Monday, April 26, 2010

Small Town Charm...Story Two

(The second story of six remaining from our trip south for Easter Break)

In spite of what those in big cities, or those from important cities, such as Washington, D.C., New York City, or Los Angeles and Chicago think, most of America is still made up of people from small towns. There is so much to treasure about a small town, especially these days. Any small town that can make it, that has a working Main Street, with well-stocked shops and restaurants and cash registers that ring, that small town is to be commended.

I visited one small town like that with Jamie during our time with her there earlier this month. It's not terribly far from her town, and this one has lots of old storefronts, three blocks or more of them. They're all very well kept, and have these sidewalks with canopies, which in itself is charming.

(Hi Jamie! She was far ahead of her photo-snapping mom--on a mission, trying to find the right dresser for the baby's room! She found it!)

There are no cookie cutter door fronts here, no sleek, modern windows all in a row. Each shop has their own look, their own kind of charm, in loads. I give them credit because it can't be easy to keep this town looking this way when it would be so much easier to go the way of "low maintenance".

But here old is celebrated, and there are plenty who (like us!) appreciate that. Walking the main street, traffic is noticeably heavy, it's not far off the main interstate, there are plenty of places to go, most of which take everyone straight through downtown. Because of that heavy traffic, the shop owners are rewarded, especially if the light turns red, and drivers have time to let their eyes wander and look at all that's in the antique shop and thrift store windows!

You hear the sound of traffic, changing with the lights, and many times you'll hear the loud train heading through...blowing its whistle loudly and rumbling the sidewalk you stand on.

For many, it would be an immediate flashback in your mind of holding mom's hand while shopping in your own little Midwestern hometown, decades ago.

All of it greets and welcomes you with open arms, to stay awhile, to spend some time browsing or eating, or if you're like me, just looking and ooh-ing and ahh-ing and spending a few dollars.

This little display was in an outdoor eating area at a little restaurant in town, as charming as can be. I just wanted to get that old kitchen cupboard with the tin counter top...load it up and take it home!

This shop was closed at the time, but how I wanted to grab three of these old Coke crates, for TEN DOLLARS?!!
(Sorry, didn't mean to shout, but what a bargain!)

What small town southern scene would be right without the requisite number of rocking chairs: it's indicative of the pace of the south, laid back, there's all the time in the world!

A broader view of Main Street.

And the side street on which the Depot and the Freight House stand...
(Ya think I could hot wire that old Ford truck and bring it home?!)

Pretty as a picture.

Tomorrow I'll show you scenes from Jamie's baby shower, held in the Freight House, next door to this beautiful old Train Depot, a centerpiece in this treasure of a town!

One of the shop owners told us her husband is a train engineer for CSX and that when he comes through town, he has a special combination when he blows the whistle, just so she knows it's him! I thought that was so sweet!

If you can go to visit the deep south in the spring, you certainly will not regret it, the world is in bloom, and the weather mild: the feel of the gentle days heart-breakingly soft, and for this color-starved girl from the cold and gray Midwest, it was a balm to the soul!


Cousin B said...

Love this post! Very cute town...I love small towns and the ambiance they have.

Bloggin bout my Boys said...

Give me a town like that over a mega mall ANY day!! LOVED that scalloped edging on that Hoosier cabinet!Kudos to the hubby who has a special signal just for his Mrs.! That is REAL romance in my book!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

I would have taken 9 of the Coke wooden boxes and left a 10 dollar bill stuck under the door. Enough to pay for the boxes, the tax and then some.
Loved this visit, wish I could be there now.

Kathie Truitt said...

Ah Joni, thank you for this. As I sit at my desk in Washington, DC how I long for this lifestyle once again. I can always count on you to lift my spirits and take me home.

Donna said...

I adore small towns! And I'd be shouting too to see those coke crates selling so inexpensively! Makes me want to jump in my little pickup and GO down there fast!

Meadowbrook Cabin Primitives said...


Thank you for the stroll through this quaint town. It looks so relaxing and inviting !

How I miss the south in the springtime ! ( I lived in North West Georgia for 12 years. )

The dogwoods in white and pink and those dainty looking trees with the lilac colored tiny blooms along the road everywhere growing wild ( no, they are not lilacs ).

There are quite a few small towns in the south that are like this.. so let's all get in the car and go !

Thank you for sharing your photos !


jamjar said...

You just made me anxious for a road trip...I loved all the photos and the nostalgia!

Vicki's Bit-o-earth said...

Love this post Joni! Your pictures brought back memories of the small town we lived near for 22 years... our kids were born there... a place where everyone knew everyone... people are helpful, friendly and cheerful. I miss all that and so much more, and today you've reminded me of it. Brings smiles to my busy day. Thank you~ xxxVicki

Susie from Bienvenue said...

I think I want to move there now...hehe. Pretty place~

mary your sis said...

Ah. I think my favorite part is the unique awnings, porches and posts. I'll bet when each planter is full of a profusion of blooms it's a sight to behold! What beautiful doors, windows, mailboxes... it looks like a storybook. I'd love to live there: I cannot understand people who want the noise, crowds and traffic of the big cities instead of the peaceful, sweet charm of small town USA!