Saturday, April 6, 2013

Small Town

I’ve been trying to figure out how exactly to convey just how small of a town is Williamstown.  The term  small town doesn’t really do it justice.

Here are some stats
State: Missouri
County: Lewis
District: Lyon
City: Williamstown

Stop lights: 0
Four-way Stops: 1
Grocery Stores: 0
Gas Station/Convenience Store: 1
Gas Station (without convenience store): 1
Schools: 0
Churches: 1 (Yep, that’d be us at Providence)
Population: about 10,000  in the whole county; only a couple hundred in Williamstown
Cattle: way too many to count - seriously, thousands
Acreage: a little over 500 square miles in the county as a whole

We live about a mile and a half from the intersection of State Highway A and State Highway E which is considered “downtown” Williamstown.  The town was established way back when (think pre-civil war era) in the hopes that the transcontinental railroad might come through, sadly that didn’t happen.  Presently this area consists of four or five run down buildings that were built in 1911.  Our closest neighbor, either direction , is a half-mile away.  We are surrounded on all four sides by corn fields. There is a pretty large Amish community of several homes rather close together about two miles to our East, but other than that we’re fairly removed from other people. 

The closest Grocery Store (County Market) is about 20 minutes away.  The closest Wal-mart is in Quincy, Illinois, a quick 40-minute drive.  We’re about 15 minutes from Monticello,  the county-seat, where there’s a post-office, court house, jail, bank, USDA building, health department, and DMV; all along the same street. 

Williamstown is not just a small town in size, but also in personality. 

James and I went to the bank this week to open an account.  Because we’re silly, we didn’t bring with us the proper documentation to open an account (Social Security card, Proof of Residency, etc…).  Joy, the cashier who was working our account, said, “It’s no problem we’ll do what paperwork we can do today and you can stop by tomorrow with the rest of the documents.”  Then Donna, a church-member who works at the bank chimed in with, “If you want to bring that stuff to church tonight I’ll bring it into work tomorrow for you.”  So we seriously gave her both of our Social Security cards in an envelope, trusting her not to steal our identities.  Such events would never happen in Louisville with people you just met.

And this is just one example of several: the U-Haul people came to us to get the truck since it was needed in a neighboring town thereby saving us extra mileage and time, the mail carrier will sell us stamps from her car, and the internet guy totally hooked up other technology for us even though it wasn’t technically part of his job description.  I’m not even sure people take such care of their neighbors in my small hometown of Joelton, which looks like a thriving metropolis compared to Williamstown.
A shot down the Main Street of Monticello.

Tonight we spent several hours this afternoon hanging out at the Community Center.  They were having an open house complete with farm-raised BBQ (yummo) and other snacks.  We met several families, learned a little more of the history of the area, and were able to share with some people.  It was sweet to see people just sit and talk with one another.  Time moves slowly here.

James is loving it.  I think I’ve lived in Louisville too long and got used to the conveniences and speed of a big city.  Not saying that I’m not enjoying being here; just that my adjustment is proving to be a tad slower.  People here are definitely people-oriented, not time-oriented.  Had you asked me two weeks ago I would have swore to you that I, too, was people-oriented but I’m seeing that that’s really not true.  I like to move quickly when running errands.  It took two hours from leaving home to returning home to set up our bank account and that’s simply because people chat, they get to know you as they’re working on paperwork.  And our apparently foreign accents lead people to chat with us longer than usual as they ask why we would move here.  But that’s been a wonderful question to be asked as it’s allowed an open door to share about Jesus, so I guess I’m thankful that people think we have talk “funny.”
A shot down the Main Street of Williamstown.
The building on the right, with the kids at the Pepsi machine, is the Community Center.

Not only is Williamstown a small town, we apparently live in a small world.  James has already met a family that amazingly live somewhat near us that are from … wait for it… Logan, WV.  That’s right they are from James’ hometown.  The husband actually knows James’ father.  Tiny, tiny world we live in. 

And because no post is complete with a Hudson picture.
Hudson was totally intrigued by the baby chickens at the farm supply store.

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