We live in a small town in Colorado. Actually three small towns act as one community out here. Elizabeth is the first town where our shop was and where the most stores are. More and more hoity toity houses are being built on the outskirts but the town is still holding its own charm and friendliness. Head seven miles east and you will find our quaint town of Kiowa which has more friendly people than Santa’s Workshop. Population 750. A lot of that population lives in the mobile home park lovingly referred to as the Trailer Park. No one cares where you live out here. No one looks down on you, whether you live in a trailer, forty acres, or a cute rental on 2/3 of an acre. Nine miles south of us is Elbert. Another tiny town full of nice folks. I could not imagine moving back to Denver where I grew up. Small towns are the way to go. Everyone knows your business, but they also know where your kids are at all times, if you need help, and are often your best cheerleaders. Now if you are ready to move to a small town (or if you already live here, you can just read and nod your head) here are some things you should know.
1. If an oncoming car flashes their lights at you it doesn’t necessarily mean that a speed trap is ahead, it usually means there are deer about to or crossing the road. Slow the truck down.
2. Chickens outnumber squirrels here.
3. A rooster crowing is lovely ambience. Do not move here and complain about people having livestock. We all moved to the country so we can have farm animals.
4. Do plan an extra hour per errand. It is fun going into the bank, the library, or the grocery store and stopping in each aisle to chat with folks you know.
5. When I first moved here, my only viewing of a gun was the one that I saw on my dad’s hip before heading to work (he is a sheriff). Here, you might trip over one in the kitchen at the neighbor’s house, or have to move one out of the way to put your drink down, or find a few rifles lined up in their kid’s room. (I’ll never forget when I saw my future son-in-law, Bret, carrying a ginormous black shotgun (or some kind of big gun). “Is that real??” I exclaimed. The look he gave me was of concern as he nodded yes and wondered if I lived under a rock or something. I don’t think Maryjane is going to have many boyfriends.)
6. As a long, long time vegetarian (who may have recently slipped) be prepared for your friend’s cute little animals to possibly make an appearance on the table. It takes a bit of getting used to.
7. Be prepared to know everyone at church. Lots of people are religious here, but no one will try to convert you. You can do what you want.
8. Some of my friends really do drive around with a beer in the console. This is probably not recommended though.
9. Be prepared to meet the best people you could imagine and have better relationships and connections once you get out of the city. Be prepared to listen to old timer’s fascinating stories in the local saloon about what the town used to be like.
10. Because it is Christmas time, I’d like to add a footnote. If you intend to move to a small town in Colorado, don’t expect snow everywhere (unless you are in the mountains). There are a lot of misconceptions out there like Denver is in the mountains (not true) and that we wade through snow all year. We have roughly a handful of snows and they melt the next day. We rarely have a white Christmas but rejoice when we do!
Saying Merry Christmas in a small town is not only acceptable but encouraged. So Merry Christmas Y’all. Thanks for reading!