I shared in my about page that I live in the small town I grew up in and that I’m all about community. By small town, I mean that when we drove down the hard road, we pretty much knew everyone we passed and we waved. When I look back on this, I wonder, is waving characteristic of all small towns or was I raised in a family and an era where there was a true appreciation for community. I’m pretty sure that a simple wave was and is a very accepted gesture in small towns and it wasn’t only my village and my family. With our population now topping 4,000, it’s nearly impossible to know everyone and the wave seems to have literally gone by the wayside.
Community – You Pick The Size
For me, a community can be experienced in all shapes and sizes. From a simple exchange with Angie the mail lady to a yell across the lawn to a neighbor, all is meaningful to me. I have an appreciation for the familiarity and comfort that I find in the simplicity of my small town. Family, church, neighborhood, the grocery store, and don’t forget about the club – there’s fellowship everywhere. Many years ago, BF and I lived in Ohio for 2 1/2 years because of a job transfer. The population of the town was 35,000, and I’ll never forget the first time I saw someone I knew at the grocery store. Now for most people that’s not a big deal and some people may prefer the anonymity, but for me, running into someone you know at the grocery store was and is the norm. So there really was a reason my mom never left the house without lipstick.
It’s a numbers game. Coming from a large family meant the probability of multiple family members staying in the area was high. So it happened. Out of the 10 kids, 5 of us are in town, and one just 40 minutes away. Oh, and don’t forget about the extended family of nieces and nephews. What a blessing this is and even though we don’t see each other as often as you’d think, we know we are close by. I’m sure that while I was growing up, the idea that a large family was a blessing, never crossed my mind. Well, as soon as adulthood hit, and then, of course, children of my own, a real appreciation grew for this community I call family. I wish I had a more recent picture of the clan, but feel free to head over to the post on The Story Behind The Box,(click here) and you will see a photo, circa 1963. For me, this picture really encapsulates the feeling of our generation. LOVE. IT.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – club days. What could be better than knowing the same group will be there to push you along with encouragement, laughter, and updates on everything from how many inches of rain we got, to when is ‘the Donald’ going to change that hair. Any kind of conversation is welcomed and knowing they are there makes rolling out of bed at the crack of dawn just a little easier. This time of the day and this part of my community have really become important to me. I call it ‘the club’ but it’s this beautiful metal building at the edge of town. Don’t expect a sauna, coffee bar, hot towels or the amenities you might experience in a larger city, but for me, it’s perfect. Love these girls!
Thanks, Mom and Dad
I guess I have my parents to thank. Yes, I left for college and twice for jobs, but I kept coming back to Freeburg. Small-town living might not be for everyone, but for me, it works. The history of being baptized in the same church as my parents and attending the same grade school and high school has a lot of meaning for me. Sure our village has ups and downs but it’s the history and the appreciation for the simplicity that makes everything OK. This weekend it will be two years that I’m back in town and living in the house my mom grew up in. No, it’s not the big house in the country, but I’m loving my walks to church, my yells across the yard, a mail lady I know, the club, and just about everything else.
I would like to encourage you to think about the many little communities you encounter throughout your day; your job, the stores you visit, the neighbors you interact with – all making up your community experience. Share your comments below and start the conversation. I look at this blog as being a community and would love to hear your thoughts. Let’s do it!
Thanks so much for stopping by. Rose