On more than one occasion I have had friends visit me in the small, rural North Carolina town where I live and say, "So. What do you do around here?"
Rocking on the front porch isn't for everyone. And I do miss being able to run out to dinner or a movie and not have it be a four-hour event, once travel time is included. But there are distinct advantages to small town life. One of them is service.
Just last week there was a knock on my front door. It was my mailman, holding a letter I'd put out to be mailed but had forgotten to stamp. "Do you have one handy?" he asked. "I'll wait." I ran upstairs and got a stamp and my letter was mailed out. Good service.
My dry cleaners knows both Blair and I by name, and that we pick up our cleaning on Saturday mornings. They don't even give us tickets for our clothes--it's more of a handshake basis. And if the owner is there when I drive up, he always steps out to greet me and asks if the service meets my standards. Lovely folk.
The year Blair and I moved into town there was a gift shop that has since closed in one of the older homes on the main street. We'd found a few Christmas gifts for co-workers but didn't buy them, planning on coming back. But our schedules never worked out with store hours and we called to see if maybe the items could be charged and shipped to us. "Oh Heavens. I'll just leave the items in a bag on the back porch and you can slip your check under the door," said the owner. And that's just what happened. Any chance that might happen where you live?
So I may not live in the most exciting town in the nation, but it's got it's strong points. Stellar service, porch parties, lemondade stands run by kids, beauty pagants with 8 contestants and cheesy Fall fairs with face painting and funnel cakes...
I wouldn't trade it.