Friday, March 4, 2011


Whenever people ask me how I like living in a small town, after having grown up in the city, my answer is always the same; it's pretty much exactly how you would expect it to be.  All the wonderful aspects of living in a close-knit community hold true, and so do all the disadvantages. We are blessed to have met some of the finest people I have ever known, and our children have benefited greatly from the interest they have taken in our family. On the other hand, when your electricity goes out your water doesn't work you can't flush your toilets; a concept that took me about five years to fully grasp.
Every time we would lose power I would find myself saying, "What the heck...why isn't the water going on?" and then my husband would have to remind me that we have a well... and wells require a pump... and pumps require electricity etc., etc., etc.  After 14 years I am finally starting to get the idea though, and if the weather even hints at the possibility that there might be a power outage I fill buckets of water immediately, in advance of the event.
Another interesting situation I had never dealt with in the city was having a driveway that was on a steep incline.  When we first moved to our home we owned two full-sized conversion vans, and all was well until the first snow fall hit.  I still remember my complete and utter shock when, as I was pulling up the driveway with a carload full of groceries, my vehicle, which I had in drive, suddenly went into reverse and rolled back down the driveway.
"What the heck?' I said again. "Why is my car going in reverse when I have it in drive?'  I immediately redoubled my efforts and attempted to get up the driveway by accelerating harder. The end result of this particular idea was that it took less time for my van to roll back down the driveway, than it did when I was driving slower. After several more attempts I admitted defeat.  I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to clear the driveway in order to reach the top of it. I parked the van at the end of the driveway, climbed what now appeared to be the mountain that led to our garage, and got the snow blower out to begin my task. Unfortunately, since the driveway  had not gotten any less steep in the time it took me to get out the snow blower, the snow blower and I suffered the same fate as my van, and we slid down together to the bottom of the driveway.  I now found myself looking longingly at my cozy house, along with my van, my groceries and my snow blower, wondering why we had not noticed how steep our driveway was before we purchased our home. Finally, in a flash of brilliance, I hit upon the solution; I got out one of the girls' sleds.  It only took about 27 trips up and down the driveway to unload the couple of hundred dollars worth of groceries I had purchased, and I considered it a moral victory. 
I have learned many useful things from living out in the country, such as having your children go to college to learn the art of repairing wells as their chosen career.  It has been my experience that it is an extraordinarily lucrative field and one that doesn't suffer layoffs, regardless of the economic climate.  An additional choice would be septic field cleaning.  Never underestimate the value the public places on being able to hire someone else to do that particular job.
Yes, living in a small town is pretty much what you expect it to be; both the good and the bad.  In the end though, there is no doubt that the positive far outweighs the negative.  You find you make friends very quickly in a small town. Your neighbors are over in a blink of an eye to help you push your snow blower back up the driveway, and then, later, you get to laugh about it together when you bring over the fresh baked cookies you made to thank them for their help.


  1. Love this! And we can't forget friends who will bring home your child from school so you don't have to wake your baby from his nap, and the preschool teachers (who are our friends as well) who know us well enough to know that it's okay. :) Oh...and not to mention all the prayers from those very same friends when we need it the most!

    Love your writing, Amy!

    Lisa P.

  2. Never lived in a small town, darn....