There are lots of advantages to living in a small town—and no, the grocery store’s produce depart being smaller than most SUVs isn’t one of them. In the spirit of James Dashner’s famous top ten lists—but in no particular order:
1) Heavy traffic is when you have to wait almost 30 seconds to turn left onto Main Street because the high school has just let out.
2) I can sit on my porch and hear roosters crowing from at least three different directions—even when mine are all shut in the coop. I can name at least eight other kinds of ‘farm’ animals pastured within a block of my house.
3) Everyone waves to everyone else they pass on the road regardless of whether they know the person in the other car or not. It’s practically mandatory.
4) If our high school team is playing, I can go to the grocery store on the night of the state football championship (substitute wrestling, or basketball if you like) and everyone at the check out is talking about the latest stats from the radio.
5) I can greet—by name—at least eighty percent of people who walk into my parents’ store.
6) If my husband (who didn’t grow up in this town) meets someone new for the first time, I can usually name at least one family member of that person with whom my husband is acquainted. Sometimes that family member is a second cousin or something, but it’s almost inevitable that they be related to someone else in the area that he does know.
7) When someone moves they can tell me who two or three of the previous owners of the house were instead of an address and I know exactly which house they’re talking about.
8) If I call 911, there’s a good chance my husband will answer the phone, and that he’ll send out a deputy, firefighter or EMT who lives just down the street from me to help.
9) I know most of the local ambulance patients by face, if not by name. This familiarity can make stressful situations easier.
10) When those patients are up and walking around again, I often get to see them when I work at the store, so I know how they are recovering. Today a woman we transfered to Provo a couple of weeks ago stopped into the store to say hello and thank me for helping her that day. That made my day.
Heather – I loved your list. It *almost* made me long for my own small town back in Pennsylvania. But while there are lots of things I love about small towns – there are also lots of things I hate, too. I think the scale tipped to the “I’m getting out of here” side. I love to visit, but am so happy to return home!