fall didn't stay here long. it seems i was lamenting about the long hot days just a few weeks ago. we had a few glorious days of fall--when it's 60, low 70s and sunny and you can just detect a hint of crispness in the air. there are still plenty of leaves on many of the trees in our yard, but, there are tons on the ground ready for raking. i had to turn the heat on yesterday--it had gotten down to 63 in the house.
the town we live in is small, roughly 20,000 people, nestled between two much larger cities. it is a bedroom town for the most part. our main street is our historical district and a few of the houses are on the historical registry. the founders of our town were german, and yet not a german restaurant to be found. an old furniture factory on main street was converted into retail space a few years ago. exposed brick walls, hardwood floors throughout. it oozes charm. there are only a handful of businesses in there, most are overpriced in my opinion. there's also a restored train depot (though trains don't stop there anymore) and some simply gorgeous old homes, some of which have been turned into businesses while others are still private residences.
this town is old and there are generations of founding families still here. we've lived here for about 20 years and i'm sure we're still considered outsiders, that is if the insiders knew who we were. there is no doubt a core of born and raised natives who barely realize there is a constituency of inhabitants that hail from other places. it reminds me a lot of my "hometown" in wv. small community flanked by bigger cities. people who are born, live and die in the same place and view anyone who doesn't have three generations behind them as a newcomer.
oddly enough, we don't venture out of our little burg much (other than when the hubs is working and he's all over the state then). when we go out to eat (not often) we stay in town. when we shop, we stay in town. we have a few big-box stores (target, lowes, kohl's, the evil empire) but that's it.
the very day after halloween the town started putting up the christmas decorations. i don't remember it being this early last year. i love christmas and its decorations etc. but, not quite so soon in the season. the hubs is already dreaming of turkey and its yummy goodness.
we have one, horrible, newspaper. it's quite small, privately owned, comes out 2-3 times a week. since we've lived here we've always received the free delivery issues on tuesdays and thursdays. it runs the local high school sports info (which is a whole section unto itself); there are about 2 pages of op eds (one always written by the owner/publisher who is about a million yrs old) and the rest is scattered w/ a few stories about civic groups etc. i have sent my resume to them probably five times in the last 20 years and have never heard even a no-thank you from them. when i interview business owners for a local magazine the only time they reference the newspaper is to complain about it. it's sad really. a town this size could use a good, well written newspaper. i sometimes read the stories and wince. it is that bad.
i do find it interesting for a town this small and seemingly so set in its ways to have a female mayor. she's quite nice and friendly. her son goes to school w/ the boy and we've been acquaintances for several years. she also hosts the monthly lego club meetings for the boy's elementary school. i have no idea if she is an insider or an outsider, but she's roughly my age, married, three kids, quite unassuming. we have crime, like any other place, but it is huge news when it becomes serious. a couple of years ago a man was shot in a restaurant parking lot; his son had had a scuffle w/ a gang, the dad came to help his kid and was killed. gangs and bullying are the crimes we hear about most in our town. not like crips and bloods gangs (at least i don't think so).
when i think about my surroundings, compared to my friend's it seems worlds apart. she assures me that where she LIVES (as compared to where she works) is quite safe and despite the proximity the horror and violence is not the same.