December 2017

Q&A - December 29, 2017

I hope all my readers are enjoying some well-deserved time off this week. Here at the holidays, we are often surrounded by family and friends. You may even have a houseful of extended family members that have returned to Okmulgee for a holiday visit. I can think of no better time to have a conversation about the merits of living in Okmulgee. Perhaps this week’s column, the fifth installment of this series on the advantages of living in a small town, can be put to good use.

Q&A - December 22, 2017

For many people, it seems like every minute of every day is scheduled with some activity. If it’s not in meetings or at work, it’s keeping appointments or shopping. If it’s not preparing or consuming a meal, it’s commuting or waiting in a line somewhere. The urgent things in our busy lives leave precious little time for the important things in life—the things we truly love to do. Since there’s no way to add minutes to our day, the only relief to be found is by reducing the amount of time spent in various activities.

Q&A - December 15, 2017

How many young people do you know personally that graduated from a local high school, went off to college, and never returned? Wouldn’t it be great if we could get more of those young adults to return to Okmulgee or to the surrounding area? Well, we can. They have to start their lives somewhere, and I believe many of them would gladly choose to live in a small town if they knew the advantages of small town living. But, it’s up to us to educate them.

Q&A - December 8, 2017

Last week, I started a topic and told you it would take me more than one week to properly explore. So this week, I will continue where we left off last time. With the depopulation challenges faced by most small towns across the country, people who are concerned about the survival of their communities want to know, “How can we retain our young people and keep them from moving away?” or “How can we encourage young people to return to our small town and to invest in our community?”

Q&A - December 1, 2017

This week’s question reminded me that small towns were once the lifeblood of this nation. Before the interstate highway system bypassed most small towns, there were thriving communities all over the United States. Unfortunately, many small towns are now struggling for their very existence. When their young people grow up, most of them move away, looking for more excitement and greater opportunities. As populations decline, businesses fail. Jobs are lost. Properties are vacated. Neighborhoods decline. Apathy and despair begin to set it.