Small, Rural Towns ~ Your Opinion

Updated on January 23, 2013
L.M. asks from Chicago, IL
30 answers

I love the perspectives of all the mamas and dads in this forum, even on some things that don't have much to do with parenting....

Have you ever lived in a small town? I'm talking about a rural town with a population of less than, maybe,15,000.

Do you like it or not? Why?

Have you moved out of a small town to a larger one or a city? Why?

Have you ever moved from a larger town or city to a small town? Why?

Do you find the folks from a small town different than folks from a larger town or city? How?

Please share your small town experiences, even if they are not about the questions I've asked!


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answers from Tampa on

I grew up about 15 miles away from Edwards Air Force base in a very small town called Rosamond Ca. We had one shopping center with an albertsons and not much else. You had to drive to the next town over for real shopping. Then when I was about 14 we moved to Phoenix AZ and that's where my heart is. In rosamond is was soooooooo boring! There was nothing to do ever...oh wait there was the feline breeding compound. Yay I enjoy big cities much more!

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answers from Grand Forks on

I haven't lived in a small town, but I did inherit my grandmothers house in a small town of about 3000. It is about a 45 minute drive to the city. I thought about living there, but couldn't do it. I don't like winter highway driving, so for me a commute to the city would be out of the question, although lots of other people do it. I would have been bored out of my skull because there isn't too much to do. They have an outdoor pool, but no indoor pool. There is a nice arena, but I'm not much of a skater. A tiny museum and a library. The bowling alley and the movie theatre closed down years ago. The town is lovely and the people are nice, and it is near a nice provincial park and lake. I like to visit in the summer, but wouldn't live there. I live in a city of about 750 000, so not a big city, and I don't think I would like a big city either.

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answers from Tampa on

Yes, I grew up in a small, small town. As in one red light town. I graduated from a class of 72. There were definite advantages to it. I never saw ANY drugs until I went to college. It was a pretty safe place to grow up. Everyone knew everybody which was good or bad depending on the day. There were no metal detectors in schools and there was very little crime if any.

That being said, there were also a lot less opportunities for activities. The school didn't have near as many activities and options for the kids as larger schools do. A smaller school just doesn't have the resources to do as much.

I chose to move to a larger city when I finished college. There just wasn't any opportunity for my field of study. My children will grow up in a much larger school...which makes me both sad and glad.

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answers from Chicago on

They both have advantages and disadvantages, and it really depends on your personality and what you want in life.

I have lived in both. Grew up in a very small town on a farm. Hated it when I was younger and could not wait to move away, but my sister loves it and is still there.

I moved to Chicago after college and can't get too much bigger than that. I loved it at first but got sick of it after a little while. I yearned for a yard and a little more space and community.

We have since moved over the border to Indiana where we are sort of in the middle, and I really like it. There are times I miss the convenience of the city and others I miss the quiet of small town, but we have a nice little community now and I enjoy it.

There is a misconception that small towns are safer. Let me tell you from experience drugs, drinking, sex and all that goes along with it, can sometimes be worse in small towns because teens have nothing better to do with their time. Not all kids, but a lot fall victim to this.

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answers from Appleton on

It depends upon where this small town is. The city I live in has a population of around 17,000 we have many of the same services as a larger city. Some small town areas do not have cable TV access or high speed internet. They are still using dial up for internet and satellite for TV. There is a lack of 'things to do', no choice in shopping, usually only one overpriced grocery store and if you are lucky a Wal-Mart, no Y, no bowling alleys, no movie theaters ect. Also a lack of resourses for any medical issues, new jobs, some areas do not even have basics such as libraries.
The benefits are usually a much safer community to live in, quiet, lower prices for property ect.
However in some small communities the residents who live there have been there all their lives and can trace their property back many generations. They tend to not welcome newcomers. While they will be polite and nice they tend to look at anyone who moves into the community as outsiders. Change is not welcome.

It totally depends on what you are looking for. Some people enjoy small town living and are willing to trade having services or available jobs for peace and quiet.

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answers from Milwaukee on

i have always lived in a small town..i went to a k-12 school -all in one building. my dad was the super. my graduating class had 28 and 15 of us had been together since kindergarten. and now i live twenty minutes away from my home town and we have one stoplight. i love living in a small town. i love when i go to the post office and they have my mail waiting for me because they know me. i love that i can walk into our grocery store and know most of the people either shopping or working. i love that my son gets a chance to live in a small town. even though the town i live in now is bigger than my home town. i'm glad that my son isn't just a number in the school but is known by name. it's fun when there is a big parade and our town turns it into a party.....small towns have my heart!!!

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answers from Los Angeles on

I was born in a *very* small, yet picturesque little area, known as The Methow Valley in WA state. My parents literally threw a dart at a map and moved there and built an 'A Frame' cabin/house. We moved back to where my parents were from right after I was born, so I grew up and went to almost all of my schooling in LA in CA.

When I was almost 17y/o we moved back. It was a cultural shock to say the least.

Everyone knew everyone, they even knew me b/c of my parents, which wasn't a good thing. My experience as a teen in a rural area is there isn't much to do besides go to bonfire parties in the woods and drink and smoke weed in the summer and snowboard in the winter.

All the boys and girls had dated each other at one point in life already. I made GREAT friends while I was there but I didn't do anything productive while I was there, besides try drugs for the first time, start smoking cigarettes and loose my virginity. My HS (the one and only HS and it housed the 6th graders on up) didn't even have a soccer team? I played soccer my whole life and this sucked for me, subsequently I helped start the first soccer team!

~You had to drive almost 2 hrs to get to the only movie theatre and they only played old movies and there was NO TARGET, There was NO shopping, No Mall, No NOTHING! There was No MTV. There was no nothing but beautiful trees and mountains...but when you are a teen you don't care about such things! I made fun of everything especially the fact that the one and only fast food restaurant was a 'Burger Queen'...they had 'generic' restaurants, couldn't even get a real Burger King, HA! I thought they had moved me to Hell!

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answers from Eau Claire on

I grew up in a town of 700 people. Yes I typed that correctly. I LOVED it, we lived in the country and I knew everyone I went to school with and it felt very safe. When DH and I started looking to buy a house, we did move about 15 minutes away into a city of 50,000...while I didn't want to move into town, I loved the house and we just couldn't find a better deal in the country. Plus it was 5 min away from where we both worked and closer to daycare (at the time).
I don't really find the people all that different. You have really nice people in both...and some a-holes in both. The main difference is the larger city seems to have much more culture...whereas in my small town, everyone pretty much farmed or lived next to a farm.

Some things that I like better about living in a larger city:
- I spend significantly less time driving places. If I need to run to get a gallon of milk, it's a 5 minute trip instead of 30 minute round trip. Also spend less on gas getting to and from work.
- Roads get plowed! WI winters can be brutal and in smaller towns road maintenance takes alot longer.
- I have neighbors who will (hopefully) notice and help if something is on fire or during an emergency
- I can order delivery food!

Some things I'm not-so-crazy about in the city:
- My neighbors have dogs that bark at 9-10 o'clock when my kids are trying to sleep, despite the ordinance.
- My neighbors can see everything I do in my backyard even though we hae a 6ft privacy fence.
- People care more about what you do...have to mow your lawn, can't park on lawn, have to be quiet by certain times

My biggest issuetho is schools! I graduated with 70 kids. If my kids goto one of the schools where we live now, they will graduate with 300+ kids. However, they will have lots more opportunities for extra curricular activites. But really do feel they will be missing out on that small-town experience. (DH is from this city and we do not see eye to eye on this lol)

All in all - there are some very great advantages to both. That being said...even though I love my house, I do hope to someday move back into the country.

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answers from Dallas on

Our nearest mall was 70 miles away. Went to my first book store when I went to college near the mall. I thought I had died and went to heaven!
The hospital I worked at was 90 beds.

I got married and went north. I was terribly overwhelmed with choices.
I worked at a 900 bed hospital. I had less responsibility there. I did everything at the small hospital and knew all the docs by sight and how they liked things done. They knew me and trusted my judgement.

I have nastalga for small towns but I don't think I could go back. I like choices! I like my Internet speed.

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answers from Washington DC on

No, I don't live in a small town. Although there are times when it does feel like a "small town" with all the modern conveniences!! :)

My mom comes from a SMALL town - population 100 (if they are lucky). Everyone knows each other. Doors aren't locked. Yes, food is a tad more expensive as it's LITERALLY a mom & pop grocery store. If you want Wal-Mart - you need to drive 25 miles away. When I go there on vacation? they look at me and say - oooh you are Harold's granddaughter...

I think there are advantages to small towns....where it's a "community" in every sense of the word....but there are draw backs as can't run to Starbucks and be anonymous.

While I don't live **IN** Washington, D.C. it's a big enough city that everyone recognizes...and you can be anonymous there. you can be basically anything and no one will say something to your mom....(small town!!)

I'm not sure I'm answering your question right...I am sorry if I misunderstood.

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answers from Dallas on

I grew up in a small rural town of less then 10,000. I HATED it. I always thought I was born in the wrong place and I felt out of place from a very young age. I was raised in the deep south and I have a lot of issues with some of the beliefs.

We had to drive 30 minutes to go to the movies, a McDonalds, etc. They do have the fast food restaurants now and a couple of hotels thanks to the waterway that came through and added jobs to the town.

The good thing about it was that it motivated me to work very hard as a child and student to reach my goal of getting out and being a success without riding on anyone's back to get there. I was (still am) very independent with specific goals for myself and my family.

I go back occasionally to visit family who still lives there. I went from a town of less than 10,000 to the Greensboro NC area and now I've been in the Dallas area about 24 yrs.

I LOVE the larger city, I LOVE my neighborhood, I LOVE the culture and things available to help educate my child. I LOVE the opportunities available for us here.

People are friendly in my town now and when I grew up. I didn't like the aspect of everybody knowing everybody's business when I grew up. Think of Mayberry.... there were no secrets.

We have a very friendly neighborhood, upscale, good schools and we often have block parties, socials, etc and keep in touch with each other as not just neighbors but true friends (and everyone has their own privacy respected).

I felt like the area I grew up in was behind the times and still is. Example.. a cousin my daughter's age came to visit about 3 yrs ago. My daughter's school is very large, she was in orchestra at the time and had a concert while relatives were here. When we entered the auditorium with the cousin (9th grader at the time so 14yrs old?) she looked at us with a very serious question and asked... "are there any Americans here". I was floored... she had not seen the diversity of having Indian, Hispanic, Asian, African American students working together. She was stunned. My thoughts were... WTH will this child do when she gets a dose of reality? I know in my area, they tend to raise the children under a rock. I was a rebel and too independent for that nonsense.

Now both girls are Seniors in high school and it is so interesting to see how the goals of the students in this area are so much higher and expectations of exceeding and doing well are higher than in my old town. This cousin has a graduation class of less than 200 students. My daughter's sr high school alone with only 11-12 grades will have over 1500 in her graduating class and that is the smallest of the 3 sr high schools in town.

There are pros and cons to both. For me, I like a larger city and living in the burbs with access to major airports, both sides of the coast within 3 hrs or so, major sporting events, concerts, museums, etc.

Interesting question and it wil. be interesting to get the perspective of other moms in different areas, rural as well as large cities and burbs!

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answers from Boise on

I moved from Venice Beach/ WLA California to a small town in Idaho, by small I mean population of maybe 1500. We have a store/feed store, 2 bars, multiple churches, a post office and a gas station. There is also a elementary/junior/high school. It's rather large, but that's cause kids from another town are bused in.

When we moved we mover because of the kids, we wanted them to have more room to play, we are also outdoors people, and out location couldn't be more perfect. We are 15 minutes from the snake river and maybe an hour away from some of the most beautiful forests.

Anyways, it was a HUGE cultural shock for me in the beginning. I had to learn to rethink how I did things. Grocery shopping, doctors, there was no quick run anywhere. You have to plan it, then add in to that I can't/won't drive in the snow lol

However, my kids have loved it here. Sure there isn't a whole lot to do, but they always found things to entertain them. The 'city' is a half hour away, and once they were old enough they could drive themselves in and out. They'll most likely move to the city, not cause they want out of the country, but houses are not easy to come by out here when you are renting.

Honestly, I think if I had to move back to a city I would go crazy. I have really come to love the peace and quite. I love being able to leave my keys in the car or the house unlocked and not have to worry about being robbed. Even if someone thought about it they would have to get through my 4 dogs.

I love being able to grow our own food (even though I'm not the best gardener) having our own chickens. I love being able to walk outside scream at the top of my lungs and not have to worry about offending someone.

But it wasn't always easy, my family took bets on how long I could survive. I won, it just took some getting used to.

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answers from Chicago on

I grew up in a very small town. Population 5,000.
Life is VERY different from a big city.

I moved away to live in the big city. I always knew that I would, growing up.

We didn't have access to major stores growing up (getting a Gap at our mall would've been a DREAM!).
I remember the day that we got a McDonald's...20 yrs ago. It was awesome!

As a kid, I went to bonfires in cornfields...I drove around backroads with my friends and drank (we all did)...
Everyone knew each other, and each other's dirty laundry.
We were on a first name basis with the county judges, town cops, priests, etc...
Careers were mostly blue collar, and most folks never went on to college after high school. Thus, life started earlier. Many HS friends had kids straight out of school, and they work at the plant, the hospital, the grocery store or the bank. Those are the basic options.

For me, I always wanted more than that. I wanted access to options I didn't have. I felt caged in. And I hated that everyone knew my parents and had opinions about my behavior/life.

There are things I miss, now. I miss the small family restaurants and food. I miss being able to just call and ask the nurse at the doctor's office a quick question, just because I know her. Not having to wait on hold, leave a VM, work through a "system".
I miss not having traffic. It takes 5 minutes to get to Target from my mom's house, 5 miles away. In Chicago...that trip takes an hour some days.

But despite the small things I miss, I would never go back there.
It's not for me.
There are definitely "city people" and "small town people". I just knew, early on, that I'm a "city person".

(BTW: I see you're from Peoria. Peoria was HUGE to me, growing up. I grew up in Spring Valley, about 30 minutes NW. :) )

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answers from Columbus on

I am living in a small town now and sort of out in the country and most the time it's ok. It took a lot of adjustment for me coming from a big city but it's grown on me in some ways. The decision wasn't my choice; we moved because of my husband's jobs. But it really has been nice raising my kids here; they've been very happy!! And the bigger towns are close enough so they're not all that sheltered; they know what's it's like out there in the big world!! lol!!

Things I love about it: it's quiet; less traffic; nice neighbors for the most part; have deer run across my front yard; only takes me six minutes to drive into town and I love the small businesses we have. I try and shop at our grocery store, pharmacy, restaurants and gift shops as much as possible instead of going to the bigger stores like Target, Wal-mart, etc. It's also fun to walk into the stores here in town and everyone knows everyone - sometimes it feels like I've stepped back in time and I'm in Mayberry or somewhere. I joke about our police being "Andy" and "Barney"!!!

We love the public school system. I also love that being a small town they really go BIG with holidays! For the Christmas Tree lighting in December all the businesses stayed open late and had refreshments, carriage rides, prize drawings, and it was a party atmosphere along the whole street. Halloween, Easter, Veteran's Day - all done up BIG!!

Things I hate: well water; septic tank; hit or miss on good tv reception; electric goes off more than when I lived in the city.

As for the people - I'm not trying to be insulting but it's a whole different mentality here! Just one example: at the first school we went to there were little girls in the second or third grade coloring their hair! And that was a Catholic school!!! The parents are a little wacky here in their thinking; in my opinion!!

I intend to stay here until my kids are through college then I'll probably move back to a big city!! I miss it!!

Good luck!!!

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answers from Huntington on

I grew up in the suburbs but moved to my Mom and Dad's house in a small town (5,000) to save up some money for my own place (after a break up). I met my husband there, so we have spent a lot of time there even though we only lived there together for a few years.
I did like parts of it. I was very charmed! It is a farming town and I loved how everyone wore flannel and gathered at the gas station for coffee or sodas. There was very little traffic, lots of recreational activities, and it was quite pretty since everything was so natural and untouched. I know my husband feels that his upbringing was awesome, I mean, it was in a place where every kid had a bb gun and slingshot and the parents just sent you outside at dawn and expected you back at dark. Kids spent their days building forts, exploring barns, braving creeks and rivers, and causing trouble but rarely getting caught. (I actually shudder to think of it, lol. All I can think is "how did you not die by age 5").
I actually think that kids got into more trouble in that small town, than in the city, due to sheer boredom. Lots of drinking and drugs and lots of semi dangerous pranks.
As young adult, I found that small town to be too slow and boring, there were only a handful of food joints and hardly anything to do. I actually remember the hardest part of our first year of marriage was how painfully bored I was. We had nothing to do, mostly we went bowling or played monopoly or drove into town to look at CDs for the zillionth time. I was actually really happy when I had a baby to fill the time.
Over the years we moved closer and closer to the city and I am really happy where we are at now- about 10 min away from downtown SLC.

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answers from Boston on

I agree with the poster who said it depends on where your small town is located. I grew up in a town of 55,000 people, south of Boston. For the last 20+ years, my husband and I have raised our family in a central Massachusetts town of fewer than 7,000. We're definitely in a "best of both worlds" situation! We have access to all that Boston has to offer, as well as the coastal beaches, the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont and the beautiful rolling hills of western Mass.

Our town has two traffic lights and no grocery store -- but the coffee shop ladies know where my youngest girls go to college and how my husband takes his coffee. We see the preschool teacher at church and still see the mom of the girl who had a major falling out with my daughter because she works at the bank (gulp -- a little embarrassing sometimes). When we choose, we can get to the movies in 20 minutes and there's a great mall only 30 - 40 minutes away. We not only leave our cars unlocked but with the keys inside. We have deer and fox traipsing through our yard regularly and people still ride their horses up our street. My kids know how to navigate in the woods and on the subway.

Although our town is small and boring by some standards, we have great neighbors and wonderful people around us -- and access to fabulous "non boring" stuff nearby. My kids have been to professional sporting events, world-class museums, terrific theater, dance and symphony performances and toured sites where American history was made.

I think it's not only where you live but how you choose to live that matters. We choose to drive or travel wherever because we want to expose our kids to diverse environments and offerings. You can live in a major city & not benefit at all if you choose to keep yourself closed off. You can live in a small town and feel totally alone if you so choose. Environment matters, but so does attitude.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I spent my childhood in a town of 2000 people. When I graduated I moved to a large metropolis, and spent 15 years there before moving back to the small town in grew up in.

I miss the anonymity the large city provided me. Everyone in a small town is very in-your-business. At least in this town. But from what I hear it's the same everywhere. If your kid makes the slightest mistake at school, EVERYONE seems to know. Acheivements are not remembered like mistakes are.

I also miss the opportunity larger schools provide. In our school you can take either Spanish or Spanish for your foreign language option. In the city 30 miles north of us, the kids have 4 languages to choose from. And you want to expand your educational opportunites for your child, you can either drive the distance or forget it. There are no 'private' band lessons available in our town. Karate is 30 mile drive for us. Chinese lessons? Forget about it.The offset to the limited educational opportunities, though, is smaller class sizes usually and a safer atmosphere at school.

My other huge beef with most small towns is the politics. If you are not at least 3rd generation, you are still a new comer. No matter how many organizations you volunteer for, no matter how much you 'join' in, you are still an outsider. The schools and sports teams tend to be dominated by the old families in town and no matter how smart or talented your child they will always take a 2nd seat to the 'old family' kids.

Finally, the only hardware store in town is open M-F 8-5. The libary is open only 12 hours/week. There is one grocery store, selection is poor, and prices are absurd. No movie theatre, hangout place for the kids, no clothing stores, etc. Lots of bars and churches though. You get my drift.

In hindsight, if I could move again (trying to move actually, but the housing markets in small towns also suck) I'd pick a small city 30-60k. Preferably with a university in town. Big enough to have some culture, a somewhat more transiet population, and benefits a larger school could offer. An indoor pool, more sports my non-team-sport children could participate in, etc.

One more thing - aside from no fast food to this very day, we didn't get cable until 1984. Yes, 1984! And even then there were only 15-20 channels available. Didn't see MTV until I went to college. I was devastated.

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answers from Philadelphia on

i grew up in Philly and there are so many aspects I miss, but the truth is with big cities come high crime and since I have a kid that matters.

I couldnt live in a SUPER tiny town. There are 16.5 k people in the town I live in. I J. googles it, but I'm 5 minutes from the center of another town, an hour from philly, where my relatives are, 15 minutes from another big town, so even though i get the bennefits of living in a rural area i am close to everything.

I honeslty truly miss ROW HOMES=( i always loved the idea of kids playing all together and running the blocks together. emmy doesnt get that. we have to schedule playdates because we're atleast a major block away from all other kids her age

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answers from Bellingham on

I grew up on a farm 15 minutes from a small country town, population 3000. I will be moving back to that town soon. Maybe it's a special place, because many people of my generation are moving back.

The town doesn't have a mall, but it has a great river, lovely main street, two restaurants and a decent supermarket. I went to the public schools there, and I don't feel growing up rural held me back. I have a postgraduate degree and a good career.

The faces are familiar as you walk down the street there. People stop and chat. The housing is cheap, and it's not far to the beach.

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answers from New York on

I grew up in small town. I now live in a city (although I think of it as a big town). As with everything there are positives and negatives.

Usually in rural areas you own larger amounts of land. It's nice to walk outside in your pajamas and the neighbors can't see you. There's also a large sense of community. Everyone seems to know each other or be connected in some way (good and bad). One major difference that effects my lifestyle is grocery shopping. If you run out of something, or want to follow a recipe, now I just walk or drive to the grocery store (2 within walking distance, along with a 3 pharmacies and a convenience store). In a rural area you live without, as the nearest grocery store was 5 miles away.

Traditionally rural communities would seem to have better school systems. It depends on how you look at it. Ours are not rated very well, but there are some major advantages and huge cost savings. I pay $50 a school year to rent a musical instrument, my friends in a nearby rural area pay $50 a month. There are several tutoring type programs available to my kids free of charge, she has to hire private tutors. My kids participated in a free science program at a local college, not available in her area. My school system pays for all sophmores to take the PSAT exam, and offers ECE (early college experience) classes free of charge.

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answers from Omaha on

I live in a small town like less than 8,000 I think we are at 4 but I dont wanna say for sure. I love it. I get peace and quiet. Not a lot of traffic. No hussle and bussle. I can let my dog out in the front yard (gasp without a leash!) I can walk to work and not worry about anything. We all look out for each other.

I have lived in a large city and hated it. The sirens the cars the strange people. The constant movement sucked!

I moved back to the small town because I could relax and breathe.

The main difference between city folk and small town folk is the speed, and the way we in a small town watch out for each other. When I was pregnant last year I was carrying in groceries and fell. A man that was inside his house flew out to help me. I didnt know his name but he was there and we all do that for each other. Here it doesnt have a motive it just happens.

I will stay in this same small town until I am no longer in this world. Why because its home. Its real. Everyone is who we are and no body cares. We can slow down and enjoy life. And we seldom live in fear because everyone has everyones back.

ETA - A.L. Is right we do have a lot more drinking and other stuff back here but I can bet your butt that a parent will know about the party and we all monitor it. We usually dont stop parties unless its getting out of hand just because most of the time they call us (yes I get calls from highschoolers) for a ride. Better safe and knowing than trying to stop them and loosing a child because they are scared to call someone.

But go on the other side of that I dont have to worry about my child getting stabbed, or shot (unless its a hunting accident), or theft.

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answers from Las Vegas on

I have family in a small town, 14,500 people. I never lived there, however we go visit about every 2 - 3 years.

I find the people friendly, cautious, & curious. Of course they don't remember me each time I come in to town, so when I walk into a store they all look. They know I am not a familiar face, my clothes are from another planet, and so is my hair. They usually, look and wait for me to greet them first. If I am driving down the road, I will usually get a glance and a waive, and sometimes a second look once they realize...she's not from around here.



answers from Redding on

I was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I was very much a city girl.
I have lived in Ukiah CA, Portland OR, Redding CA, Sacramento CA.

For approximately the last 15 years, I've lived in a town of 3,000.
I love it.
There are no jobs here to speak of. We have a bank, a police station, a gas station, two markets, a liquor store that has a Subway sandwich counter.
We have a pizza parlor and a burger joint.

I like the small and quiet life. We have basically no crime. There are drug people, but they stick to themselves. The cops know who they are and arrest them.

You're safe walking anywhere in this town. Kids are safe going to the river to fish. They're safe going to the park behind the police station.

If you don't keep to yourself, like I do, people will tend to know everyone's business. But, people look out for each other too.

My son went kindergarten through 8th grade in this town. The teachers were great and able to have one on one relationships with families and kids.

My son is now a senior in High School the next town over and we may move after he graduates. We haven't decided.

I don't like the weather here. It never really gets hot enough for me, but I'm glad my son has been raised in a fairly safe place. He has certainly been exposed to city life, but he loves the fishing and crabbing opportunities he has here. It's been a wonderful place to raise him and if he chooses city life one day, I think he'll do fine with it. For now, the rural way of life has suited us well. I would have no intentions to ever leave if the weather was better.

I know eventually I will move for the heat that I so long for.
For now, we are glad to live in a rural place and everything that goes along with it.

Just my opinion.



answers from Washington DC on

As a preteen/teen I disliked the small town. People were in other people's business, there was nowhere to go as a teen, and if you were different, it was harder. I got away to a suburb of a larger area as quickly as possible. It wasn't a *bad* childhood, but I prefer the diversity of a larger area. We have a community where we live, but room to expand.

Small town folks can be friendlier. Roommate in college lived near Philly. She said you could tell she was getting close to home when people didn't hold doors in shops anymore. My mom often leaves her car unlocked. I wouldn't think of doing that here. If mail gets misdirected, the post office knows you and gets it to the right place vs it being limbo. People can be close minded anywhere, but especially in a small, insulated town.

My town has grown up a bit since I lived there so maybe things are different now for kids. It's a tossup sometimes between "safe" and "smothered".

But everyone still knows everyone. I go to get gas when I visit and someone asks me how my grandmother is doing.



answers from Chicago on

I grew up in a small farming town of 5,000, and lived on a farm outside "city limits." The school was small and didn't offer much more than basic classes. I excelled at those classes and thought I was pretty smart until I met really smart kids from bigger schools. I also realized how sheltered I was.

In a small town, everyone knows everyone, which is good, but they also know everyone's business. A lot of people were related.

I now live in a large suburb and would love to go back to my small town. I'm tired of the crime and vandalism mostly. I do like being close to stores. I can be at a Target in five minutes, compared to 20 minutes or so from my small town home. I think people in small towns are closer to each other in general and more willing to help each other out in a crisis.



answers from El Paso on

Most of my extended family has grown up (and still lives) in a town with a population of less than 2,000. I LOVE visiting there. Most everyone in the town is a wheat farmer or a cattle rancher. I love the space and the closeness to nature that is available. Admittedly, I'm pretty sure everyone knows everything about everyone. There are no secrets. :)



answers from Salinas on

I have the best of both worlds. Small town and rural in the way of lots of natural beauty and open space but near other small towns so the actual population of the area is larger.

Carmel is super small at about 3,000 people and yes, you do sort of end up knowing everyone for better or worse. We are also an international tourist destination so we have great restaurants and a little culture. If that's not enough my favorite city in the world (SF) is less than 2 hours away.

Our house is really only separated from the vast Ventana wilderness by one main road, we think of Big Sur as rural about 20 minutes south and geographically isolated.

I wouldn't trade where we live for anything, gossip mill aside (don't they all have that?), this small town rules!



answers from New York on

I live in a town of 5,0000. Love it. However. Very lucky. 75 min to NYC. 10 miles out of town plenty of shopping. So I have the best of both worlds. Small communities are nice, but not all the time. Double edged sword.
If anything happens to someone in a small community, everyone steps up to the plate to help. I was very very ill whe my kids were little and Imtell you could not have made it without the love and support of the community. Threw a big party on our 25thmwedding anniversary as a big thank you.
The negative is everyone knows e erroneous else's business. I say pluses outweigh negatives.


I live in a town of 5,0000. Love it. However. Very lucky. 75 min to NYC. 10 miles out of town plenty of shopping. So I have the best of both worlds. Small communities are nice, but not all the time. Double edged sword.
If anything happens to someone in a small community, everyone steps up to the plate to help. I was very very ill whe my kids were little and Imtell you could not have made it without the love and support of the community. Threw a big party on our 25thmwedding anniversary as a big thank you.
The negative is everyone knows e erroneous else's business. I say pluses outweigh negatives.


answers from Seattle on

The 2011 census had my city at about 18,000 people. So, a little bigger, but not much.
It is NOT a rural small town. Not like what I imagine one to be. Hardly any farms, houses are close to each other, we don't just let our kids walk to the corner grocer.
So I have to think that you mean SMALL town! lol
I DO like the fact that no matter where I go I usually run into one or two people I or my children know. When I go into Seattle I notice that not a lot of people make eye contact and some of them actually seem quite rude. I like my city because we are willing to jump out of the car and help someone push their car out of the way, we say "hello" in passing.
I think I am in a suburb more than a small town and that's just how I like it.



answers from Amarillo on

I grew up in a small town which has grown to about 70,000. We had the typical parties, dragging main street on Friday/Sat night. Most people were blue collar and worked about 10 to 20 minutes away at the big chemical plants which are now gone.

Moved away after I got married to Tucson for 5 years and spent 4years in a Canadian small town of about 1500 people. The one traffic light, post office, church (rang the bell on the hour), had a park and lots of snow in the winter like 15 feet or more. To top it all off the language of choice was French. Got to quickly remember the school lessons to converse.

My next place was Las Vegas, NV when it was growing through its growing pains. My home of residence is in New Mexico close to the Texas border. If I go three blocks east of me I am in farmland. The town (city) has about 38,000 people but it feels like 15,000 at times. My job is the next town over about 30 minutes away and past three dairy farms and a cheese plant. It is quiet for the most part. I hear the train at night (two miles away) and we do leave our car doors unlocked at night. My big city shopping towns are 90 minutes away (Lubbock and Amarillo) the big one Albuquerque is about 3 hours away. Then there is always the internet to order in if we can't find it locally.

Oh when we first moved here they used to cruise main street on Friday and Saturday nights but that got banned about 10 years back. Sonic has roller skaters deliver food to the cars. Everyone knows who is who in town and that somtimes can make for problems. We have a local airport that connects to Santa Fe and Denver for major flights. But I guess I will stay until I can't do for myself. I look at it think it could be worse.

The other S.

PS Hubby is from the city and loves the quiet.

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