Saturday, January 23, 2021

Life in a Real Small Town - Laura Ashwood

I didn't grow up in a small town, but I live in one. Okay...near one. Sort of. We are 20 miles from the closest town, which has a population of 102. The town that we are "technically" in - 22 miles away - has about 2800 people, and a small grocery store. We don't have delivery, we don't have fast food restaurants. 

Small town stories, Christmas movies (Valentine movies, summer romance movies) and series like Sweet Magnolias, make small towns look so amazing. The place you loved growing up and either couldn't bring yourself to leave, or couldn't wait to move back. Everyone is friendly. Everyone lends a hand, and there is always one quirky person in town that everyone loves. 

I love those stories and movies too. But my small town life is nothing at all like that. In fact, I think I would say that, at least in the state I live, if you didn't grow up in the small town you live in, you will always be an outsider. No matter how long you live there. That can be good and bad. The people that have lived here all their lives never get rid of the reputation they may have had in high school for doing stupid things like tipping cows, stealing tractors, or other miscellaneous shenanigans. 

Some of the things I love though, and would never trade, are being able to stop and get corn on the cob at a farm stand on the side of the road where the corn is already in bags and you just slip your money in the wooden lockbox before you go. Being able to walk down Main Street and stop at pretty much every store in town without having to get back into my car. We can take our grandkids to the local lake, where kids still do cannonballs into the lake and there is no lifeguard (ok, that part might not be so great). 

In the winter, our towns plow snow into huge piles in the intersections. They come by later with a dump truck to move it...where, I still don't know. And while we don't have fast food, we do have a little bar that has the best burgers I've ever had (along with several taxidermized black bears to keep you company).

We don't have huge winter festivals like the small towns in the Christmas movies, and there is no cute coffee shop or bakery in either of the towns we are near. But in the summer, we still have old fashioned parades down the main streets of our little towns in our summer and fall festivals with fun names like Agate Days, Corn & Clover Days, Quarry Days, and Rutabaga Days. So...there's still hope. 

What are your small towns like?


Summer at Bluefin Bay is set in the fictional small town of Bluefin Bay, NC. It's about one woman's journey to find herself after her entire life is turned upside down. It's one of 12 full length novels written by some really talented authors as part of a boxed set called "A Place to Belong", now on pre-order for just $.99. 


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