleys with lots of creaks and rivers (yes there is a difference) running through. In fact, I believe Missouri has more bridges than any other state in the US. You don't have to drive very far from where I live to be in a State Park. There is so much to enjoy and see.

These are only a few of the reasons why I love living in a small town.

For more about small town life, visit Wendy at On the Front Porch for her Small Town Snapshop Sunday.

If you live in a small town, let me know your favorite part of small town life!


Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free said...

I must say that all the reasons you just listed, were a lot of the reasons I never wanted to live in a small town. I remember when we were gearing up to move here, the thought of no Wal-Mart and the fact of no stoplights was just odd and terrifying! Now--I'm so glad we moved here. Everything I thought I would hate about small town living, has become the very reason we stay here.

Charity Donovan said...

I just found your blog thru "On the Front Porch" & I really enjoyed this post. I live in MO as well...moved to WA...but moved back w/in a year. There is NOTHING like the Midwest & the people here. It's home. My grandparents lived in the Ozarks & we vacationed there a lot! Just beautiful!

Dillon said...

I this post through a complex system of links from one blog to another, and I'm glad I did. I live in a town that makes your town seem huge; we have only 800 people. And your reasons are pretty much my reasons for living in a small town. And although I still don't know everyone, everyone knows my family, considering we've been rooted here for generations, we big family, and my grandma is...let's say very opinionated. But, one of my least favorite things about living in a small town is being known as "Irene Gordan's Grandson" when my grandma hasn't been a "Gordan" for over 50 years.