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5 Things You Might Have Heard About Small Towns That Are Dirty Rumors...Mostly :)

1. There is nothing to do.

Well, if you come from a large center and you are fond of the big city nightlife, and recreational shopping in 20 different malls, you are right, you won't find that here. That is precisely why I prefer small-town living. But don't underestimate the entertainment value of street dancing to a live band, house concerts in someone's back yard, or hanging out with friends playing a game where you throw the bean bags into holes. I don't sell it well, but that was so much fun. We just had an event here this past weekend, that had so much to do, I couldn't actually get to it all. There have been events all over the place, all summer long. Pandemic kicked the heck out of the usual list of things to do, and that happened everywhere. It may not be what you are used to doing, but there are tons of things to do, once you lean into the community.

2. We are all hicks and/or rednecks.

Nope. We are not. A very nice couple, whose names I did not get, attracted by my gorgeous puppy, and lack of available seating room sat down at our table during a recent event. Making conversation, one part of the couple asked me the significance of the ring I wear on my right hand. It is my MBA ring, I said. In what, they asked? Community Economic Development I said, from the University of Cape Breton. They looked shocked. And they said, "you don't think that towns this size have people with education." I laughed, and I said, there are a LOT of people who are formally educated in small towns. There are lots who are not formally educated but are smart, very smart, about how to make money and run a decent business. There are rogues and thieves, but heck we know who they are and we can avoid them. The mister insists I'm a redneck because I am an excellent duck plucker. I admit I'm proud to be both. More than one thing can be true at once.

3. There are no jobs.

Well, that can be true if you are looking for someone else to employ you. But if you are self-employed, or capable of becoming self-employed, small-town living may just be an answer to a prayer. Typically, small towns offer a lower cost of living, and if you can adjust to limited take-out options, and lean into the wonderful things about living out of the City limits, you could make a fine living here.

4. There is no public transportation.

Again, that is a matter of definition. If you define a small town as anything under 50,000, that could be an issue. Here in southeast Saskatchewan, many of our communities are closer to 1,000-1500 people, many much smaller. If you can walk, you don't need public transportation, you can walk everywhere in 5 minutes. Unless I am leaving town, I typically don't even start my car, and I pay less for gas than some of my city friends pay monthly for parking.

5. Everyone knows your business.

Ah, that's not so bad. Social media means that you cannot blame that on the neighbours anymore. The people on the other side of the world know your business now. The upside is that when it happens in a small town, the people are happy to help. We tend to look out for each other.

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