We live in a small-ish town near Chicago. How small? I recently took my neighbor some tomatoes from my garden, watched as he took a bite, then casually asked me who I was. (OK, so we don't spend a lot of time with our neighbors. In my defense, I work 12 hour days on a regular basis. But you're missing the point!)
We used to live much closer to the 'big city', but moved here because of housing prices. The big deal for the entire first year was the fact that everyone we met knew we were new here. My children, born and raised in the 'big city', couldn't get used to the fact that everyone we passed said hello.
But eventually they, and we, did get used to it. So used to it, that recently when I gained a client for my home business, it was absolutely no surprise to us that the client had a sister who worked for the doctor who treated my daughter for her broken ankle, and that she learned of us through another client who temped for said doctor when said sister took a maternity leave. (And if you don't understand that, just imagine what my daily life is like! ) And that my daughter's boyfriend saw the children who come to daycare here when he was in the emergency room recently, and introduced himself with the usual two degrees of seperation that exists here in our small town.
I am most definately not a small town girl. Give me a mall and a highway anyday. But, here? I don't know why, but I love it. Maybe it's my age. I'm not 20 anymore. ( 29, um kay?) And the thought of anonymity isn't so attractive anymore. But I still love the thought of sort of knowing my neighbors, and having room for a garden and a patio, and maybe saying hey to the cashier at the only grocery in town.
But it is still seriously cool to live close enough to 'The City' to go shopping when I want, while being able to take garden produce to a neighbor.