I grew up in a small town. I can relate to the Miranda Lambert song “Famous in a Small Town.” Through the school years, it was easy to find yourself in the newspaper fairly regularly. Most everyone knew everyone else. It was the kind of place where you were almost certain to see people you knew anywhere you went.
Now I live in a much larger town. There are pros and cons to either big or small. I have come to appreciate the convenience of a larger town. Businesses tend to have longer hours, and there are just so many more stores, restaurants, parks, museums, etc. to choose from. The main con in my mind, other than traffic, is the very lack of “everyone knows everyone else.” There are tens of thousands of people living in our town. It’s not unusual for us to go out on errands without seeing anyone we know, or to play at the park without seeing anyone we know, etc.
I was pleasantly surprised to experience that small town feel last weekend. Our town was having its annual celebration of, I don’t know, just of community I suppose. There doesn’t seem to be any particular occasion, but there is a 5k race and a parade.
My daughter and I did the 5k (better late than never in getting that “summer” 5k in with her – good thing she was patient as she waited for my knee to heal up). We saw several people we know at the race. Nice. We then headed to the parade, and by coincidence, we ended up right next to people we know as we watched. In the parade itself, we saw the kids’ ice skating instructor, my son’s current baseball coach, a baseball teammate, a friend, our Pastor, a friend’s big sister, a fellow homeschool mom, a former teacher, a former classmate, my husband, and a lot of familiar faces from political events. It felt small-town to me in the best way.
Like I said, I enjoy the conveniences that a larger community can offer, but I don’t want to feel like a stranger in a strange land. I am glad that our big town can feel like a small town sometimes.
P.S. I don’t know these people, but isn’t it awesome?!?