I Can Live in a Small Town

I am writing this from my mother-in-law’s dining room table in Penticton, B.C. We arrived here, Rob, BabyD and I, around two in the afternoon on Sunday after another basically sleepless night in Revelstoke. The first night it was the snowboarding crowd and members of another wedding party that kept us up (I do not know whether or not Mr. Confidence was in either group*). Saturday night it was our party who basically ruled the disruption roost. At one point, I am told by MK, they were verbally assaulted by an irate young lady (don’t know if she was the one who fell under Mr. Confident’s spell the night before or not) who was told that since our party outnumbered hers, she was simply going to have to “deal”.

She dealt by phoning in a noise complaint.

I can attest to the fact that noise complaints to the local authorities in Revelstoke are not incredibly terrifying to those being reported on because the partying continued on and off until nearly 6 in the morning at which time, having been awake and annoying my husband for nearly a half hour, he said,

“Why don’t you go talk a walk.”

Which was as much for his benefit as mine. Truly.

Walking a mountain town in the early Sunday morning light is quite peaceful. The streets were deserted and the air not quite crisp. I had worked up a good head of steam by the time I had circled back to the motel. No one was stirring and the lights in our room were still out, so I headed out for another lap and to find coffee and tea.

The peace stems from the fact that nothing is open. This is not the U.S. There is really no such thing as a 24hr anything aside from gas stations, and even that can be hit and miss in the remote areas, but I eventually found a cafe in an old house on the end of Mackenzie Street that was open every day for breakfast and lunch. I secured coffee, tea and a cinnamon roll for Rob and BabyD to share before retracing my  steps.

As I had walked earlier though, I’d spent time pondering the idea of living in a place like Revelstoke. I like small towns. I like being able to walk everywhere and the mix of residential and small businesses. And I love the eclectic mishmash of shops and eateries and tourism mixed in with essentials, and the people who own and run them. There is something wonderfully communal about people who work and live amongst their neighbors who also make up their customer base, and it translates to the strangers who dwell briefly amongst them.

I can easily see myself in a little place and more and more I know I wouldn’t miss the “convenience” of living near or in an urban area. I don’t need to shop or have a lot of “things” to fill my life. I am happy with my husband, my daughters and my writing. And honestly, it seems to me anymore that the things people deem most important, beyond the people in their lives, are mostly consumer driven and based on instant gratification. And yeah, I have my vices, this internet blogging thing for example, but in the last two years I have come to prefer small, casual and things that are harder to come by.

Rob and I have been talking about this for a while now. How do we uproot and move to a smaller (even than the Fort) community and support ourselves? Every time I pass by an empty storefront, I wonder what service I could provide that is useful and people might appreciate enough to use?

The little café was for sale. I imagined us running it with ED running the kitchen and MK possibly running a coffee bar. Maybe Rob would be building or renovating homes in the area – sustainable living. MK would like that better. Possibly she would be learning the craft from/with him?

Later as we ate breakfast there, Rob and I discussed Lillooet again. It’s a tiny place up past Whistler. First Nation country that is trying to break out. Rob thought about running an adventure outfitters with his nephew, Cee, whose wedding we attended.

Dreams. But nothing outlandish really and certainly things that should be pondered. The old world (I am talking pre-crash) model was that children grew up and struck out in the world far away often and were able to take care of themselves. I don’t think that holds up anymore. I think we will see more families stick close and cultivate family ventures that will pass from one generation to the next, taking the employment and sustenance issue out of the hands of faceless “employers” and into their own hands.

Okay, I am rambling. Sorry, I am tired.

I will write, always, but I think about other possibilities – especially after early morning walks on sleepy small town streets.

*See Saturday’s post.

16 thoughts on “I Can Live in a Small Town

  1. Hey AnnieGirl, I enjoyed your blog. I live in Revelstoke and always find it interesting to read another perspective on our little town. Revelstoke is a wonderful place and it is a great place to raise kids! If you decide to move here we will be happy to welcome you!

    1. I got the sense of kids when we were at the pool. I love the community center you have there. My husband is not sold, but I think we are going to have to try out areas by going and renting places to stay within the community and stay away from motels and such to get the best idea of how a town really lives.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. I think we have to remember that post WWII society was an abberation, not the norm for humans. Even when grown humans did “move away”, it usually wasn’t far from the family, or the family business. I think the kicking the kids so far from the nest was a detriment to society. We can hope for a return to simpler times, even in urban areas.

    I had the opposite experience of small town living, that of not feeling like I really belong even though I had been there 14 years and my husband was police chief.

    1. I was reminded of the relativeness of size today as we roamed Penticton. This is not a big town but it has mushroomed enough that you cannot walk it peacefully and it’s downtown has been displaced for strip malls and such.

      I don’t know that I feel “known” really in smaller places but I feel comfortable and more at ease than I have at anytime in my life. Perhaps though that is just me being finally where I belong.

  3. Don’t use the word ‘Honestly’. People who read this will not assume you are lying.
    Please, please do not use that word; it adds that Paris Hilton leitmotif to your story.


  4. Be careful – it was just that type of conversation that started us thinking about moving to Maine. The dream quickly became a reality 31 years ago when we came to Maine in March to look for work – and we moved 2 months later. If you seriously put the idea “out there,” it can happen.

  5. lovely ramble! there is something beautiful about the thought of a family business. my children and i have discussed the “mom buys a bar when she retires” scenario, and both would be interested in that venture. although we know there would be some special ‘moments’, as we (ahem) disagree… our own fireworks – just another public service we could provide!

    1. Ha ha, my husband and his brother want to open a bar but my sister-in-law says “No Way, that would be like putting the mice in charge of the cheese”. She may be right 🙂

      1. Yeah, my late husband’s friends tried to open a bar. God, he would have laughed at that idea. They failed utterly. You can’t love to drink/party and run a business that specializes in it without becoming your own best customers.

  6. I like to VISIT a small town but New York got under my skin a long time ago and it’s there to stay, I’m afraid. I think it takes a heaping dose of psychological damage to think that NYC is a habitable environment, but whatever damage it takes, I must have it in spades.

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