10 Small-Town Things We’re Thankful for This Thanksgiving

Wherever you may be this Thanksgiving, we hope you too are grateful for your town

By Diane Smith

This Thanksgiving week, I’ve been reflecting on our move over 13 years ago from big-city East Coast living to a small town in northwest Montana. That move changed our lives in ways we didn’t even begin to anticipate. We hoped for less traffic, more outdoor recreation, and a safe and village-type place to raise our daughter. We got all of that. And much, much more. So, in the spirit of this Thanksgiving holiday, we want to share 10 things we’ll be giving thanks for that are unique to our small town life:

  1. Quiet – It’s hard to find quiet in a big city. Being able to easily find silence when we want … priceless.
  2. Elbow room – We get to take “personal space” for granted.
  3. Fresh air – City folks spend way too much time inside … enough said.
  4. Nature – Rivers, mountains, visibly twinkling stars; we get to see Mother Nature up close. So inspiring and humbling.
  5. Community – To know well and be able to depend on so many of the people in our back yard.
  6. Diversity – Having friends of multiple ages and backgrounds, far left and far right, blue collar and white collar, comfortable and struggling, talented in so many different ways. It’s enriching to have such differently amazing people as friends.
  7. Safety – We don’t worry nearly as much about crime and the safety of our loved ones.
  8. Local talent – Whether it’s great chefs/restaurant pros or performing artists, knowing personally the folks who create the masterpieces we enjoy always adds to our experience.
  9. Pets – Pets are everywhere. It’s tough to be in a bad mood when a happy dog is nearby, right?
  10. Children – It’s great to be part of a place where “what’s good for the kids” is given special consideration.

Wherever you may be this Thanksgiving, we hope you too are grateful for your town, the people in it, or whatever else your good fortune may be. We sure are. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Learn more about Diane by following her column here or visit American Rural at AmericanRural.org.

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