This post is in response to the “the city you live in” prompt from the 52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge.
For most, this is a drive-by town. The kind of place that forces you to slow down on your journey, simply because you have to obey the law when the signs read “reduce speed ahead”. It’s a small stretch of civilization amongst a sea of cornfields. It’s a passing glance or perhaps a stop to refuel and stretch your legs.
Those who have time to spare may cruise down the city streets to see small Main Street businesses flourishing in old brick buildings of times gone by. The town has a touch of class as well as evidence that it’s part of a farm community. There are more churches than banks.
Strangers move in and are greeted by a welcoming smile and homemade brownies. The town is big enough to remain anonymous but small enough to begin to recognize the familiar faces. It’s almost impossible to go outside and not receive a friendly wave or two from a neighbor or someone just passing by.
While most days are slow and without a lot of activity, there are days when the sides of the city streets are lined with the cars of people who travelled miles to visit, sometimes even tour busses. The town is full of talent, craftsmanship, and artistry which attracts visitors from all over the Midwest.
There’s excitement in the air when the high school football team makes it to the state championship. There are small town celebrities who’ve gone on to play college football and everyone claims them with a sense of pride as if they know them personally and they’ve come from the same family.
Almost everyone is a volunteer in some way. There are volunteer firefighters, medics, and organizations which build community and help the poor. When disaster strikes, everyone helps each other.
It’s not all perfect, the city has its share of crime, drugs, and violence. But it’s the kind of thing that most don’t hear or know about. There is always a friendly officer patrolling the town, talking to the locals, or even just stopping to pet a dog.
It’s the kind of place that’s easy to call home, a place you’re always wishing had more of the big city offerings, but would also find hard to leave.