Sentimental stories, quaint downtowns and genuine people – a recipe for ‘home’
We are a town where many people are born, live their lives and are laid to rest at the end of that life.
Outsiders may say that is a very shallow and unlived life, full of the potential for stagnation, boredom and narrow-minded thinking.
Many small towns may fall into that critique, but a doff of our cap today as spring is about to dawn on Platte County. Not only do we have progressive communities, but growing communities with more activities than I’ve seen some areas have in a decade. A good kind of growth that is steady and conservative and secure. Local city government that encourages open doors to policies and discussions on items that other towns may never care to talk about in public.
Residents who have lived here and worked here and raised families here agree that it is as close as you can come to heaven on earth. It is a county that has adapted to changing times, welcomed newest trends and has always looked to be on the cutting edge of information to ensure that the communities and the people never get swallowed up the past, but at the same time take pride in where it’s come from.
Older buildings with sentimental stories stand side-by-side with new builds and the union between yesterday and tomorrow is seamless. It is a town where people have home businesses and still conduct transactions with a handshake. The grapevine which can destroy much stronger and bigger towns is just as active in Platte County, but has a sense of caring that drives it.
People that make mistakes here are given that all elusive “second chance” and “third chance” and on and on. Everyone knows everyone. Perhaps not all by name, but by the recognizable faces that are never too busy for a smile or a greeting along the way.
We have quaint downtowns that are not overwhelming but have remained a central gathering place for friends and family. We have a movie theater. We have gas stations and one that will even come out and pump your gas for you if you are having problems. We have eclectic shops and fresh flowers and one place I know of will even put gift baskets and birthday baskets together for you and send them half way around the world which puts our community on the map in the international community.
People in larger towns or small-minded towns couldn’t fathom that kind of service. Though the towns of our communities have progressed and changed, the mission of those that founded the towns are still quite intact with the onus on the strength being its people.
There are those who may go off and find employment or create families in other parts of the country, but in emails and letters, it’s well published that there is a homesickness in those who grew up here. There is a sense of “home” here that you don’t readily find in most of the world, and when the homesickness becomes too great, people simply… come home.
It’s a place where prayer is not a politically objective term. The greeting is still “Merry Christmas” in December and the Bible is still the No. 1 selling book in our hearts. When a couple is married, the town knows about it and celebrates. When a baby is born the town rejoices and Platte County is stamped upon the heart as the winds blow a strong kiss of “welcome to the world.” And at a death, the town mourns. But even in death, there is no lack of peace as you know that you will take your place alongside family that has gone before you, and your name will be added as a monument and a testament to the thankfulness of growing and living in a town that really is home.
There is, no place like home. And if outsiders can see this in such a short time, there is much to be said about the people and the character of our hometowns. Look around at your friends and families. We’ve made it more than a town, we’ve made it a home.