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Decorating, shopping, and finding the best price
Life, love and raising kids
Along with do-hickeys, what-cha-ma-call-its, and thing-a-ma-jigs
We’re just two Texas girls
Straight from the sticks
The only thing we won’t gab about
Is religion and politics!
SUSAN: I grew up in the city. Every summer, we visited my grandparents, who lived in a small community. It was like The Andy Griffith show come to life. I loved it. My husband grew up in small towns. I always envied him. So, we jumped at the chance to raise our kids in that kind of atmosphere.
Things happen here that never happen anywhere else. People will tell you hello and ask how you’re doing. And they aren’t just asking to be kind. They’ll call you by name, and they give you the benefit of the doubt, especially when your kids go to the same school, are on the same little league team, or play football together. If the mailman can’t deliver something to your nephew who lives out in the country, he’ll bring it to you instead.
Someone always knows what’s going on at your house. My cousin once came from out of town to visit, and when I got to work, my coworker wanted to know whose Harley was parked in my driveway before 8 a.m. If you get a delivery and you’re gone, your neighbor will sign for it. Of course, they’ll want to know what you ordered. If there’s a death in the family, they’ll bring food and ask whether you need anything. If they see someone at your house and know you’re not there, they’ll tell you about it. Whether you want to know or not.
At first, it was a little stifling, especially when you’re private people like my husband and me. But we learned to dodge the questions we didn’t want to answer and appreciate the fact that they really do care.
ANN: Unlike Susan, I grew up in a small town. A really, really, small town…population 312. At least, that was the count during my day. And although it now has a whopping 1,253 residents, it’s still considered small.
During this COVID-19 situation, I’ve thought more about how I grew up, and because of that, the pandemic hasn’t been so hard on me. Staying home without much to do was a way of life. In the summer, we’d go out to play and stay until dark, only coming inside to eat dinner (which is now called lunch).
I loved the sound of our screen door slamming because it announced my daddy was home from work. I cherish the time spent sitting on the porch, peeling peaches or shelling peas hanging on every word of the stories my grandmother told.
I grew up without air conditioning, color TV, local movie theaters and restaurants. The social life in my hometown consisted of school and church activities such as Bible school and sporting events, along with the occasional school dance.
The most trouble we got into was turning on the lights at the football field, toilet-papering someone’s house, or spray-painting our year of graduation on the water tower. (Not me because I was afraid of heights)
We had a theater for a while, but it burned down—twice! Each summer, a big truck hauled in a roller-skating rink and set it up on a vacant lot. When it left, the medicine show took its place for a couple of weeks. Each night, they sold a magic elixir that was guaranteed to cure what ailed you. They also featured a magician and held talent contests for local folks. I entered one year, singing “Cross Over the Bridge” by Patti Page, and won third place!
I’m not sure that counted as my fifteen minutes of fame, but then again, to quote small-town girl Miranda Lambert, “everyone dies famous in a small town.”
**Do you have a favorite small-town memory you’d like to share? Leave it in the comments following this blog post.
Find out more about Ann Everett/Emma Ames: https://www.anneverett.com