Monday, June 7, 2010

Things I Will Miss About Kentucky #3: Small Town Charm

I am really going to miss the City of Wilmore, KY.  I am going to miss people waving to me as I drive down the street, strangers saying "Hello" and asking how my day is going. I'm going to miss the small town charm that I've grown quite accustomed to here. This is my best attempt at a snapshot into Wilmore life.

Wilmore is a town of about 4,000 people. 4,000 friendly people. It's picturesque, everyone knows their neighbors, and parents feel safe letting their kids ride their bikes all over the neighborhood. If you're inside your house, your windows and front doors are open, and when you're in your yard, you're guaranteed to see at least 10 people you know passing by on their evening walk. No one has fenced in back yards, so when you're standing in your yard, you can say hello to just about anyone on your street that also happens to be outside.  Hardly anyone locks the door to their house, and if you're out of butter or sugar, you go ask your neighbor if they have some. You don't make a pointless trip to the grocery store, because you feel like you can't ask your neighbor for help. Wilmore is that kind of place.

Wilmore is also the home of Sim's Drugstore. This is the pharmacy we've used since we've lived here, and I LOVE that our pharmacist knows who we are as soon as we walk in the door. The pharmacy shares its space with Tastebuds Pizza-- which is oh-so-delicious. There are few things in life better than going to Sims/Tastebuds for a pizza and an Oreo shake (made with Blue Bell ice cream, of course). Here we are with the Lawsons, outside of Sims, when Eisley was just days old, and she made HER first trip there:

Every December, the City of Wilmore puts on its "Old Fashioned Christmas".  It is held the first Saturday of December each year, and the whole town comes out for it. The event kicks off with the lighting of the Christmas tree (which, to be honest, isn't much to look at). All of the downtown shops-- from the Post Office to the Bed and Breakfast to the Barber Shop and the local restaurants (there are 2) open up their doors to the town and serve Christmas goodies. There's hot cocoa and cookies and fudge, and anything else you can imagine. All along the way, people are singing Christmas carols and saying hello to everyone they meet. It's one of those things that makes you ask, "Is this place real?" We spent every Wilmore's Old Fashioned Christmas celebration with the same friends, and every year, it was one of our highlights. Adding to the magic of it all, it seems the first REAL cold weather for the season sets in just in time for the festivities, and there are always a few snow flurries in the air, too.

Similarly, every Halloween, the City of Wilmore has what is called "Treats on Main". Whether you are one that typically participates in Halloween festivities or not, Treats on Main really is fun. All of the kids in town dress up in their costumes (and by the way, I can say I've never really seen a SCARY costume at Treats on Main), walk along the sidewalks of downtown, trick-or-treating at all of the local businesses. The real fun is that it's a chance to see everyone you know. All in one place. There are no haunted houses in Wilmore, and I quite honestly don't know anyone who trick-or-treats in the neighborhoods of Wilmore. And again, I usually ask myself, "Is this place real?" Here's Froggy Eisley making her first stop at Treats on Main:

On the 4th of July, the whole town is out again. This time for a parade, that includes the Lawnmower brigade and the Water Gun brigade. Following the parade, everyone goes out to the Wilmore Campground for 25-cent (yes, you read that right) hot dogs, 50-cent hamburgers, and cold watermelon slices for a dollar. Everyone picnics together, hangs out, and just enjoys being together as a community. Just in case you were wondering what the Lawnmower Brigade is, here's a picture of it from a couple of years ago. It's serious business:

Wilmore is a place I've loved calling "home". Wilmore has, in many ways, taught me a lot about what community is supposed to look like. I have been changed for the better by living in this unique and wonderful little town.

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