A get-well card came in the mail this past Saturday. Nothing unusual about getting a card from friends, but this one was different. The envelope’s address had my name, the street, city and state. What it didn’t have was my house number. Yet, it arrived just a day after my friend had placed it in a mailbox. My wife found it funny. For me, it brought back memories.
I’ve lived in a large metropolitan area with several million people and in town with a population of only 1,500. Both have their advantages, but I find smaller villages more suited to my lifestyle.
Currently I live in a small rural community in northern Illinois with about 15,000 residents. When the local high school has a sporting or scholastic team do well, a large percentage of the town’s residents turns out to celebrate. During summer nights, children are allowed to play outside until the streetlights come on. Some people even leave their backdoors unlocked while they are away at work.
Fewer people live in small towns today compared to a generation ago. Most of us only get a glimpse of what rural American life is like through Norman Rockwell’s art or during broadcasts of presidential primary races farm states like Iowa and Indiana. Of course there is a reason for the change. Big cities generally have more and better paying jobs than smaller ones.
As a young boy I remember sprinting home to confess to my mother that I had broken someone’s window. Even though I only had to run just two block, I barely reached my mother in time to confess before the phone started to ring. The caller was a woman who was unhappy about the baseball that had gone through her garage window.
Living in places such as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles have many advantages. When picking which movie to see, you not only get to choose the time, but also the theater. Where I live, we don’t even have a cinema. When it comes to picking a restaurant, metropolitan areas have small towns beat, hands down.
Despite all of its drawbacks, I still prefer living in a smaller community. Where else could I receive a get well card with an incomplete address?