Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to johnc@cfra.org.

Friday, October 27, 2006

My Town, My Home

My town. My home.

By Rhea Landholm, rheal@cfra.org, Center for Rural Affairs

“Small town trap with dreams of breaking out.”

These words are sung by the popular band, Eve 6 in their 1998 song, “Small Town Trap.” I agreed completely with this song as the first line is “suffocate from lack of stimulation.”

As a senior in high school, all I could think about was getting out. Small towns definitely were a trap. If I stayed, I was stuck here forever.

Four years later, I am beginning to rethink. There are a lot of benefits to small towns. I would much rather raise kids in an environment where the whole community nurtures your children. I don’t want to worry about a lot of traffic, or a lot of strangers coming through town.

I would much rather start a business in my hometown than in a city. The citizens of my hometown have watched me grow. They know me, they know my work ethic and they would welcome me with open arms.

I also don’t want to see my hometown fail as I’m looking in from the outside. Sure, I could commerce here, but I would love to start a business in one of the empty storefronts that line Main Street.

As Montgomery Gentry says in his 2002 song “My Town,” “Where I was born, where I was raised/Where I keep all my yesterdays… This is my town.”

My town. Where I grew up, where I will settle, where I will raise my kids. My town. Where I know everyone at the grocery store, bank, and post office. My town. My home.

post a question or comment here or contact John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.

7 Comments:

  • At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have to say this is such a great article.
    Small town vs. Big City will always be debated. I do believe that all teenagers feel trapped and you know what? I think they do need to leave the small town. I think they need to get out and experience the world and see what it has to offer. I think there are lots of opportunities out there for young adults to take advantage of.
    I think that Rural Americans get so offended when we hear young adults talk about leaving our precious small towns and I think thats wrong because many of those young adults come to realize like Rhea that living in a small town isn't a trap. She is absolutely right when she says there is no better place to raise a family and live the rest of their lives.
    Sometimes you have to leave that small town security to realize that the grass isn't really that much greener on the other side.
    Living in a small town isn't for everyone, but most people that live in a large city really do long for that small town life.
    Thanks Rhea for the wonderful post!

     
  • At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree. A great post. And it highlights one worry. While Rhea cares about returning, she may not have the opportunity. And if she does not return, it is quite likely that her children will have no basis upon which to form the desire that Rhea has. Stated differently, as we find more and more people one generation removed from a small town, it becomes difficult to pull upon a desire to return. At that point, we must try to nurture a desire to relocate. And relocating to a more rural area is much more difficult to encourage. So, this post highlights, at least to me, the urgency with which we must act.

    Thus, as you can tell, I question the prior comment's closing comment. I am not so sure that "most people that live in a large city really do long for that small town life." I think it more likely that those who have experienced it really do long for it. But I don't know if those with little or no experience have that same desire. That is, to them, rural life remains an unknown (despite all the talk about its benefits--which I agree with).

     
  • At 9:28 AM, Blogger Kaix said…

    Hi,
    we are celebrating BlogDay2006 (http://www.blogday.org/) and recommended your blog on Farmblogger's.
    http://farmblogger.de/archives/39-Heute-BlogDay-2006.html
    Bye
    Kai

     
  • At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I guess that may be right. Most city people don't want to live in a small town. Thats good because if they did, it would just be another stupid city.

     
  • At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Very interesting comments about small towns. I grew up in a small town and moved to the city. Now at 58 years old and retiring I have been thinking about what moving to a small town (a different one) would be like. Have they changed very much in the last 40 years. I sure that have with the Interent they say the even the World Is Flat, to borrow the title of the current best seller. I will be going on visits to surrounding small towns to see what they are like and reporting my visits in a web site I have set up at http://www.smalltownretirement.com. If anyone has comments on small towns, would apprecaite your posting a message in our blog. It is a new site.

     
  • At 8:09 PM, Blogger Center for Rural Affairs said…

    you should come and visit Lyons, Nebraska - it really is a charming rural community, not so far from Sioux City, Lincoln and Omaha, but just far enough. I know I am probably biased, but I think having the Center here really is a major asset to living here, ads interesting people and interesting perspectives and stirs up interesting debates.

    John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org
    Center for Rural Affairs
    Values. Worth. Action.

     
  • At 8:09 PM, Blogger Center for Rural Affairs said…

    you should come and visit Lyons, Nebraska - it really is a charming rural community, not so far from Sioux City, Lincoln and Omaha, but just far enough. I know I am probably biased, but I think having the Center here really is a major asset to living here, ads interesting people and interesting perspectives and stirs up interesting debates.

    John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org
    Center for Rural Affairs
    Values. Worth. Action.

     

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