You Can Go Home Again!
I think you CAN go home again, providing you don't expect everything to be the same as it was when you left. The Small Town doesn't actually feel like all that much of a small town, thanks to the commerce that we have. There are a few more subdivisions than there were when I left for college 20 years before, and there are a few more shopping centers. The Church Parish that I grew up in had built a new church, but it remained in the Small Town. The Shopping Center that had been a place for cruising on Weekend Nights is just a shell of what it had been when I left. More restaurants had popped up. A new middle school had been built adjacent to the high school. Walking trails were added to the parks. The "Motor Mile" used to be the home of a mile long stretch of road that housed car dealerships, but now many of those have closed down.
But, some things stayed the same: people fill the stands on a football Friday night, kids are the first priority in the town, kids still walk or ride their bikes to and from school, and the pool is still the place to go in the summer. The teachers at the schools take an active interest in their students.
Things will continue to change. There are plans in the works to build a road to bypass the highway that people use to get to the Big City. This highway is called "Murder Mile" (instead of "Motor Mile" , or "I'll Kill Ya Highway" due to the amount of accidents and deaths that have occurred on that road. That may affect more businesses on that road who depend on the traffic for their livelihood.
On one of the properties where one of the plants used to be, there are some plans to build some kind of shopping area. The Small Town doesn't have a "downtown" area; early residents went to the Twin City for shopping, and the courthouse is also in the Twin City. My opinion is that we've gone this long without one, so we can continue without it. We'll see what happens with that.
CH & I are happy with our decision to move our family to the Small Town. The boys had a bit of a hard time at first, but I think they realize that it was a good move. Things have changed in the Small Town, as expected. You would expect that, in the course of 20 years, things have to change to keep up with the times. I can't say how things will change in the future, but it's my hope that the things that really matter will continue to stay the same.