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10 Advantages to Small Town Life November 3, 2009

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Small Town Life.
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Rainbow

A friend challenged me to think of ten advantages to living in a small town. It wasn’t difficult.

  1. Rush hour only lasts a minute. I once spent an hour going ten miles on one of Chicago’s tollways. The only thing remotely similar about living in a small town is being stuck behind a combine in a no passing zone, but that only lasts a minute.
  2. Fresh country air. Once in a while, you’ll catch a whiff of a confinement building, but that usually means something has gone wrong. Even then it’s way better than city smog.
  3. Friends everywhere you go. Saturday morning I had breakfast with a recently widowed acquaintance at the Honey Hole. He used to come with his wife. Now he comes alone. Why? I thought maybe it would be so he didn’t have to cook. But no, he said he comes because he always gets to eat breakfast with someone he knows.
  4. Quick access to hunting and fishing.. I don’t hunt. Many of my friends do. They don’t need to take a vacation to go hunting. A day off will do. I’ve even known some to schlep off to the lake before or after work.
  5. Your banker knows you. It’s harder to steal your identity because they know your face and your voice. Canceling a credit card that just jacked your rates won’t make it less likely you’ll get a loan.
  6. The shopkeepers know where you live. Being absent-minded, I’ve been known to get distracted and drive off without paying for my gas or to forget to bring my wallet when I go downtown. It’s embarrassing, but not a disaster. When I forgot to pay for the gas, the attendant simply called my home and asked me to come back and pay. When I forgot my wallet, I got one day same as cash. You can’t abuse this privilege without losing it, but if you’re square with folks, they’ll put up with an occasional goof.
  7. You can be yourself. In a small town, people probably know you better than you know yourself. If you grew up here, it’s certain. You can drop the act. It’s one of the reasons we have so many characters.
  8. Your kids can get into the paper without being delinquents Small town papers are loaded with good news. They report on the school sports, run pictures of the citizen of the week at the elementary school and cover all manner of community events. Grandpa gets in the paper,too. The Wapello Republican has been running a nice series by Connie Street (an occasional contributor to this blog) on the war-time experiences of our local veterans.
  9. Better elder care. Small towns do a much better job of helping people stay in their own homes. If skilled care should be needed, small town nursing homes treat the patients like beloved grandparents. They often are.
  10. Everyone can be on the team. In general, sports and extracurricular activities are not limited to the most talented. Obviously, the more-talented kids carry most of the load, but anyone can participate. The same is true for adults. There are lots of opportunities to try new things.

Well, there you are. Ten real advantages to living in a small town. And I haven’t even gotten to things like the cost of living or the ease of starting a new business, or…

The point is, I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to spend the last 18 years living in small towns and I want to thank the friend who challenged me to tell you why.

P.S. I took the picture from my porch.

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