Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Ten Worst Things About Living in a Small Town World

I told you last week the Ten Best Things About Living in a Small Town World. Today, I’ll tell you the Ten Worst. (Yes, I thought of some.)


  1. News travels really fast in a Small Town World. (Once I was with a guy when he stopped to buy ‘something’ for his dad. By the time I got home, my mom knew about it.)
  2. When my Old Ford cousins were in school, their classes were extremely small (less than thirty) and often they were related to about half the class.
  3. When you’re young, dating is tricky business, because if the guys aren’t family (second cousin, once removed) then your best friend went out with him. That either puts him off limits or you look for a new BFF.
  4. Teachers remember your siblings and often expect from you what they got from them.
  5. The librarian just might monitor what you read. (At least the librarian did when I was young.)
  6. You have to stand in line to get into or out of church because people know, like and care about each other.
  7. Church is noisy. (For the reason, see #6)
  8. There aren’t very many places to shop. (But the places we have are FANTASTIC!)
  9. When you order flowers, the people at the flower shop often have your order ready when you get there or are expecting you.
  10.  It’s 35 miles to the nearest Starbucks. (But only 28 to the nearest Braum’s.)

So I’ve shared with you my BEST and worst things about living in a Small Town World. If you can’t tell, I truly enjoy where I live. (C-Town is the bomb!) But I loved living in Pryor Creek, too. (When #1 Son started driving, the man who owned the shoe store volunteered to let us know if he drove too fast.)

As I’ve mentioned before, the world is made up of Small Town Worlds. Whether it’s the place you work or your neighborhood or your church or your part of Facebook or Twitter, no matter the size of your city, your part of it is your Small Town. 🙂

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

BTW: I’m not sure how second cousins and removed cousins work. Is my dad’s first cousin’s child my second cousin or is he once removed?

Does anyone really know?



The Ten Best Things About Growing Up in a Small Town World


I love, love, love living in a Small Town World. (In case you haven’t guessed.) And here are just a few of the reasons why . . .

  1. Public workers are often people you went to school with. (That’s especially good when you’re speeding and get pulled over or you forget to pay the water bill.)
  2. When you call someone and get a wrong number, it’s usually someone you know. (At least they know someone you know.)
  3. You went to church with some of your teachers. “Mr. Ritchie, do we have to take that test tomorrow?” (That can be a bad thing, too.)
  4. Your kids play with the kids of your friends when you were a kid. (That can be a bad thing, too, too.)
  5. Directions are often, “Turn at the Dari Diner, go past Doc Saddoris’s house and the old school to the street where Mrs. Jordan lived.”
  6. Instead of street addresses it’s, “The old Johnson House” or “The Mullendore Mansion.”
  7. If your kids do something wrong, you hear it before they get a chance to lie to you about it.
  8.  If you friended every one of the kids you graduated with on Facebook, you’d have a whopping 69 friends. (My cousins from Old Ford would only have twenty-something friends.)
  9. When you apply for your first job, you usually call your prospective boss by his first name. (My first three jobs.)
  10. The people you grew up around are nicer than people anywhere else in the world. In fact, they’re THE BEST!

Mullendore Mansion

Bonus #11: You know where the bodies are buried. 🙂

I know I’m missing some like, “kids from all churches attend various church functions” (especially if there’s food) and “when a dog gets lost, someone across town will recognize it, call it by name and return it to you.”

What else am I leaving out?

Next time–the worst things about living in a Small Town World. (If I can think of any.)


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Trapped in a Tube

MRI tube, that is. And I survived.

Okay, for all you who worried yesterday that I’d get stuck in the MRI machine (my hand’s in the air) it didn’t happen! Yay!

It was a smallish tube (breathe) and right in front of my face was the curve of the tube. I have to take a deep breath just remembering it.


But there were several perks. I got to wear a beautiful, side tying, designer formal hospital gown. (I should have taken my phone with me so I could take a selfie in it. Too cute!)


This is what it looked like.


This is what it felt like. 🙂

And I received a gorgeous, multi-colored pair of ear plugs.

I met some really nice people at the Imaging Center. Of course, one woman knew someone who lives in C-Town. (All roads lead to my home town.)

A man named Phil helped me out. Got me the gown, locked up my clothes (so I couldn’t run away?) and talked me through most of it. But when he had an emergency bathroom break, I chatted with Lori, too.

Big thanks to Sister Debbie who drove me over and kept me entertained so I didn’t dwell on the worries, such as, Will I get stuck? Will the machine break and keep me pinned inside? Will I run out of oxygen and not be able to take . . . another . . . breath . . . . eve . . . . . Will I give myself the screaming memes and run out of the room with my hospital gown flapping?

Even though I had a few niggling 🙂 worries, none of that happened.  🙂

When it was over and I was released, I offered to look at the results (LOL) but they didn’t have the films ready.

I had a swell lunch (sorry, I’m listening to an old movie with old terms being used) at Pei Wei. (First time for me.) THEN Sister Debbie took me to Peach Wave and forced me to eat frozen yogurt.


That frozen yogurt made it worth every second of the twenty minutes I was trapped in the tube. 🙂




MRI–Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Ever had an MRI? I did before I got my new hippy hippy coco puff four years ago. They have you take off all earrings and piercings and anything else metal.

So . . . if I were a cartoonist, I’d draw a cartoon of a woman stuck to the top of an MRI scanner by her belly button ring. She’d have to talk out of the side of her mouth (’cause she’s stuck so tight to the top.)

“Oops. I might have I forgotten one.”


Guess I better tell them about my hip, huh? I’d hate to forget about it and arc out the machine. (Oy!)

MRI at noon. See you later.


Back in the . . .

129597992513478451 That pretty little girl on the far right of this picture is my mama. (Back in the day.) Her oldest two siblings aren’t in this picture. (Yep, that’s 7 kiddos and yes, it was the Great Depression, although I don’t know what was great about it.)

Just to the left of Mom is her sister Carol. The other even smaller boy is Uncle Robert. Those two are Mom’s only living siblings.

The big boy is Uncle Joe and the biggest girl is Aunt Virginia. It hurts my heart when I think about the family that’s gone on, but I love the stories the pictures bring back. Now look at Mama again. mom See how pretty and neat and girlie my mama looks with her feet together and her little puff sleeves puffed and her hair not blowing wild around her head? When I see that picture, I wonder if Mama despaired when she watched me grow up.

I hate to tell you how I looked at that age. *sigh* In most pictures (when I wasn’t heading to church or having a professional picture made) my hair is falling out of a ragged ponytail and the bows and ties on my dresses (if mama talked me into a dress that day) are all dragging behind me, because I didn’t sit and play little girl games. I ran and jumped and fought and played and had a good time!

Mama said Grandma kept her hair short and “shingled up the back” (I think that’s stacked, but I’m not sure) to make it easier to take care of. mom's-hair Mama didn’t like that pixie cut (that’s what we called it) so she kept mine long. We spent a while every night (or the next morning if I crashed too early) trying to comb out the snarls, tangles and cockle burrs. 🙂

With six sibs, I have a feeling if Mama got cockle burrs in her hair, she had to comb them out herself.

Now look at this.


Those are Mama’s feet. Her socks are sagging, her shoes need polishing or the dust washed off (and they might not match each other) and her knees and legs have a few scabs on them. 🙂

Hm. Maybe Mama and I were more alike than I thought. Maybe she liked to run and play and jump and fight and have fun, too.

Maybe, if I’d known Mom when we were both children, we’d have been really good friends. I like to think so, anyway. 😛