Aren't I lucky? The town I live in happens to also be my hometown.
Oskaloosa, Iowa is the gem of Mahaska County in the heart of...
Okay, okay, enough with the touristy babble. I live in the town of nearly 11,000 people. And, it's certainly small enough to be able to:
1. Know 75% of the time whom someone is talking about when a "You know, the *---------* family?"
2. Drive across the entire town in about 10 minutes with traffic lights, 15 without, 30 when the train's coming through.
3. Enter any of the three grocery stores on any given day and be able to recognize and say 'hi' to about 50% of people I encounter (this increases significantly when I'm with my dad).
4. Have access to sufficient shopping without sprawling mall configuration.
1. Everyone does not know everyone else's business.
We have two grocery stores and a SuperWalMart. Retail is basic, nothing fancy. Churches outnumber restaurants, which outnumber bars (barely). We have a nice coffeehouse and bookstore, but I wish we had a upscale, classy "bar" and a Target.
Religion is pretty conservative around here, which causes me to miss the Universalist Unitarian church in Minnesota. Many of us are tolerant of others, but many are stuck in their old ways and aren't as much.
There are no clubs, not much nightlife to speak of, which the college students here in town lament widely. Oskaloosa is home to William Penn University, a small liberal arts college of maybe 900. Education is pretty linear: one elementary (huge), one middle school, and one high school.
Culturally speaking, there's not excitement here. Mostly Caucasian, ruralish population, and our businesses reflect that. However, our state's illustrious capital is less than an hour away, and it is possible to get away to a play, nice dinner or evening out, or place to shop.