Friday, September 22, 2006

Rainy Days & Fridays… In A Small Town

As I stepped out on the porch this morning with my coffee in hand, it was raining. Autumn’s chill is in the air… here in Wisconsin. Unlike the song, rainy days and Fridays don’t get me down. O.K., I know the song says Monday, but today is Friday and the rain is soothing to my soul. I sip my coffee, listen to the creaking of the runners on my rocking chair and the soft patter of the gentle rain. Life has slowed down, at least for the moment.
Before I came to live in Wisconsin, I asked around "What’s it like to live in Wisconsin?" I got a lot of different answers. The one that influenced me the most came from someone who lived here as a child. He said, "Wisconsin is a great place to raise kids." I don’t know if it is so much Wisconsin. Our tax burden is among the highest in the country. I think it is because most of Wisconsin is rural, small town-ish.
I have had the privilege of living in a metropolis with over two million people and a town with over 10,000. I now live in a burg with only 400.
Besides goods and services, the biggest difference from the largest place I’ve ever lived to the smallest is pace. The city just can’t seem to slow down. Not like here. I am reminded of this every time I get caught behind some piece of farm equipment on an impassible road going 3 miles per hour. Ain’t no since gettin’ in a hurry there.
I have traveled back to the city many times in the 5 years I have lived in this little burg. Each time I go, I notice more and more how difficult it is for me to keep up. Traffic is way too hectic. The malls are to crowded. The days seem to long. You can do just about anything 24 hours a day. The cell phones are always ringing, the computer is always running and you can always get something to eat. Go, go, go! People forget to "whoa".
Maybe that’s why folks come up here to vacation. Here you can’t go, go, go. There ain’t nuttin' to go to! Shoot, we roll up and put away the side walks by 5 p.m. And on a Friday like this, we don’t even get ‘em back out. So when you get out of the city, because there doesn’t seem to be anything to do. You just relax. For some folks, it is unnerving because we have poor cellular service and they’re cell phones don’t work very well. While I have met others who travel here for the peace of mind that comes from their cell phone not working.
I have tasted both sides. I must admit that I miss the goods and services. I miss a good steak. I miss the ability to run to the store to get whatever I think I need. I miss 2 a.m. coffee shops and breakfast anytime. It agitates me a little to have to drive an hour in any direction to go to a movie.
So I have traded all that for mornings like this. And I would gladly make the same choice again. You can’t put a price tag on this. Lets see… how does that commercial go? Cup of home brewed coffee - .50 cents. Comfortable rocking chair on the front porch - $55.00. Sound of gentle rain – free! The cost of having these few moments to reflect on my soul and drink in God’s goodness – PRICELESS.
TO THOSE OF YOU WHO LIVE IN A METROPOLIS: I hope that someday you would have the opportunity to leave and experience the peace and simplicity of a small burg (like the one I live in). It is a change. But, it’s a good change! Well, my time is up. My wife is telling me it’s time for breakfast. This morning is biscuits and gravy.