I live in a small town – population 2,500 in a county of 12,000. How do I know the population? We don’t have one of those handy signs at the entrance “Welcome to….., pop. 2,500”.
I actually know this from the firework meeting I attended last week. Yes, firework meeting. As a concerned citizen, I counted it as my duty to be present. You see, for the first time in approximately 30 years our town did not have 4th of July fireworks (or even 3rd of July fireworks like last year). Try as they might, they were unable to fully raise the 12,000 dollars to make it a go. This is a great travesty and while I am using some sort of literary technique, I am certainly not mocking my small town. My town had the long standing reputation of doing more with less so much so that people from the surrounding towns with populations 10 to 20 times as many and with firework budgets 2 or 3 times larger would flock to our town to pay homage to their country while viewing an excellent pyrotechnic display.
My husband and I fell in love with this town in part for the 22K house we stumbled upon when both of us were a little less economically sound (one of our hugest blessings). The love affair grew more for little things like barbeques on the town hall lawn, cats in antique store windows, and a turtle log that has been a resting place for turtles for at least a century. This turtle log is such a big deal that during Hurricane Isabel in 2003, it got shifted and there was much discussion over whether or not to shift it back – it had gone from being a 5 turtle log to a 3 small turtles turtle log – very sad – and again I actually feel it is.
We also love our town for its Christmas parade where participants almost outnumber spectators, triple scoop ice cream cones that are still 60 cents at the pharmacy, the police chief who will drive you to get gas when stranded on the side of the road, and yes, the fireworks on the waterfront where you can view in reverie while dangling your feet in the water off the municipal boat landing dock.
R’s birthday is the 4th so fireworks play a very important part – as a little one, she thought the fireworks were for her and all the people who were there had come to help her celebrate.
We will continue to attend these fireworks meetings where we stick out like a sore thumb with our newby presence and portuguese surname (in a region settled by colonists mostly from the UK). We will attend because this way of life, this innocence, is something we want to desperately preserve. Two big city folks have found the slower way of life quite appealing.
Oh yes, and one more thing – my husband took this picture of the antique store cat. The cat’s name is Buster and apparently has earned that name according to the store owner.