Small Town on a Waterway

july 18 2012 084
Little Ossippee River flows to the Saco.

Dear Reader:
Once in awhile I feel the need to remind myself why I started writing this blog in the first place, so I click on James Howard Kunstler’s blog, Clusterf$#k Nation, and get a zap of possible-future angst.

From his blog post, Modernity Bites this week: Find a nice small town on a waterway surrounded by farmland and get ready to have a life.

For Kunstler, this is an optimistic piece of writing, with many sentences starting, “If you are young…”

In other words, his vision of the world is that we are devolving, slowing down, no matter what the yahoos on t.v. say about shale oil and how the U.S.A. is going to be the largest oil producer in the world. But there is good life to be lived even in a “World Made By Hand” (the title of one of Kunstler’s books), and those young enough and strong enough and clever enough to take advantage of opportunities can not only survive, but thrive.

In a post-oil world, we will be much more local–whether we like it or not. Wouldn’t it be wise to begin investing in our local communities now? That is why I encourage you, my dear readers, to shop locally, to get involved in community government and activities, to learn one or two “low-tech” skills. Even as we use technology to discuss these things (hello! blogging here!), we can inhabit, in part, that other world of handmade stuff–clothing, tools, food. Check out a craft fair or two this holiday season. Make something yourself to give to a family member or a friend.

This weekend in my town, we are celebrating our community with an annual event called Village Christmas. There will be two craft fairs, community breakfasts and lunches, hayrides (low-tech transportation!), a parade, raffles, tree lighting, carol-singing, cookie-eating. I’ll post some pictures next week.

How does your community celebrate the solstice season?

8 responses to “Small Town on a Waterway

  1. Your local activities sound like just the right thing to get everyone in a holiday frame of mind!

    • I love the tree lighting and caroling. The tree is set up in a gazebo in front of our old Limerick Academy building on a little hill. Very quaint. I bet your island gets into the Christmas spirit…

  2. We have the “Festival of Lights” parade where people can put non-perishables on their favorite float. A creative way to help the community. One thing I have always wanted to do but haven’t- the library has a fundraiser using some of the historical inns in our neighborhood. Maybe this will be the year I take that tour and see the inside of those lovely places.

  3. I live in a small suburb that has really kept its small-town feel. One day this month our community will have ice sculptures, Santa Claus, a pancake breakfast, coloring contest and other small-town activities down the main street. The trees lining the street are lit in white twinkles.

    I put lights on my front arborvitae and keep them lit usually until about Easter. It is my way of combatting the winter blues. I call them my solstice lights. I think my neighbors just think I’m lazy, but I don’t care.

    • Smiling about the solstice lights…I love it! There is just something people like about the feel of a town Main Street or a city downtown, and when communities celebrate in those spaces, there is comfort. Thanks for sharing, Jean. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season (and I look forward to reading more of your blog posts!)

  4. Couldn’t agree with you more. One of the reasons we moved to our town was for its strong sense of community. We try to shop locally. And I’m looking forward to the annual community band holiday concert!

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