I didn't realize how much I missed living in a small town until we moved back to Missouri. There are certainly disadvantages, but the advantages far outweigh them. Plus, it's just easy, peaceful, and relaxing.
There are things like deciding we need some Red Diamond Sweet Tea at 8:30 p.m. and walking with Dawson and Crusoe to the grocery store to get it.
Speaking of the grocery store .... it may not have a lot of variety and the prices might be higher at times, but the lack of variety actually causes me to spend less in the end. Plus they have advertised specials that the box stores just don't have.
And there's something kind of sweet about bumping into my dad while I'm in there.
There are very few restaurants in town, but who needs them when you've got the Dairy Queen? Hamburgers, foot long hot dogs, ice cream cones and Mister Misty's (that's what we called them in the day ... now they are the Arctic Rush??) are all we need for lunch or dinner if we are wanting to eat out.
And see the green house beyond the Dairy Queen? That's my parents' house. We can walk right there and eat on their front porch.
Walking. We do a lot of that as a family.
And bike riding. In fact, the kids and I very rarely go anywhere anymore that we don't ride our bikes.
If you broke your vacuum cleaner belt, chances are you would run to Walmart for a replacement, right? And you would stand there for about 30 minutes trying to figure out which one you needed for your particular vacuum, right? And you would probably buy the wrong one that you would have to take back and get a different one, right? Yeah ... been there, done that. But our local hardware store is a woman's dream. On Tuesday afternoon I walked in, handed Tim (the salesperson who is always there who immediately asked me if I needed some help) my broken vacuum cleaner belt, and waited all of 10 seconds for him to come back with the one I needed. They are always so helpful and have exactly what I need. Sure beats the hassle of Walmart.
Our library is small, and I cannot homeschool exclusively from it like I used to be able to do with the Tulsa Public Library system. However, they know us by name, hold books back for us that they think we will like, and call me to make sure my kids are on time to sign up for whatever class they are having next.
Just a short drive out of town, in any direction, you will find an Amish store of some kind. We live in the thick of Amish country. I buy all of my plants, flowers, and gardening seeds and such at the Amish greenhouses for a fraction of the cost of larger nurseries and home improvement chains. A fraction. You can also get the most amazing local products there ... like honey, peaches, and homemade washcloths. I won't hardly use anything but these crocheted washcloths anymore. Amazing! The visit there is always so pleasant and the kids are so cute!
Our dog groomer texted me the day after she groomed Crusoe to make sure Dawson liked it; my mom stopped by to sit and talk on the porch swing while she was on a walk with her dog; people stop when driving by to yell to us that the painting and stuff we are doing to our house looks nice; and my neighbors keep me supplied with zucchini and squash, homemade salsa, freshly caught and filleted crappie, and homemade jellies and applesauce.
Life in a small town is so rich and rewarding and I recommend it to anyone who is tired of the hustle and bustle of big city or suburban life. I know we have never been happier.
If you want to see more reflections of my small town living, you can follow me on Instagram at @nikki_taulman.