I live in a small town. Not small as defined by the modern idea , but genuinely small. 1,800 people ……small.
The kind of small where the doctor who delivered you is still your family doctor , 33 years later. The kind of small where there is one hospital, one bank, one restaurant, but 12 churches. I was born here, and have never lived more than 25 miles away from here my whole life.
I was never like a lot of kids from small towns. I did not dream of leaving there as soon as I graduated and “finding” life somewhere. I knew that I would marry a small town boy and live right here. I knew I wanted to live life as Alan Jackson sings it……. “Little Bitty”. I know growing up here, some people just couldn’t wait to escape. Small towns, small minds they said. And I suppose it’s partially true. I know that if something happens at one end of town, we know about it less than 5 minutes later. I know that the only reason you buy a newspaper in our town is to get the picture of your kid shooting the winning basket. NOT for the news, because by Monday, we have already heard or seen everything considered “news” in the paper. And I know , too, that everybody’s “personal” business is talked about in the open, or whispered about behind closed doors. That can be a big drawback. But it can also has it ‘s positive effects. I knew growing up, I had better not be “running around” with the “wrong” people, because there was NO hiding it. I knew I could walk up the road to the neighbor kids , 3 miles away, and no one would bother me, because all the people up the road would watch out for me. I knew the policemen, the sheriff, the mayor, the principal, and every pastor of every church , and knew that if I did one thing out of the way EVERY body would be talking about it within the hour! Talk about incentive to stay on the straight and narrow. So, maybe the same things that I love about our small community , are the same things that would cause most people to look elsewhere for their ideal area to live in!
Where we live has a lot of things going for it. Sure it’s we don’t have a huge shopping mall, or dozens of eateries to choose from. But we do have something else. We still have neighbors who know each other’s names. A church with a pastor who knows your children. A community who takes up collections for those with medical or funeral expenses. We have families who have lived in the same houses for generations. You can walk down the street and know everyone you meet. You can say that you know their parents or even their grandparents. Maybe it ‘s too claustrophobic for some, but for me, I wouldn’t want to live any other way.
P.S. We have something else great going for us in our home town. We have the only field of diamonds in the world, where you can keep what you find. Check us out! Murfreesboro, Arkansas and the Crater of Diamonds State Park