Living in a rural community has its downsides–“good ol’ boy” politics, one grocery store (but five pizza shops–how does that happen?), no place to buy shoes, and everyone’s a busybody (with spotting scopes and police scanners–I kid you not). But it also has great things about it, and one of those things is a sense of community. Today I took five of my six kids to the dentist. Simple enough, but as I thought about all the connections just in that office, it made me smile to myself. One of the receptionists goes to church with me, the other taught ballet to two of my daughters, an assistant also attends my church, and I exercise with the dentist’s wife. The clinic is shared with a doctor who used to date my sister (in another state, no less), and who coached my daughter’s soccer team last spring and whose children are on soccer teams with two of my children this fall. His wife shares kidsitting with one of my best friends, and the doc who sold him the clinic has attended my book club for 11 years. After I left the office, the receptionist needed me to come back for the debit card I left, so she tracked me down at my friend’s house because she knows that since it’s Wednesday, my 4-year-old plays over there in the afternoon and I’d be dropping her off.
Maybe some people would feel stifled by those kinds of connections, but it makes me feel secure (despite my wallet getting stolen out of my car in the church parking lot a while back). I like knowing that I’ll see friends in the grocery store and at the library and the park no matter when I go, even if it means I have to put mascara and lipstick on every time I leave the house.