Written by: Shane Warren, Publisher
Have you ever heard the say “you can take the boy out of the country. But you can’t take the country out of the boy”? Well, that saying could not be more true for most men who grew up in small towns throughout the United States. And I find this especially true here in the great state of Texas! The list of reasons why small town living is the best is almost endless. But let me share with you my top 12 reasons we love living in a small town:
The Importance of Having Comfortable Roots
No, I’m not talking about the roots of a tree. I’m talking about the comfort of knowing as a young child, you will not just be yanked out of school, just to find yourself moving on and trying to adjust to a new town and a new school. It is always important for children to make friends so they can learn important life skills that are not taught in big city schools because of the lack of time to devote to each individual student. The adults can also benefit from comfortable roots. They can feel safer when they go out of town on vacation cause they will know their neighbors will look out for their house. When you have comfortable roots you are always happy to live there and raise a family there.
You know Pete, for Pete’s sake!
That’s right. Everyone knows everyone in a small town. Of course, there’s always a drawback to this one. The gossip spreads like wildfire in any small town. If you don’t want to be part of the beauty shop conversation. Then I suggest you keep your nose clean! But for the most part, the conversations around town are harmless and everyone genuinely cares about everyone and take care of their own. Most people in a small town would give you the shirt off their back just to help you out.
You feel very comfortable with your bus driver and teachers
Chances are, your mom and dad have known your school bus driver since they were kids. There is such a comfort in knowing that your child is going to safe when they step up on the school bus each morning. And the same can be said for the ride home in the afternoon.
Teachers are more like your second parents than anything else. Generally, your kindergarten teacher can watch a student go from his or her class and all the way up through the sixth grade and sometimes beyond. The classes were always smaller as well. This was great because each student gets much more attention in this type of environment. I really loved my teachers, and I know they were fond of me!
Strong family ties
Families living in a small town tend to have a closer nitch than families in the big cities. I have come to realize that people in the smaller towns and communities have never lost the true values of life that were set so long ago. Yes sir, yes ma’am is still are still common to hear when speaking with someone from a small town. This is especially true when us kids are addressing our parents. We were are always close to our siblings growing up. And as in my case, we are still close, decades later.
Neighbors are close
And I don’t mean houses are on top of each other, either. What I mean is your neighbors know you. You’re good friends with your neighbors and your parents are friends with their parents. It’s pretty common that you share many events with your neighbors. I still remember of those 4th of July picnics and pool parts with just about the entire neighborhood just before the town’s big fireworks display just after dark.
Sunday morning church
We might have all been divided into different denominations and worshipped in different buildings. But you better believe most people in the town was up early Sunday morning and in church just after breakfast. I’m not saying people in the larger cities don’t go to church. Because many do! But in small towns there is just something special about worshipping in a place where your neighbors and friends are more like family. Heck, if you don’t sit up straight, the preacher is liable to call you out by name!
Quiet and relaxing
When was the last time you went outside your home and not heard the hustle and bustle that comes along with living in the city? You generally are free of that when living in a small town. Sometimes when going outside, you feel like you’re a million miles away from everything. The fresh air, the beauty of nature all around is something I think even city people need from time to time.
Home-cookin‘ at the diner
You literally don’t have to step very far from your driveway to get a home-cooked meal. You just have the benefit of not having to slave over the stove or clean up afterward. But the food is almost, yes almost as good as mama’s homestyle favorites.
It is also a place where the older gentlemen get together for morning coffee and catch up on yesterday’s doing’s about the town and even the world. If you are a youngster and just think you know all there is to know about life. Just have a seat at the next booth and just listen to some of the stories these old men have. I promise you’ll walk away with just a bit more knowledge that you came in with.
Home-grown fruits and Vegetables
I really don’t know what could taste better than garden fresh fruits and vegetables. You can forget to worry of wondering what on God’s green earth what kind of chemicals your produce has been polluted with before it even reaches the market.
Who needs the malls?
Personally, I can’t stand going to a large shopping complex, much less fighting the traffic to get there! So many small towns offer just about anything you could ever need and without paying the big city prices. And yes, even small town America has a Wal-Mart nearby. And don’t forget the hidden gems like antique stores and even the flea markets still strive in small towns.
I would challenge anyone who lives in the big city to show me a more beautiful sunset that you will witness almost nightly when you live away from the big lights and skyscrapers that hinder such a view. And have you ever seen a spectacular view of the sun setting over a pond in the open spaces? Oh my gosh! There is very little on earth that will set your heart at peace when taking in such a beautiful sight!
Friday Night Lights!
And last, but certainly not last! Friday night high school football! Have you ever watched the award-winning television series, Friday Night Lights? Well if you have, you know that the folks in the fictional small town of Dillon, Texas are beyond crazy about their Panthers! Heck, pretty much the whole town shuts down on Friday evenings for each home game.
This might come as somewhat of a surprise. But like the Friday Night Lights series, much of the same happens each and every Friday night during the fall. People in real life love their high school football and is the talk of choice year round. There is so much pride in beating the rival small town team from just 50 miles down the road!