Born in a Small Town

Posted: June 7, 2011 in Life
Tags: , ,

I was born in a small town and pretty much every line from John Mellencamp’s song applies to me. My parents live in a small town, I was educated in a small town, and was taught to fear Jesus in the same small town. Only difference really is that I don’t currently live in one and up until the past year or so–I was good with that. But it seems like the older I get, the more I find myself wanting to go back to my roots–not necessarily MY small town, but A small town.

Some people can’t fathom living somewhere where the closest grocery store is 15 miles away and the closest mall is 30. I can’t fathom eventually settling down and living somewhere where I don’t end up knowing at least 75% of the people. I’ve always told people my hometown had a population of 450, but I don’t even know if that’s much. It’s approximately four blocks by seven blocks, and one of those blocks is unpaved. We’re surrounded by gravel roads and if you’re from where I’m from, you’ve probably peed on at least 1/3 of them.

There are some other telltale signs that go along with being born in a small town. Here’s a few of them:

  • Your entire class fit on ONE page in the yearbook.
  • Even when you managed to avoid trouble, you got in trouble because your parents knew the town cop.
  • You know exactly what I mean when I say these phrases: booze cruising, road tripping, and gravel jamming.
  • You’ve heard at least two of the following: “I’ve heard of it…where is that again?”, “Did you even HAVE a football team?”, “You graduated with HOW many people?”
  • You’ve done “stuff” either in, or on, a piece of farm equipment.
  • Your mail was sent to a P.O. Box.
  • You grew up with a bar and a post office in town, but no grocery store.
  • You got gas at a Cardtrol.
  • Traffic jams only happened during harvest season at the Co-Op.
  • Yield signs outnumbered stop signs four to one.
  • When the town mechanic finished changing the oil in your car–he drove it back to your house and walked back to the shop.
  • During your town’s garage sale day, the town triples in size.
  • You saw more stars from your own back porch than anywhere else you’ve ever been.

I get that for every argument someone has for a small town–someone else has a counter argument for a big city. All I’M saying is that I’ve gone from small town to big town–and I reckon when it’s all said and done I’m going to end up back in a small town.

I want my kids to go to a school where they could literally be in every sport and every club if they so choose. I want to sit on my front porch and not see a single car go by. I want to be able to go on a walk at 11 o’clock at night and not be scared. I want to be able to lay in my backyard and see stars and hear crickets. And if the mood so strikes me, I want to be able to walk out my back door and cop a squat. You know where you can do that? A small town. And to quote Mr. Mellencamp one last time–that’s probably where they’ll bury me.

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Comments
  1. Melanie says:

    I hear ya Steph, but unlike you I want to live in a big city. I live in the Twin Cities now but, I would love to live in London on day and that has population in the millions.

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