What intrigues me about small towns? For starters, I’m a fourth-generation small-town girl, born and bred.
Living in the boondocks has its advantages. Small towns are intimate. The clerks in the grocery store, post office, and florist know you by name. You know your neighbor and probably grew up with them.
Where I live, there are four stoplights and the first didn’t arrive until the 1990s. Murders are rare, schools are small and gossip is a given.
But, there are definitely tradeoffs to living in the sticks. Shopping amounts to a dollar store and grocery store. Choices for dining out are: Mexican, pizza or burgers. Entertainment is slim to none. Everything else including movies, is a thirty minute drive.
You don’t need a smartphone to broadcast everyone’s business. You only have to walk into the local coffee house or beauty parlor to hear the latest scoop. If you’ve lived in a small town long enough there will always be someone to retell your most embarrassing moment and embellish it in far greater detail than any YouTube video.
On the plus side, people are there for you when life turns sour and celebrate with you when everything is coming up daisies. They are your tribe, your community, your merry band of brothers and sisters.
I find places like Cicely, Alaska, and Stars Hollow, Connecticut, in Gilmore Girls very appealing. There is a charm, a bit of magic, and a sense of time moving slower in these places—a nirvana of sorts—that leaves a permanent stamp in my memory. A place where problems, for the most part, are solved within the constraints of a sixty-minute television show. Real life, in comparison, isn’t so tidy.
Feeling connected to a small town lures me in. I can’t resist the temptation to pedal my bicycle down a tree-shaded lane, or to stroll down Main Street lined with wrought iron street lamps and brick sidewalks. I’m overwhelmed by the urge to grab a mocha at the cozy coffee house on the corner, sit at the umbrella-topped table and soak in sunshine on a warm spring afternoon.
What about you? Do you have a favorite small town?