Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This Is My Town

Every once in a while...there's a rare occasion... once in a blue moon... when I feel great love & appreciation for my hometown. Today is one of those days. You see, earlier I was talking on the phone to a friend of mine about school clothes shopping. I told her that I was going to hit some Labor Day sales this weekend. Value Village is having a particularly good one. She asked me if my kids would just die if I bought their clothes there. The answer is honestly- no. My kids could care less about which store we shop at/ what brand name they wear/ or even current trends for that matter. I realized, I think a lot of the reason for that is that we live in good 'ole small town Elma. I'm sure if we lived even 30 minutes away in Olympia there would be a lot more emphasis on clothes. Last school year, the only clothing item my sons asked for was romeos (an item that fits into the description of buying your clothes and your car batteries at the same place.) I shop at Ross, Walmart, and Target which is pretty much where all of the other kids in their class's families shop. It's one of the many things that I take for granted living here. Life is just simpler as compared to some other places.

I also like the lack of traffic. Sure, being a one stop light town is great for jokes, but seriously- one stop light. How nice is that? There is only one intersection in the entire downtown area that you have to wait at a red light. The worst traffic jam I've ever seen is simply when people have to actually slow down to the speed limit through the school zones. I've been known to complain that we only have one grocery store and I wish it stocked more items (you do have to make a 30 minute trip to get certain items- apparently there isn't a huge demand for tofu noodles and organic stuff here) but I know that store like the back of my hand - which makes for a speedy shopping trip as long as I don't run into someone and start talking. Which is nearly impossible since even going through the checkout line means visiting with the employees (most of whom I either grew up with / grew up with their kids.)

Sometimes knowing everyone is problematic. Occasionally, I think it would be nice to move to a land far, far away where no one knows anything about me and my extended family. Having your kids have the same teachers that you did has it's pros & cons, of course. To our family, I think the pros of living here outweigh the cons though. Last night, Brooke & I power walked up Strawberry Hill while Russell was at soccer. Growing up that was my stomping grounds. It was so fun to be able to answer Brooke's questions: "What color was that house when you were a kid?" , "Do the same people still live on this street?", "Did you used to pick apples from that tree when you were a kid like me?"

As August has neared its end and the grey skies and rain have engulfed us, thoughts of moving somewhere sunny and warm or at least somewhere that has 4 seasons have crossed my mind. I think when it comes down to it though, this is where I want to be. In my safe & familiar small town where my kids care more about climbing trees than fashion and the most I ever need for directions is a street name.

There's a for sale sign on a big old' rusty tractor
You can't miss it, Its the first thing that you see
Just up the road, a pale blue water tower
With "I Love Jennie" painted in bright green
Hey That's my Uncle Bill there by the courthouse
He'll be lowering the flag when the sun goes down
And this is My town

(Nana na na na)
Yeah this is my town
(Nana na na na)

HEY! Where I was born
Where I was raised
Where I keep all my yesterdays
Where I ran off cause I got mad
And it came to blows with my old man
Well I came back and settled down
It's where they'll put me in the ground
Yeah this is My town

(Nana na na na)
Yeah this is My town
(Nana na na na)
My town

- Montgomery Gentry

BTW, I tried to include a photo of downtown Elma but whenever I googled it I kept getting a link for Seriously. LOL


  1. Yeah, I feel the same as you. It's so much easier to stay grounded in a small town. And the fact that the only thing between you and your destination is how fast you're willing to drive is also nice.

  2. I so agree. I didn't even know what name brand clothing was until I was 21 and I was always told I was one of the best dressed kids in school! Thanks mom and JC Penney.

    I love many things about Elma and it is easier to see the things that matter. I miss that. I know Olympia isn't big, and people still try to stay grounded here, but it is more difficult. I also love seeing/knowing people who went to school with either me or my parents and I love being able to name drop and have people then look at you like they know you-even though they don't, but maybe they knew your parents/grandparents etc.

    I do love a small town.