We live outside a small town in Eastern Washington that at first look appears one step from being a ghost town or a farm stop taken over by industry. The first time I drove into this small town I was surprised and confused at the same time. The highway into town seems like a “main street”, but it’s really not, a main housing section is made up of manufactured homes and dirt roads. Once I found what could be considered “down town”, there was what looked like a bar with a patio on top. I was there for a business meeting and it was only about 10am on an early spring week day, so people were nowhere to be seen. I thought for sure this was a town on its way out. Definitely not somewhere I would ever move to. Fast forward a handful of years later, and Hubby and I bought a house just a few miles out of this run down little town.
At first look people may think I’m crazy. I’m pretty sure some of the corporate visitors to my office (also in this same sleepy town) think it’s a total lack of options to live in this little town. I don’t view it that way though. Granted, it’s a 20+ minute drive to a chain store, and we only recently got a fast food restaurant (if that’s what subway is classified as). But what the town offers is actually quite priceless.
Once the weather warms up the town is actually quite quaint. The grass turns green, most homes are well taken care of, and once you find them, there are a couple nice parks too. A city worker waters the street plants by hand using a golf cart / water tank. The school is pretty good, with all grades located on the same campus. Though they don’t have a track team, if a student wants to play a sport, they will likely make the team. They are known for having a strong baseball team and extremely strong coed wrestling team. For the younger kids there are year round activities they can be involved in from flag football to dance or cheer camps. The school hosts multiple free movie nights, great for all age students, and the community is quite involved in everything. The area also has the traditional country charm of 4H and Junior Rodeo participants. And despite the multiple dirt streets in town, they are some of the most well maintained streets you will find. Definitely less potholes & snow mess than most towns.
Currently there is a community project based around building a rec center. It progresses more each day. Currently it houses some circuit gym equipment and hosts a variety of activities including batting cages, dance classes, and martial arts classes. In the long run the goal is to add a daycare / preschool facility (currently there is neither in town), a coffee shop, and a full sized basketball style gym.
If you were to ask me now to describe this sleepy little town, I’d say “it’s mine”. It’s a quaint, sleepy little town that makes plans and schedules around planting and harvest seasons. A community that pulls together to help others. And a town that still has the traditional parades of years past where candy is still thrown and fire trucks still spray water.
Below are some pictures from the rec center project – Seminis/Monsanto volunteers.