Is it all based on what you know? My experiences recently revealed to me how comfortable I am with familiarity and what I know. I have spent most of my life in medium to larger cities. I love rural America and know that small towns offer something more than you’ll ever find in a large metropolitan area.
While I know small towns in rural America are far from a utopia, I enjoyed celebrating Independence this year in a very small town. Keep in mind that last year, we celebrated in Nashville, TN, and I’ve been to the famous Red, White, and Boom in Columbus, Ohio, numerous times.
This year, celebrating Independence Day was different. Fireworks look the same in the sky in a major city or small town. I found this year was fun yet uncomfortable. We didn’t know where to park because there were no signs and nobody was directing us to parking lots. Nobody was charging parking fees to park at their establishments. We were not comfortable randomly selecting a parking spot but followed the crowd and assumed the vehicle would not get towed.
There were vendors of all types lining the streets selling food, drinks, and colorful toys and balloons. The streets were crowded as was expected. We heard lots of great music from various stages as we walked through the crowd. We saw people from all walks of lives and of all different ages. This was all things we would see at any Independence Day celebration, whether in a city or in a small town in rural America.
One of the most significant differences I noticed was the lack of police presence. I was accustomed to seeing law enforcement on top of buildings keeping a watchful eye on everything. Previously, law enforcement had been helping manage the traffic flow and sometimes, even the parking. I had never been able to count the number of law enforcement officers previously. This year, I was able to count them, and it was easy because they were all together in one location.
Most likely, the people that have attended this event each year would not be comfortable with a large police presence. I would have felt safer if there had been more officers. I find it strange as I contemplate the differences and there’s no right or wrong with any of this, it’s just what we know. Comfort resides in familiarity. Thankfully, our vehicle did NOT get towed so following what everyone else worked this time.