Small Town Life

By Sarah Baker

For me, growing up was different from the way most kids did it. Yet thousands of people grew up in the world I lived in as a kid. My parents moved me around a lot, and I went to a lot of schools. And I mean A LOT! I can only remember 12 of them, but I’m positive that there were more.

Most of my life was lived in cities. Not huge ones like New York or Chicago, but smaller Southern metropolises. I’m a city kid, and I wouldn’t change it for anything! I learned to like and dislike people based on the kind of person they are, not by the color of their skin, their religion, or what economic bracket their parents were in.

As a grown up, I got married to a guy from a really small town. One I’d never heard of, and one most people have never heard of….including people from the area! There is literally a one stop light town (and it’s a blinking stop light!). I think the population is around 5,000 people, but I may be inflating that a bit. My high school’s graduating class was bigger than the entire student body of the schools my now ex-husband attended.  This tiny town boasts 1 grocery store, 2 gas stations, 2 bars, 3 restaurants, 6 or 7 churches, and thousands and thousands of acres of farm land. Get the picture?

Today I’m going to talk about some of the benefits of small town living. Don’t worry, I’ll get to the juicy stuff another day! But today is about the good part of small town life. For example:

If you have kids and you live in a small town: you will ALWAYS know what your kids have been up to BEFORE they get home! That’s right people! You’ve got a built in network of snoops, snitches, busybodies, and tattletales who live to inform! Was Little Jimmy being rotten at the local park, running around pinching other kids? Don’t worry, he won’t have a chance to deny or hide it, because you’re guaranteed to know about it before he walks in the door! Did Suzy say a foul word at a sleepover? Never fear! You’ll know what she said within 5 seconds of her saying it! It’s like a relay race for the news, and the good, bad, and ugly gossip! Even if you have no relationship with your nearest neighbor, you can ask them what’s going on across town (a mere 2 miles away), and they will tell you EVERYTHING!! 
Naturally this sort of communication network is foreign to a city girl like me. The way I grew up, I was lucky to know what my own sister was up to, and we lived in the same house! We just aren’t gossipy, nosy people. So adjusting to this small town life was difficult at first. Heck I still struggle with it, almost 2 decades later. That’s why my next installment will be about the bad side of the gossip circles. Stay tuned!

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