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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Gray Matter: Small Town, USA's main attraction

Monday, April 11, 2005

There is a lot to be said for living in Small Town, Rural America. I live in the house we moved into nearly 58 years ago.  I  hope to continue living here for as many more years as God allows.

We did some remodeling for accessibility and convenience during the later years of my husband's life, so the easy-access steps, grab bars, etc. are all in place, but that is really not the deciding factor.

A year ago I needed a bit of minor surgery.  Not knowing just what to expect, I elected to stay with my daughter in Cedar Rapids at that time.  All went well and  I was soon able to return home.  That incident, though, did cause us to begin considering  the possibilities of Assisted Living which might eventually face me down the road. 

So the two of us did some investigating.  We found a particularly nice, well-run facility, conveniently near their home, which she insisted I should look into.  As you might imagine, I was not particularly  enthusiastic about the idea and did little to follow up on her suggestion.. 

In a freak accident scarcely four months later, I fell and sustained a broken bone.  That  happened just two days before this same daughter was planning to come for a visit.  I will spare you the details but, all in all, things again went  well.  Before returning to her home my "child" made a most meaningful confession.  It went something like this, "Mom, I can see now that you aren't nearly as close to needing Assisted Living as I had thought." (That brought a relieved sigh on my part.)  It wasn't the physical set-up that had changed her view; it was the people.  They are, after all,  what make small-town living so attractive.

After my mishap, we arranged for me to have a Lifeline -- a device I can wear with  which to summon help in an emergency.  One of my sons does live here, but he and his wife are on the farm, five miles out of town.  As a result,  my next-door neighbor immediately agreed  to become my "first responder." The kids on the farm are next to be called; another neighbor just down the block rounds out the list. 

The latter, a retired nurse, was available to help me out on a regular basis the first few weeks.  She and still another friend were on tap to drive me for therapy when that time came.   Somewhere along the way I was going to have to "bite the bullet" and buy an expensive extra-sturdy walker. Again, my nurse-friend was right there to offer the loan of a walker  they had purchased for her husband when he had knee surgery a few years ago.

In  only skimming the surface, I am beginning to realize I could fill a good many columns  with  interesting  stories of the kind, caring people who live in our small towns.  They are the sort of folks  my daughter wouldn't have believed  were there for me,  had she not been here to see for herself. They are precisely what makes living here so unique and so desirable. They are, indeed,  what can - and must - be said for living in Small Town, Rural America !