I come from a small town. We spent our time walking down to the corner store to get candy, riding four wheelers in the backyard, and snooping in everybody’s business. My neighbor would wait on her porch for me to return home from dates, effectively quashing any front-door kissing shenanigans. If I drove too recklessly, my mother always received an admonishing phone call. If somebody was sick, there were always balloons, flowers, cakes, and casseroles. Most of my stories take place in small towns because it is the very essence of who I am.
It’s also a town of tragedy. There was a mine fire that killed my friends’ daddies. A few years ago there was a mine collapse that you probably heard about on the news. It killed my friends’ husbands. This morning there was a double homicide that rocked the community. Two parents were killed by a shotgun to the face. Five of their children were in the house. One of them was the shooter.
Everybody affects everbody. This isn’t like the city, where you can get lost and be anonymous. These people are friends and neighbors. At the very least, we run into them at the grocery store and post office. You can’t just disappear here and think that you won’t leave a giant hole.
I fled my hometown like I had wings on my feet. I wanted to see something bigger and brighter. But I grew up in a place where actions had consequences, respect was taught, and we always tried to do the right thing. I think that I learned grace and dignity while I was there. I certainly learned how to face adversity.
My heart goes out to everybody back home. Please know that I’m thinking about you.
Well said. My prayers go out to all those affected by this tragedy.
Sounds like we grew up similarly, and in the same part of the country. I feel this one pretty hard.
My favorite part. “I fled my hometown like I had wings on my feet. I wanted to see something bigger and brighter. But I grew up in a place where actions had consequences, respect was taught, and we always tried to do the right thing. I think that I learned grace and dignity while I was there. I certainly learned how to face adversity.” Well said sweets.
This is great…. and, so true! I feel very lucky to have grwon up in the place that I did.
thank you for sharing this, i to am glad that i lived in a small town, and am so thankful i had the opportunity to have you as a friend there, lol i tried the bigger and brighter, did it for 7 years and then moved back home so my kids can have what i had
Alot of people, including my wife at first, often wondered why I would want to move to some small town just over an hour away from where I work near DC, but nothing says it better than that last line of the first paragraph – “Most of my stories take place in small towns because it is the very essence of who I am.” Although everyone might know everyones business there is nothing that can compare with the interaction of a small town, of being known, of feeling like you matter, that you belong there, and that you can actually effect change in those around you!! This was great and thank you for sharing it with us all Mercedes!!
We just don’t have that sense of community in Australia. Most people live near the coast so most places have large populations. I envy your small town upbringing (all apart from the not being able to have any kissing shenanigans).
Thoughts and best wishes to all affected.