City Limits

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Walk down any main street in any small town and you can feel it. The slower you walk, the stronger the feeling through the soles of your shoes. A vibration of days gone by and a sense of those that walked the same sidewalk many, many years ago. Taking the time to look through store-front windows and see the product of a day-to-day business that serves the community even though it doesn’t make a profit. Built from a sense of pride and to fill a need, only to be cannibalized by a larger community off in the distance. The inevitable happens and the bright lights inside become a dim memory. Bigger and faster takes the place of carrying your sacks to the car for you. A screen door is not as fancy as those automatic kind and I guess since no one in those big cities holds the door open for you, the doors do it themselves.

Character is established in both architecture and ancestry and we live the life of a small community and we carry on the life of how we were raised.

Small is as small does, and the personal touch is knowing your name and asking “how you are doing” and meaning it. We hear it so often without sincerity that when it is asked by someone you know, you know they mean it. Main streets have sincerity. It is built into every small town I’ve been through, and you can’t tear it down and modernize it. It’s engrained in the wooden floors and door hinges and when the door swings open, it makes the sound of “welcome home.” You can’t make it bigger or shinier without making it cold and dull. Small towns have that warm feeling of porch lights and a wave to your neighbor, and a stoplight doesn’t give off the same glow as a small town street light. Convenience is a state of mind and its definition isn’t in the dictionary. Small towns are a way of life and at any time you are just a block or two away from being out-of-town where culverts and silos take the place of curbs and steps.

Like an old barn that on the outside appears to be weathered and worn, the small communities wear it like the patina people so desire on antiques and collectibles. They have a feeling of used – not used up, cared for and precious and a link to times past. You know, when life was good and times were simple. Life is still good and it’s only as simple as you make it. Character is established in both architecture and ancestry and we live the life of a small community and we carry on the life of how we were raised. That, my friends, can be found between the city limits signs of White City.

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8 thoughts on “City Limits

  1. Jeff, you need to get this one out to the small towns-White City, Council Grove, Yates Center are 3 that I know it applies too! You are a very good writer and should be trying your luck in the market place. Bev Nittler

  2. So very true Jeff. I have lived in Smolan,Ks for 54 yrs.Have seen lots of friends move out and back and small businesses close to the fact that Salina is only 12 miles away.Sure miss those mom and pop shops. Always enjoy your writings! Larry

  3. Respect for our elders. Respect for each other. Holding a door, giving up your seat on a busy train or bus, a smile on a rainy day or a kind word. Not a big deal but sometimes it seems as if it is a big ask.
    Nice piece sir.

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