Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Small Town

I grew up in a small town.

It was a little town along the Illinois River in the heart of the state. We rode bikes, played ball, played tag, hide and seek, kick the can and enjoyed the outdoors. We splashed through puddles when it rained and built forts and had snowball fights when it snowed. The ages of the kids varied greatly with young kids playing with and being watched out for by the older kids.

It was a good childhood.

Now I live in a different small town.

This one is in the Ozarks of southwest Missouri.  As we were driving out of our neighborhood a few nights ago, we slowed to allow the kids to get out of the street. The younger ones were playing and the older ones were watching out for them. There were balls, skateboard and bicycles in the yards. The kids ranged from pre-school age to high schoolers.
Chris commented about how it felt good to see kids playing outside rather than being inside playing video games; how it seemed more natural.

Yeah, it did feel good.

Last week I was out riding on the motorcycle and approaching town from the east on a two lane state hwy. Less than a mile from Ozark the westbound traffic pulled over and parked on the shoulder to allow an eastbound funeral procession to pass. It's still what we do in the rural areas of the Midwest.

Sometimes we might complain that our restaurant choices are limited or that there isn't much to do in Ozark, but we are only a few miles from the hundreds (literally) of restaurants in Springfield, from the attractions of Branson or from the lakes of the Ozarks.
There are rivers to be paddled, lakes to be fished, trails to be hiked and plenty of things to do for big kids in the great outdoors.

Living in the rural areas of the Midwest can be an easy, relaxing way of life. We are just a few miles from the state's third largest city and only a few hours from St. Louis or Kansas City. I know that these are small cities by comparison to most, but they offer much to the many small communities in the Midwest.

I feel blessed to have lived in small towns.

John <><

1 comment:

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Living in a small town does have its appeal! And Ozark is so convenient to restaurants, baseball, and other things.