Just A Little Further On Down The Road

Jeremy - Belding, Michigan
Entered on April 15, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: community

Folks say our world is getting smaller. And while that may be true, somehow, we’ve lost something along the way. Today’s ‘point and click’ world seems a little colder than before. We surf our way from site to site, grabbing all of life’s little amenities as fast as we can along the way. The tighter we cling to this high speed way of life; the more we loose our grip on friendliness. Who has the time? Well, I still believe in a small-town state of mind, a place where folks wave hello as the go by, and people are just down-home good neighbors to one another.

I used to live in a tiny Montana town. I remember sitting outside of a Doctor’s office attempting to read my book on one occasion. Well, every single person who passed by stopped to chat and say hello. Oh, the dialogue wasn’t profound or anything, they just commented on the way of things. We talked about the storm front that was moving in, and they’d say things like, “be sure and plug your battery in tonight cause it’s gonna be a cold one.” Or, “did you see that thermal underwear was on sale at the grocers?” And, “you’re going to need four-wheel drive if you’re planning to pull into May’s Bakery. Boy was it worth it though because I swear those cranberry-almond muffins were baked in God’s own oven.”

I don’t want to loose that. There’s something to be said for being neighborly. So now that I’m living in metropolis, I do believe I will take that feeling with me. I’m going to turn this town upside today. Make these fast-talking city folk into slow-walking country pokes, introducing everybody along the way.

Keeping in touch with the Joneses rather than keeping up with them. Norman Rockwell doesn’t have a thing on my neighborhood; a place where a hand shake still goes a long way. A place where decency and integrity still have meaning. The Fourth of July is celebrated by everyone from the Schecklesteins to the Sarriffs. They can smell the aroma of bratwurst and beer permeating the air as kids bound playfully down sparkler lit streets at dusk. Being able to run next door for just a second to borrow a cup of sugar and return home an hour later after catching up over coffee. Grimacing after licking stale glued envelopes and handing the letters to Fred the mailman personally; a place where shoveling the driveway isn’t so bad because there are always a few good folks around to help clear the way.

I want more than simply to guard against this fast-paced intrusion. Slowly but surely my neighborhood will spread through a fast paced world where it’s often easier to stand aside than lend a hand. I believe in my small town community, introductions and greetings, welcoming one another as smiles flash across faces of recognition. I believe in a town where your neighbor is more than just a name on a mailbox, but a person in your life.