living in rural Oklahoma

I am not sure if people who live in cities or suburbs can really understand what it is like to live in a town like Minco. You see, I always considered myself to be a small-town girl (from a small-town, that is, not always wanting to live in one). I am from DuBois, Pennsylvania. It is on the western side of the state about 2 hours from the Ohio border with 2 exits off of I-80. When living in the south, my southern friends refered to me as a “yankee.” If the technical definition of yankee is living (or being born) north of the Mason-Dixie line is correct, then I am one. However, I tend to think the stereotype refers to New Yorkers, mostly, and eastern sea-board dwellers, more broadly. DuBois, PA, is more like the midwest than anything else. It is the line where people stop calling carbonated beverages “soda” and start calling them “pop.” DuBois, has a population of about 20,000 people. It is the largest town in it’s particular region, but it has several small towns (ranging in size from 3,000 – 10,000) surrounding it. So, DuBois is actually a sort of center of commerce for the region. I didn’t really realize all of this until I moved to Minco. I always wanted to leave DuBois as soon as I could because it was so small. Now, I realize, it was quite a thriving little city.

Now, onto the discussion of Minco. Minco is about 35 miles from Oklahoma City. It has 1,672 residents according to the 2000 census. One might think that this is ok, since the City is so close. And, in some ways it is. But I had become accustomed to Target or Wal-Mart being a 5-minute drive from my house. I had become accustomed to having 2 or 3 large supermarkets to choose from. I had become accustomed to having a library in my neighborhood to take the kids to with ease.

In Minco, we have Mick’s Discount Foods. It is a small IGA store. The prices are higher than an in-town store, but not nearly as bad as a convenience store. The meats are great quality. The produce is also quite good. The selection often leaves something to be desired. Trips to Wal-Mart Super Center (14 miles away) are really necessary in order to get several rather basic items (vanilla-flavored yogurt, for example). We also have Woodworth’s Hardware (and variety) Store. It has been in Minco since the early 1900s, and they have things in there that have been there since the 1950s, at least. But if you found such an item, you would probably pay the original price for it too. We also have a flower shop, a couple of antique/gift stores, a video/tanning store, a few beauty shops, 2 gas stations, 4 restaurants (nothing you’ve heard of), a small variety store, an electrician business, a junk store, a thrift store, a print shop, a realtor, the senior citizen’s center, the public school, and 6 churches.

You can survive in Minco without leaving town if you need to. Actually, I have made very few trips to outlying towns or OKC in the last few weeks. I have really been trying to keep my driving time down, and I’ve been more of a home body. However, I went to Mustang the other day to visit the new library there. It is the closest library to us (18 miles northeast). We have a card there, and I have taken the children there regularly since we moved here. But they just opened their new community center that houses the new library. It is an excellent facility. The library is spacious with lots of comfy sofas as well as tables and chairs. The children’s section has a great set of little tables and chairs as well as a small play area. It was so nice to be in a real library again. Going there really made me realize how much I love convenience. I love having services available to me. I miss this aspect of suburban life so much.

Now, I know I have blogged in the past about my need to be content where I am. I know God has put us here. I am still working on being content. I haven’t thrown in the towel. I just have to get my honest feelings out once in a while.

Finally, today is the Minco Fair. An agricultural event for the most part. However, for the second year in a row, I will be judging the cake contest. Now, you couldn’t get fun like that in most suburbs.

2 thoughts on “living in rural Oklahoma”

  1. I am very aware that I am city girl! I determine a city’s worthiness by proximity to Nordstrom. Not that I shop at Nordstrom on a regular basis but it is a good indicator or many of the other conveniences I am used to. We keep talking about moving and I am so spoiled in my suburb that there are several neighborhoods I have all but ruled out due to the fact that I would only have 2 of the 3 grocery stores I shop at in close proximity!!! I am happy that you are surviving so well and have enjoyed the local library so much. I must be going, I have to run to Safeway for ice cream (or should I go to QFC or Albertson’s????)

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