Overall I’d say my town isn’t great or special for any reason, it’s also not terrible. Like most places it has a “good” side of town, and a “bad” side.
I moved around growing up, and have lived in many different places, big, small, good, bad, but honestly life itself tends to take the same general shape no matter where you move to.
People who have lived to long in one place don’t understand this, they don’t see the value in knowing an area, or seeing some in the grocery store that they can say hello to. They don’t know what it’s like to only hold memories, but never have someone to share them with.
I treasure these little parts of life. I love when it feels like a small world, or when someone turns to me and says “remember when…” because I know what it’s like to be an outsider, to only look in, but never fit it. It’s lonely to see people hugging old friends when no one has said hi to you is such long time.
How ever similar life is in each place, each place has it’s differences, which I can usually appreciate as well. I love small, local history.
Around here it’s the Shawnee Indian Tribe at the roots of history, then of course the fist few settlers, like the Galloway family. Also the destruction each generation seems to experience by tornadoes.
For some reason I imagine the ground here just absorbing it all, the loss, the hope, the death and new life.
It’s rare that I find another person interested in these things, however I go about collecting my data on local history. Sometimes it internet searches, other times it’s digging through piles of old books at the thrift stores, and at local used book store. Other times I find older people to talk to, I’ve become comfortable about this, and I really love the life experiences they have to tell about.
I’ve gone out exploring on foot, or my bike, to snoop around abandoned buildings, homes, and farms. I sneak glimpses into the past lives of our town. I know this is technically trespassing, but it’s done in the most respectful way possible, and I only venture onto property that is so overgrown and lost to decay that I know nobody is caring for it, or even watching over it. I don’t leave trash, I don’t vandalize, I might close a door that’s blown open, pet a stray cat, I’ve even run off destructive kids on numerous occasions.
I’ve tracked down property owners and contacted them with my questions. One let me take an old wardrobe from his old abandoned house, in return I offered to cut back the bushes and clean up the yard. I’ve never actually had anyone get mad at me even after I make it known that I’ve clearly snooped around their property. Most of them are decaying in their bodies just like the building they own, and they’re all sick of being nagged by the city to do repairs.
Anyways, I just thought I’d sit down and share this with people this morning because it’s a great way to distract yourself when your feeling crummy about the place you live. Sometimes you just have to take a look around, and find ways to appreciate things, even if it’s someone saying hi to you in the store, or that ugly house on the corner, or interesting little cabin.