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Friday, May 6, 2016

From my Front Porch

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Small town living is the life for me is the life for me

The other day I glanced outside my front door and lo' and behold, parked in front of my house was the biggest, greenest John Deere tractor I have ever seen. My first thought was sung to the tune from the old television program starring Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor. "Small town living is the life for me."With a population of just over 2,100 the city of Willow Springs, Missouri, is obviously considered a small town. I have friends who think my husband and I are crazy for relocating to an area where Wal-Mart is a good 20-minute drive away, as is the nearest traffic light. We have assured them that it is one of the best decisions we have ever made. Almost one year ago to the day, we loaded up all we owned in the back of a rented truck and made the trek out of one state, across two others, and into a fourth in order to set up housekeeping in the Ozarks. It was actually a two-year long process that culminated in our family finding ourselves warmly welcomed by total strangers that soon became good friends.How many communities can boast that it is considered unnecessary to have the police department officially open for business on weekends? Well, Willow Springs can. Of course, I was concerned the first time I learned this, but then it dawned on me that this was a sure sign of just how good things are in the hub of the Ozarks. During this past year, I have seen my life travel a course I could never have predicted. My job as a writer has allowed me to be a part of some interesting events, including the opportunity to photograph our police department as they worked a late evening sobriety checkpoint and to witness in amazement our city's volunteer fire department working diligently and efficiently to prevent a residential fire from raging out of control. As I observed ordinary men and women just like you and me rising to the occasion with grace and dignity, I felt proud to live in a small town in the Ozarks.In my opinion, small town living has a lot to offer, but especially this one. With the historical Star Theatre considered by many to be the crowning glory of Willow Springs, our citizens and their guests are guaranteed an enjoyable evening of quality entertainment on a regular basis for the very reasonable price of a ticket. Our Fourth of July parade and the Christmas parade may be small in comparison to the big city counterparts, but their charm lends itself to the quaint lifestyle I have come to love.Because our home is within a block of the local schools, the public library, a grocery store, the drugstore, our favorite pizza place, a tire shop, a gas station, at least four churches and the funeral home, unless I just feel like a change of scenery, I can pretty much spend the rest of my days and beyond within a stone's throw of my front porch. It's a good feeling, especially on Sunday mornings when ringing church bells can be heard across town.Just the other day, as I was walking along Main Street I thought to myself, "This is wonderful. I can't believe I am right here, right now."Not a day goes by that I don't feel like thanking the Good Lord for bringing my family and me to this small town in Missouri.It is my prayer that everyone everywhere has the privilege of feeling the same way about wherever it is they call home.