I lived 15 minutes away from the downtown area of our small town. I had cousins who lived next door and my grandparents weren't 5 miles away. Our neighbors knew us (and didn't hesitate to tattle to my parents if I did something wrong). I always felt like Country Mouse when we went into town. It was an event. My mother would take time to curl her hair and make sure her make-up and clothes were just right.
As I got older, small town was a little bit more fun. Cruising main street was the thing to do. People from even smaller towns would come in and I met some of the greatest people. We had fun, went muddin', laughed, and got in trouble. After all, what else is there to do in a small town? But I dreamed of getting out of this small town and moving onto bigger and better things.
I left just after high school and moved to Long Island, New York to be a nanny. Life got in the way and I had to go back home. I stayed in the same area, moving to a smaller town after I got married. In 2004, we moved to a town that was, well, let's just say it wasn't ideal :) Drug dealers were my neighbors and more than once the cops had to be called. We moved to a little tiny town into a house that I loved so much. It was a perfect setting.
We got bored and moved onto a town just outside of Tulsa, OK. It was a small housing community, but a big enough town. But it wasn't enough. There was something missing. We moved back to Michigan and stayed with my dad in a small town. It threw me off for the longest time. For 6 years, I had lived in anonymity. Now, neighbors would stop by and say hello or have a beer with Dad. I liked it, yet I still felt out of my element.
We left Dad's and moved to the U.P. (Yeah, I know! Quit laughing!) But guess what? I love my small town. Do you want to know why? Because when I go to the store, I run into people I know. I go to get groceries and the cashiers know who I am. People sitting on their front porches wave as you drive by. I step onto my college campus and I have friends there. Just yesterday, I was leaving what they call a mall here and ran into a friend from school. We stood outside chatting about summer and upcoming classes. It felt good! At the beginning of summer, I stopped by the beach to dip my toes in the water. A woman was walking her dog on the beach. Her little girl came up and took a hold of my hand before she, too, dipped her toes in the water. I saw this little girl in the store the other day and she remembered me. She kept waving at me from her mother's shopping cart. I smiled and said "Hello" to her. My heart was a little lighter. Only in a small town can a complete stranger become a new friend.
Come visit Cedar River and experience small town living at its best! Have week filled with blessings and joy!