Wednesday, May 20, 2009

she was born in a small town

since i feel a little bit like their fairyblogmother, i am going to take the liberty of doing a 5 things i love about growing up in a small town list ala VEG & extranjera over on Ocean (and to think i was calling it siamese. my bad.). plus, you know how i love lists. and need an assignment. i've written about growing up in a small town kind of a lot of times before, but i'm not sure i've ever really thought specifically about what was good about it.

1.  getting to try everything

in a small town school, you don't have to choose whether you're a band person or a cheerleader or a theatre person or smart girl or a sporty girl. you can be all of them. and in fact, the only way the school thrives is if everybody does everything. so you try it all and find out what you like and what you're good at. and you learn not to be afraid of trying new things. and that will get you a long way in life.

2.  getting a driver's license (learner's permit anyway-able to drive without an adult between sunup and sundown) at 14

there was nothing to run into. it was flat and the ditches were wide.

3.  having horses

i grew up with horses. we always had them. we showed them, and i've written about my horse trainer before. she was awesome. and having horses is just a wholesome thing to do. you learn responsibility. hard work. caring. getting up early to feed. mucking out stalls. and that standing in the barn at dusk on a summer night, listening to the snuffling and munching of a horse is just plain good for your soul. and your sanity.

4.  big old house with a front porch

the house "in town" that we lived in 'til i was 10 or so had a front porch with a porch swing, big columns and it was all covered in vines. i loved sitting in there in the cool shade, protected from prying eyes by the vines, watching people go by. that was great. there was a silver milk box there and i remember milk being delivered into that box (yup, i'm old). ice cream jim came up on that porch dressed as santa one christmas. lots of good memories and some not so good. it was on that front porch that our dog stella bit my friend tracey on the nose. tracey kinda deserved it, she had totally gotten in stella's face and stella was an old crotchety shetland sheep dog. and there that time i got a huge sliver in my foot and my dad had to sit on me to hold me down while mom got it out with a needle and a tweezers. ouch. but for the most part, it was awesome for dressing up and playing laura from little house and just swinging on the swing.

5. always feeling safe 

it was a totally safe place to grow up. i don't even think our house had locks on the doors and if it did, no one had seen the key in years. you knew everyone and they knew you. and you trusted each other. and looked out for each other. i think it has made me a person who, for the most part, feels at ease in the world and isn't afraid. it's grounding to grow up feeling safe like that. i'm glad i had that ground to grow up on.

so those are my five things. what are yours?


Liz Fulcher, The Fragrant Muse said...

I didn't grow up in a small town but chose to live in one:
* county fairs
* clean air
* low crime
* everyone waves when you drive past, even if they don't know you
* a strong sense of community
* everyone helps each other
* no traffic
* I know all about the kids my boys hang with and their families and if they meet someone new it takes 5 minutes to learn anything I need to know about him/her.

Just Jules said...

Careful about asking for assignments (as I see in your tags) you end up with a post like mine today!

Small town is still wonderful in many ways. Hubby and I taught in a small town for a few years there are things there that we haven't found anywhere else. People truly cared about you.

(of course it is bad when someone calls from across town to say "bless you" and you are still reaching for the tissue - you know what i mean?!)

Hit 40 said...

I like the city :-)

Zoo just 2 miles down the street.
Great shopping a few miles away.
Art museum about 25 min away
Lots of movie theaters to pick
A plethora of restaurant choices
Broadway (not as good as broadway) shows downtown
A water park for my kids also just a few miles away

If anything, I would like to live in a bigger city like New York or Chicago. I imagine most would not consider Columbus, OH a city. I would guess some of you even giggled. I understand. I plan to post some of our sad excuse for outdoor art. It is amusing.

Cyndy said...

As an Army Brat, did not have small town experience because everyone was always moving. But these transient families did have a close knit community, one that made the world a lot smaller and Christmas card lists a lot longer. Today, I have found roots in a lovely rural community surrounded by a potpourri of universities, pristine waterways and mountains, and simple Amish folk. It is like having a second childhood getting to discover the values described by FM and JJ, yet I'm close enough to visit places like H40's home which does have a fabulous zoo and a college football team we love to hate! : )

Anonymous said...

I went to live with my aunt for one summer when I was 15. She lived way out in the sticks and bought me a horse to keep me busy. You are exactly right. There is something about taking care of horses and being outside from sun up to sun down that is so gratifying. That was the best summer of my life. I will never forget the feeling of that summer...feeling the breeze blow by, watching the fields roll, running wide open, and working my ass off! I was in the best shape of my life and loved every second of every day. When school started, I had to return home to the city. My aunt kept my horse for me for a few years so I could come back and visit...but it just wasn't the same. Those years were gone, but not forgotten.

I took my baby girl to see the Hannah Montana movie and found myself tearing up! Baby girl was looking at me like I was crazy! But she has no idea. Just wait til she turns 15.

Char said...

I grew up city with small town roots so I have a bit of it all:
love the fact that I can sip a starbucks and still be in the country in 10 minutes, that I know how to grow veggies and to make pad thai, know my grandfather shot pool with Hank Sr but listens to really great jazz. It's all such a constrast.

kristina said...

wow, great list and description of small town life :-) I've never experienced it myself - sounds quite compelling

Optimistic Pessimist said...

Hmm...I need to think long and hard about this one. Maybe I'll do a pictorial of my five things.

Hit 40 - Mike and I drive through Columbus all the time on our way to Cincinnati to visit his family. He tells me Columbus is fun, but we've never stopped..even though I've begged when passing by that one big shopping place.

~C said...

I moved from a teeny tiny mountain town (pop. 200) to the nearby 'larger' town (pop. 8,000 or so) during primary school.

*Never locking the house. Or the car, for that matter. I miss that trust. Also made it easier to fill friends' cars with balloons when they were at an away game and not back until late.

*Going to the one major grocery store in town satisfied the need for a, food, and b, socializing. Because you know EVERYONE there. One of the checkers used to drive my school bus. I always picked her line, even if it meant a longer wait. (On the flip side, you don't always want to see everyone you know whilst buying certain items...)

*You never really worry about breaking down/getting stuck in snow, because no matter where you are in town you either know someone who lives nearby or someone you know will be driving by soon anyway.

*Baby quilts - is happening less, but everyone anywhere close to my age had a quilt made for them at birth. Each square done by one of mom's friends - one of my favorite childhood relics.

*Anyone on any sports team had their name and picture in the local paper from time to time. And honor rolls, graduations, etc. I'm sure my dad still has all the clippings saved somewhere.

Thanks for the push down memory lane! :)