I had dinner with an old friend Lindsay last weekend (old as in I've known her forever!). She lives out in the country - really, in a town of just over 2000 people - and told me she couldn't stand coming into the town where I live and she works because she can't stand all the stoplights.
I had to laugh, because in my town - of just around 33,000 people - bad traffic is considered more than five cars backed up a stoplight.
I live in a town in southern Indiana. Besides five years at Indiana University in Bloomington and one year in Indy, I've been here my whole life. Of the people my age here, there are two kinds - those born here who will never leave and those who cannot wait to escape. It is that sort of polarizing place, small town Midwest - you either love it or you are just wishing you could get away.
Does it help that fall is probably the most beautiful in Indiana? Perhaps a little.
I was in New York a year ago, and I shocked myself with how homesick I was. There were too many people in not enough space. I needed my tiny town and my green yard and my quiet evenings.
This is my backyard. It's not that big. But my dogs love it, and it's fenced so I just open the back door every morning and let them out. After living in an apartment
What is it about the small towns in the Midwest that I love? It's that corner shop where the clerk recognizes you. It's seeing an old friend downtown at your favorite tiny Italian restaurant. It's the warm Saturday mornings at the farmer's market getting your favorite blueberry scones. It's the comforting smile and "how are ya" as you walk past a stranger on the sidewalk. It's the endless fields of corn down the highway.
It's my favorite, favorite song about my state. Can you guess what it is? Hint: it's the title of this post.
Yeah, ok, the shopping sucks. But the good news is the best mall is only an hour away. And I probably didn't need to spend all that money anyway, right? Right?