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What it means to live in a small town
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There's a difference between city folk and small town folk.

Even though I love some of the conveniences that a bigger city offers, I am a country girl at heart that loves living in a small town.

My baby sister on the other hand, is a city girl through and through.

When she first came to visit out here in the fall, she fell in love with the mountains of Georgia. Shawn said it was so peaceful and relaxing compared to the hectic pace of Houston that she couldn't wait to come back.

Things were just much slower here and in a good way.

A slower pace is not the only thing different about living in a small town.

When my sister came back a few months later for Christmas, our male shepherd went missing. He had been spooked by someone squirrel hunting and jumped off the porch, running like a woman to only God knows where.

Instead of Shawn and I getting to do all the things we had planned - tour of wineries and outlet mall shopping - we ended up hiking the back 40 in search of my dog and neither one of us had hiking boots.

My sister and I ventured up many a driveway of neighbors I had never met, asking them if they had seen Roubaix.

"Are we going to get shot?" Shawn asked as we trodded down a mile-long, tree-lined driveway.

"Maybe," was my answer.

Realizing walking door to door may be too time consuming, I changed tactics.

In a frantic and desperate search to find him, I was calling everyone I could, even people I didn't know.

Within a matter of hours, word had gotten out my dog was missing and the calls got easier because folks had already heard.

Exhausted, I called Amy at the salon to update her when Theresa answered.

"Did Amy tell you about Roubaix?" I asked.

"No, what's going on?"

I gave Theresa an overview.

"Where do you live?" she asked, jotting down notes.

I told her and not only did Theresa know exactly where I lived, who built the house and when it was built, she knew half of my neighbors.

"Let me make some calls for you and see if I can find anyone who's seen him," she said.

Shawn raised a perfectly arched brow at me.

"Theresa knows everyone out here?" she asked, curious.

I nodded.

My sister shook her head.

"In Houston, you can go weeks, months even and not run into anyone you know. And all these folks know about Roubaix missing this a Southern thing, or a Georgia thing?" she asked.

I shook my head. "Neither, sis," I began. "It's a small town thing."

"How so?"

"You know how in a big city, you can just kind of mind your own business and stay out of other people's way? Well, in a small town, if you don't know what you're up to, just ask someone else. They do."

Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist and certified life coach. She lives in the north Georgia mountains with her family and four insane, but fairly well behaved dogs.