We live in a county that during a good year might have 14,000 residents. The town that John and I live in or just south of have about 5000 residents. And while that may sound like a lot it isn't. We are typical of Rural America.
What makes our county and thousands of others like ours is the sense of community. We know our neighbors and their families and we care about one another. It's not unusual for a trip to the local grocer or Wal-Mart to take longer than expected because we ran into someone we knew, again, and had to discuss local news or to receive a health update. We have well attended churches and a little league that seems to have less politics than the inner-city leagues.
And we give back. We give back with fund raisers for the kids or to raise money to help defray medical expenses for a family. We rally when a home burns and a family needs shelter. We give time, belongings and donations of our money to a local food bank and clothing bank. We share our harvests with our neighbors. And grieve as a community when there is a loss.
Why is it so important and, what makes our community special? We are no more special than any other place in Rural America yet our community makes your feel like we are. You can bet on Friday night that most of the town will be at the local football game cheering on the team whether they have a child in high school or not. That's community support.
It's knowing that if you need a helping hand or a shoulder someone will be there. It's those extra eyes to tell you if someone unexpected during the day was at your home or if your teen was driving a little too fast. It's a community united to right a wrong. It's something we never got when we lived in the city and the reason we are glad we are .. home.