Small Town Charm

Main Street Bldg Chesterton IN 2012
By GKChest (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons 

I love my small town and I love that they want to be a small town.

I love living close enough to the center of town that we can walk to virtually anything we need.

I love that the people in the town still trust one another and like to live the slow life.

Last Friday was one of those days where I got to experience my town at its best. Nurturing and caring for one another and doing things that you don’t often see when you’re in the city.

We had some errands to walk–not drive, walk.

The library was our first stop so the girls could turn in their art projects as part of the summer reading program. Miss Crafty was carrying a 3 foot, 3 legged cardboard robot.

On our way there we have to cross Main Street. A good old fashioned small town 2 lane Main Street very similar to the one pictured above.

The beauty of the culture in my town is that people still stop for pedestrians in the cross walk. There are still places in America where this happens and I’m very fortunate to live in one.

As I was half way across the street, Miss Crafty lost her flip flop in the middle of the road. At this time we were backing up traffic–a whole 2 cars were waiting for us.

small shoes in road

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Miss Crafty stops, picks up her shoe and instead of slipping it on she decides to hop on one foot back to the side of the road while balancing her robot in the other hand.

I wish I had remembered to take a picture of her robot before she turned it in. The body was a shoe box from The Husband’s work boots and had a flat piece of cardboard as the head. Holding the head up were two guide wires going toward the robot’s back. His eyes were soda cans covered in construction paper and a mouth made out of old bathroom molding. The arms and legs were made out of foam insulation and she found 3 cardboard shoe molds to use as the feet.

She did a wonderful job scrounging for junk to build this thing and she wasn’t about to sacrifice it in the middle of the road for something as useless as a shoe.

The Inventor couldn’t let her be alone so she stops dead in the middle of the road and runs back. Meanwhile I’m 3/4 of the way across wondering why the girls aren’t with me any more.

So I stop. Right there in the middle of the road looking at my children standing on the sidewalk on the other side. Instead of going back, I simply tell them to come.

This is why I love my town. The people in the cars who stopped to let us cross were not annoyed and nobody honked their horn. They were not getting impatient or even looking upset by having to wait an extra minute so the mama bear was not left on the other side of the road from the baby cubs. Instead they were laughing.

By the looks on their faces, they were not making fun of my girls, they were laughing because the entire situation was just amusing.

We made it to the library without any further incidents so the girls could turn in their projects and earn their shirts. We walked across the parking lot to the bank where they still give DumDums to kids.

Then came the best part of the walk.

The girls have been saving their money to spend it at the sweet shop that opened a few months ago. They have been looking forward to the time when I would say, “Yes, we can stop.”

Friday was that day. They had brought their purses and were ready to spend their dollars.

LoggaWiggler / Pixabay

They stood at the counter and selected 10 cent rootbeer barrels and 25 cent boxes of Boston Baked Beans. They each bought a bag of candy coated gum and sticks of sugar crystals. The only limit I set on them was that they had to pay for it themselves.

They felt so grown up.

The cashier was the one who made the experience the best. She wouldn’t talk to me. She addressed each girl as they came to buy their candy. Calling them mam the entire time.

“That will be $3.37 mam.”

She waited patiently for The Inventor to dig $4.00 out of her purse.

“Would you like your purchases in a bag? And would you like your receipt mam?”

It wasn’t about picking out the candy, although that was an awesome reward. It was about the extra time that the cashier took to address each one of my girls. She enjoyed it just about as much as they did, playing store right along with them, giving them their items and a little extra attention.

We often do our shopping in the city, nearly an hour away. Things are cheaper and there is a larger variety. I usually ride with The Husband to work and we run our errands during the day. It saves on fuel since he would be making the drive anyways.

But there is something about shopping in a small town that makes it special. People are slower out here. They take the time to really care about you, even if it is just the cashier.

It isn’t about getting in and out of the store faster or how much you spend–although the store owners do have to worry about their bottom line–it is more about customer relations and providing that experience.

So yes, I live in Small Town USA. I live in that place where everyone smiles and people wave as you’re driving down the road.

And I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

~Crystal

 

Remembering why my grass is green:

LoggaWiggler / Pixabay

LoggaWiggler / Pixabay

  • I spent too much time in the sun last week and made myself a little sick. I’m thankful I have family that understands and allows me to rest when it is needed.
  • We are settled into our summer routine. The girls are finding creative ways to fill boring days.
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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Heather
    Jun 09, 2014 @ 17:20:30

    I love living in a small town! Ours has grown a bit since I was little, but it still has a lovely main street that we are frequenting more and more. It is amazing how much has actually arrived in our little downtown area, and now we are able to buy pretty much everything we could think of in town, instead of driving to the much larger city a bit north of us.

    Like

    Reply

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