I recently read something, where the author made mention of the “fly over” states. That irked me. Every single time I hear that expression or read it being used by an east or west coast inhabitant, I cringe. What they are in essence saying is, the majority of the states in this country (Mid-West, the Great Plains, the Deep South, the Desert South West) are just states that one will fly over to get to the big cities on either coast, they aren’t worth stopping at for a visit. Even though I grew up in Maryland, only thirty minutes from Baltimore and an hour from D.C., I lived in the country. I appreciated small town life. I saw beauty in the rural landscapes, and the wide open spaces.
Anyone that knows me, or has been reading my blog for any amount of time, knows that I have a nostalgia for small town America. Are small towns perfect? No. Things happen in small towns too, and not always good things. I have to say though, that it is nice to live somewhere where people actually know your name, or at least your face. There is a familiarity that is comfortable. For me, there is peace that comes with quiet, and calm that comes from open space. Neither quiet, nor open spaces are easy to come by in the big cities.
I’ve mentioned before on several occasions that I have enjoyed the old On The Road segments by the late Charles Kuralt. He had a gift for finding the story inside of each person…..no matter how quirky. I am currently reading Bill Geist’s book, Way Off The Road. He is following in the footsteps of Kuralt, who went before him, narrating the interesting stories on the back roads of America. My next set of books will be Garrison Keillor’s writings on Lake Wobegon.
I know that bad stuff still happens in small towns, and good stuff can happen in big cities, and that no one place is a utopia. That aside, there are some aspects of small town life, that I wish we could all go back to……..
Main Street U.S.A
Local five and dime stores, not huge box stores
Farm land and farmer’s markets and fresh produce that is actually from America
God and country…and Sunday was special.
Parades to celebrate life and liberty…..with hot dogs and hamburgers and ice cold sodas while we watched.
God Bless America and God bless our military.
Front porches were for visiting with neighbors and time slowed down
Local diners that served up good ‘ol comfort food and no one thought about calories
Riding the back roads looking for something to do and finding out of the way places
Sweet tea out of a mason jar….because is there anything better?