Saturday, April 19, 2008

The World Is Mine

Here are some truths from my small town that have struck me as incredibly funny.

We live on the side of the road. When people who are driving out here want a landmark and I tell them that we're right beside the church, they'll ask, "What's the church beside?" And I'll respond, "Nothing. There's road and then there's the church and our house and then there's more road." We are literally in the middle of nowhere.

We are 15 minutes from fast food and a grocery store.(We have a little hometown gas station with some staples for sale, but according to Small Town Rules the store opens and closes when the owners show up not on some sort of schedule. I'm a particular fan of this sort of quirkiness. It suits my crazy family.) We are 30 minutes from a shopping mall and 30 minutes from the orthodontist and 20 minutes from the elementary school and 45 minutes from the dentist and 30 minutes from Wal-Mart.

And let me be perfectly clear here, I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it. Everyone I know who lives In Town would be happier if they moved into the Middle of Nowhere.

It's quiet. The kids can play in the enormous back yard for hours without intense supervision. Everyone knows everyone, so if there's a strange car in my driveway, everyone who lives out here and happens to drive by slows down to take a peek at what's going on. I can call a dozen different people who will be here at a moment's notice to help with any number of things. Like when lightning hit the house--five families here checking for fire in less than three minutes.

And when we called the local fire and rescue when my mother had a spell--at least 12 pick up trucks full of families came to help when they heard it on the scanner. That night I literally drove away from my house following the ambulance and left a neighbor woman and friend who took over bathing my kids and laid out their school clothes and got them ready for bed while The Husband was on the phone calling family.

It's just about the perfect place to raise children. I sit in the mornings and drink my coffee on the screened-in back porch and listen to birds and watch the trees move in the breeze. I wouldn't trade with anyone.

But there are some funny, quirky things going on out here too. Like the businesses. Down a county road near me is a brick house that has a nice, professional sign out front that says: ABC Computer Repair. On the bottom, they've stapled a handmade, painted sign that says: Goats For Sale. Okay then.

And then there's the water tower when you drive Into Town (this is what we call going into any area where there are businesses). Someone has crawled up to the top of the water tower and painted "The World is Mine" in black spray paint. It struck me as sort of ironic considering how small the world is from that particular vantage point.

But the best one ever is an advertisement that really runs on our local a.m. radio station. It's for two businesses owned by the same person. I'm sure he wanted to save money on the advertising, so he combined, but this is sort of how the radio spot goes. (The names are changed to protect the innocent.)

Somber Voice: At XYZ Memorials we sell the finest selection of marble and granite tombstones and can accommodate any special requests blah-blah-blah. (Then the announcer abruptly shifts into Big Car Salesman Voice) And he says: Then stop on in at Fat Daddy's Ice Cream Parlor right next door and get you a double dip of the finest ice cream in the county.

Only in small town life are you moved to paint the water tower as a show of independence, can get your computer repaired while you browse for goats, and I don't know about you, but buying a tombstone for my newly departed just gives me the hankering for a double scoop of chocolate chip mint and butter pecan on a sugar cone, so it's particularly neighborly of Fat Daddy.

Our family finally isn't the most eccentric on the block; we fit right in here. Dude on the water tower might have actually been onto something there. The World IS Mine. :-)

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