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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Small towns

My town is so small that I live in the Boyd house, who in turn lived in the Amity house. I wonder if Mr. Amity had credit for the house he built in 1940 and lived in for twenty years.

The town is so small there are six hundred souls in my township and another seven hundred in the village in the township, for thirteen hundred, give or take.

The town is so small its trustees still have Share A Christmas each year, and if the PC police show up, give them a cookie and put them to work.

This is the hall outside my office today.



This is the hall where the girls read books in the window seat and wait for me in the summer. That's an attorney's office down at the end.


When I came to work yesterday the entire meeting room floor was covered with cartons of stuff, leaving two narrow aisles. The road crew, having an immaculate garage, equipment in fine running order, and no snow to plow had volunteered to help. They were sorting paper goods into paper sacks. One paper towel, one tissue, one TP, and so on. I left.


Today I noticed a lot of equipment in the yard, with the hoods up. I think they deserved to pretend to putter around; look how little is left for the trustees to do.


These canned goods are sorted, then subsorted. The jar of sauerkraut is like the field marshall, I think.


Santa Claus will deliver this Saturday, to folks in need from the trustees' list. Did I mention I live in a town so small the trustees not only know who used to live in your house, they know who lives in it now, and if Santa should stop twice this year.


Santa delivers everything this coming Saturday, in fire trucks, with lights flashing. The Fire Chief stopped to see how busy he would be this Saturday, chuckled and left.


All the food and gifts here came from the community, not only from private citizens, but from businesses, through food drives and donations of cash to purchase things the trustees know will always be useful--all those cases of paper towels, tissues and toilet paper from yesterday.

I've helped in the past with tonight's job--all those boxes in a line on both sides of the hall, from my office and back again, and volunteers walking the line, filling the boxes with canned goods, soap, toothpaste--what else did we see sorted out there? I wonder who will score the sauerkraut.

32 comments:

  1. I can comment smaller -- my little village has just over 400 people. That's really too small for the kind of activity you mention here, though. We have a handful of people who work hard for a few events . Your place looks beautiful and reads like a real community.

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  2. It always tickles me that there is no villages in america....only small towns
    Trelawnyd ( my village ) is some 400 souls prestatyn ( the nearest town) is 1900

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    1. Aren't there villages in the US? We have them in Canada. I was raised in one!

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    2. Although the term "village" exists in most states as a legal entity, it is most often used in states in the Northeast comprising New England. There are always exceptions,though. Also, a village is legally defined a little differently by each state. When I lived in New York there were some "villages" but there were also "hamlets." When I lived in Indiana growing up I don't remember small "towns" being called villages. Of course, that could be different in industrial Northern Indiana than in rural Southern Indiana. Regionalism in the U.S. is the norm. Because the U.S. is so big and encourages the idea of states rights, there isn't as much uniformity here as there is in some other countries. I would be interested to know if it is the same or different in Canada, another large country - and one divided into huge provinces with their own unique history.

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    3. The original 13 states have individual forms of government. Ohio, though part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, became part of the "Northwest Territory" and its government set by the Northwest Territory Act of 1784. We have three forms of local government, a township, a village or a city. Township often is shortened to "town." I live in a township, which the Northwest Ordinance defined as an area of land six miles on each side. The land then could be divided into regular lots for the purpose of ownership or use.

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    4. I just looked. The original NW territory was all US owned land west of Pennsylvania and east of the Mississippi, and included Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and part of Minnesota. Wisconsin local government is like Ohio, and I have sat with my friend Ann through some of her Wisconsin township meetings. I am an elected official of my township and her husband is on the planning commission of their township, and the involvment of people on this local level interests me.

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    5. Collette, I wasn't sure if you were asking about Canadian definitions of village, towns etc, or if you were asking about uniformity across Canada. For the first, here is a link: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/92f0138m/92f0138m2009001-eng.htm .... which much to my surprise says we have 55 different kinds of municipal units! As for the second, we have three levels of government: municipal, provincial/territorial and federal. Municipalities look after such things as water, sewer, streetlights, plowing snow, etc, which things like education and health care are under provincial/territorial jurisdiction. Federal government covers such things as the justice system, money and banking, old age pensions. Here is more information on that: http://www.craigmarlatt.com/canada/government/government.html

      You have reminded me of just how much I don't know that I should know, as a Canadian citizen!

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    6. typo - "which things" should be "while things"

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  3. I was born in a small town with little pink houses for you and me. Rain on the scarecrow. Jack and Diane. Sorry, I got off on a John Mellencamp tangent. I really was born in a small town. Now I live in a city with a million people. I know about six of them. No, that can't be true. Willy Dunne Wooters asked me once who I could call if I needed to be bailed out of jail. While such an event will not occur, I came up with a rather impressive list.

    Love,
    Janie

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  4. What a truly lovely gesture. On the part of so many. Here I think it is largely church groups who organise such things. Overworked church groups.

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  5. Oh now you've done it. Brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. This is just lovely.

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  6. I think small towns are great, we should know our neighbors and where they're from. We lived in So. California teaching in a small school district, it had 33,000 students. We retired and move to Georgia to a county that has 18,000 people. We love it.

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  7. The Christmas food and gifts represent a lot of people in need at this time. Good thing your small town appears to have a lot of very generous people. Merry Christmas to all.

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  8. Wow....what a haul. I must say I miss the Christmas Hamper drive at work. Probably the only thing I miss about work lol.

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  9. I was born in a small mining town... mixed ethnics and backgrounds. I lived in Columbus for only a couple of years - the biggest place I've ever lived. Then back to my county when I got married. Mostly lived in the country... Right now we're back in a small town... community ... in fact, takes me back 65 years or so to the small town where I was born. I loved seeing all those bags of food... the pity is that there are so many folks who need help. Somehow that feels very sad. I'd love to be there... sorting the bags, working in the kitchen that has meals once a week or so (do you have one of those?)... this time of year brings it all home.

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  10. Now that is a small town. I know you must love it there. I gave several bags of groceries before Thanksgiving. Hope they liked it all.

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  11. how wonderful, small towns have their drawbacks but have more to laud them that that

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  12. I'll give a different perspective of small towns, my current one for the last 20 years is in Montana, where on a recent visit to stock up for the holiday, Cathy, the clerk in the local liquor store announced on my arrival "Well, here's doc, gettin' his bottle of whiskey".

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    1. There are people in my town who recognize your town.

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  13. I kept waiting for a "my town is so small, the ....." joke. Has to be a good line there somewhere.

    Looks like your small town has lots of nice people.

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  14. "So small the stop light's only color is green."

    That;s all I got.

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  15. That is a lot of donations for your small town! How sweet everyone gets together to be "Santa" and help others!! Your small town does sound pretty great to live in :)

    betty

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  16. I love that your town does this. My town has just over 400 residents. About a month and a half ago there was an electrical fire at the city hall so they are cleaning up from that. I have taken my toy donation to the church. What they do with them will make someone happy.

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  17. A job well done. Unfortunate that it's needed ...

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  18. It sounds like a very caring community Joanne. Our town sounds about the same size but I don;t think we do anything like this.

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  19. That is so impressing, Joanne: such a tight-knitted town is something to envy. To help each other, to be generous, to notice (!) that something is needed. Can you imagine that in our big apartment block (1 front house, two backhouses) I - after six years living here - still don't know everyone, though I am neither timid nor uninterested (when husband and I did our 'introduction tour' after moving to Berlin, quite a few were utterly astonished that we did.

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  20. That is really wonderful that the town helps the less fortunate.

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  21. Quite a nice effort. Great that you can participate in such a worthy enterprise.

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  22. Your town sounds like an example of what's best in small communities. I think they're going to have to use all their local knowledge in finding a recipient for the sauerkraut though. I don't think I'd be overly delighted to find that in my hamper ! :) Have a wonderful Christmas season!

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  23. that's pretty impressive. I don't think this town of just less than 10,000 would do half as well.

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  24. It is wonderful that the city does this. Seems like a lot of people in need for such a small town! But times are not easy right now for most of us. I love that they do this in the fire trucks with the lights on!!

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