I knew I lived in a small town. I just haven’t realized how small until I went to the high school basketball game this past weekend. My sister was being inducted to the Athletic Hall of Fame so she flew up here and we all battled the snow and cold to watch her ceremony. It took place at halftime and they had a nice reception beforehand. As I sat in the stands I couldn’t help but wonder at all the familiar faces I saw. Not only that many of the kids on the team had the same last name as my former classmates. On the walls were pictures of the various sport teams through the years and I knew people in almost every single photograph.
The fact that many people who grew up here chose to stay on and raise their own families shouldn’t have surprised me. I’ll be the first to admit I love it here. It’s nice going to the local coffee shop and them knowing what I want before I even open my mouth. Everyone knows everyone here. My daughter’s teacher was one of my sister’s best friends growing up. My son has the same civics teacher I did.
Living in a small town does have some drawbacks, however. Number one being everyone knows everyone. I still bump into the gal who was sitting next to me that fateful day in first grade when I peed my pants. She still remembers it too. I know this because she takes particular delight in telling me so every time we talk.
To add to the whole small town atmosphere is the fact we are made up of mainly working class, factory workers or farmers. Hunting season is a big event, most kids starting at a young age. While I was standing in line to vote this year the couple behind me were in matching camouflage coveralls. I kid you not. We have a total of three traffic lights, but at least a half-dozen deer processing centers. I am happy to report that my son and husband are not among the hunters. I have no taste for deer meat and wouldn’t know what to do with a freezer full of the stuff.
Still, I love this town because it’s familiar and that makes me feel safe. I like knowing the local store will always have my favorite deli meat, that my old family friends will always be keeping an eye over my kids and I can still get the best donuts in the world at the corner bakery.
Many times I have wondered if I ever made it big would I move. The answer is no. This is home and that will never change.