Dear small towns,
There’s just something about you. Everywhere you walk or drive you see an old friend. Going to the grocery store can’t be a short trip because it’s inevitable you run into someone you know. The cop that pulls you over actually knows your dad so he lets you go. You provide something endearing that big cities just can’t.
This weekend I went back to good ole’ Stillwater, OK for the game. When I reference you, I would include my alma mater’s hometown. I knew a few people I’d see for sure during my visit, but I had no idea how many old friends I’d see along the way. Literally every 10 steps I took I ran into another person I was excited to see: sorority sisters, camp friends, adults who I knew for various reasons. You name the connection and I had the reunion, and remembered to take pictures with just a handful. Even Mama and Papa Roth came up just to say hey since I was so close…golly, I hope I’m as good of parents as them one day.
I haven’t had the feeling of actually knowing people from where I live since I was in college. I currently live in one of America’s tourism capitals which means it’s very far from you. I go weeks without ever seeing anyone I know when I’m out and about in Branson. Stillwater provided a great change of pace!
I’m not sure I’ll ever live in one of you again, but I do know I miss the feeling you provide sometimes. There’s just something about feeling known. Not in an arrogant way, but in a being connected way. Most of your people complain about you, but these past few days I’ve really embraced what you bring your people and honestly miss it a little bit.
Love everything about Stillwater,
Small town girl at heart