I grew up as a Navy Brat. That means we moved a lot. Before mother married her sailor, we traveled a lot, so I was always ‘the new kid’ in school.
So when I married, we moved around a bit as I was now a Marine’s wife. Then I was the student’s wife, then the Army officer’s wife.
Can I say I moved a lot!
But we finally settled down in the hometown of the retired hubby. A small town with a population of about five thousand. The whole parish holds a little over forty thousand souls.
The names were unusual. Since this is a French speaking parish, the early morning news is still spoken in French on the radio. The names generally have a French basis.
Gremillion, Lemoine, Gagnard, Couvillion, St. Romain, Coco…the list goes on. I use these names in my books set in Boggy Bayou because they give reality to the series. The names are rooted in the soil here.
What I didn’t realize about small towns is that if you go back far enough that most of the residents are related. OH, HELLO…that means unless you know the person you are talking to, you better not talk bad/gossip about ANYONE as they might be related to them!
That concept was beyond my thought process. My grandparents lived in Washington State, but the state history didn’t go back to the early 1700’s like Louisiana does.
I found all of this out by doing my husband’s family tree. He is descended from the earliest settlers of Louisiana. I was impressed, because my family swam over during Ireland’s potato famine in the 1850’s. I told him once that he must be related to everyone in our town, either directly, indirectly or by marriage.
My kids were moved around for awhile until we settled down here, and I’m amazed that since they went to school here, schools with small enrollments, that they knew the other kids, their brothers and sisters, their parent’s names and where they lived and what they did!
Years later they can recall small details about the people who live here.
I imagine that the neighborhoods in large cities might be like a ‘small town’ but in other parts of the city, you don’t know who your neighbors are, where they come from, what they do.
I’m thinking I prefer the small town essence. Of finally belonging to a place where your ancestors lived, loved and grew their families.
What about you? What are your feelings about where you live?
Picture Copyright: kudryashka / 123RF Stock Photo