There are perks to living in a small town...some were obvious before we ever made the move, and others were unexpected revelations.
Zero traffic lights.
How cute is that? This is one of my most favorite things, and I hope it never changes.
The kind you never realized you haven't "heard". And nope, it's not a bit eerie. One of the few sounds to break up the stillness is a church bell ringing in its quaint tower.
Everything, and I mean everything, is a three-minute drive away.
Forget having any sort of excuse not to run to the grocery store, fill up on gas, or swing by the post office! Local errands are a breeze...but be prepared to travel nearly eighty miles to the nearest Wal-Mart. Youch!
No traffic noise.
This is so impactful that it gets its own separate listing, apart from "utter silence". The highway that runs straight through town is slowed down to a mere 20 miles per hour, so cars, trucks, and 18-wheelers are but a whisper of their roaring engines. I can't tell you how grateful I am for this little fringe benefit, after living on a Vegas intersection that was a re-enactment of The Fast and the Furious at all hours of the day and night. I live my life a quarter mile at a time, too, but preferably without laying rubber at 2:00 A.M. in suburbia.
Drivers wave as they pass by.
You'll quickly find yourself looking forward to this simple gesture of community, poised to see who will be the first to make a move. As someone who is used to cities where slowing down to let someone merge in front of you doesn't even warrant a wave of gratitude, these little howdy-do waves mean a lot.
Vague descriptions are enough to get you everywhere.
In a town this small, any anxiety surrounding which coffee shop or store someone is telling you about goes up in smoke...there's usually only one. To make it even more endearing, natives refer to businesses by names long-since changed, even if it has no relation to the current establishment.
People can walk to work.
And to lunch. And to shopping. And to church. And basically everywhere. So going to the mailbox in your slippers is no longer your only option. Think big! Did I mention that all this walking happens on an authentic dusty Western boardwalk?
The locals recognize you after meeting you just once.
Even if it was a month ago, you'll see their face light up with recognition, they'll pull off the road to say hi, or they'll remember you from the last casual chat you had across a cash register. Clearly there will be no anonymity in a small town, but the personal touch and caring treatment is a much-appreciated trade-off.
Stars you haven't seen in years are visible.
As mentioned in this post, the Milky Way was luminous the first time we visited this remote locale. If you can recommend a good telescope, hit me up - I'm sure the warm weather will bring many more opportunities to stargaze!
Do you live in a small town, or have you spent time visiting some? Which aspects did you appreciate most about them? I'd love to hear about it!