Smalltown Stories

photo from flickr

During a recent visit to an activity centre Mr. Sensitive was busy building with blocks.  He turned to the friendly staff member who asked what he’s building.  Mr. Sensitive announced, “I’m building a house.  We’re moving to a house.”


We were moving to a house in Smalltown, Ontario, and then decided to delay the move, for some pretty good reasons.  And it’s fair to say we’re pretty upset over it.  I haven’t figured out how to explain the delay to Mr. Sensitive yet.

During the Christmas holidays our family spent a few days touring around Smalltown, Ontario.  And the decision to move seemed better than ever.  Fresh air, countryside, the pony Little Miss Adorable’s always wanted and small town living, we know it’s the life for us.

Our friends and relations in Smalltown, Ontario already own innumerable dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, reptiles, rodents, and a bird of prey.  It’s the active lifestyle Little Miss Adorable needs.  We know she’ll be entering her pony in the local 4H shows.  (Once we move and buy a pony, that is.)

Add all the swamps to explore, logs to roll, and rocks to turn over for Mr. Sensitive.  He is the poster child for ‘nature deficit disorder’.   Mr. Sensitive needs to be outdoors.   He becomes less anxious, calmer, and deeply focused on all things scientific.  He is less fidgety and less likely to randomly throw stuff across a room after spending an hour outdoors.  He is no longer ‘out of synch’ – he’s almost normal.

Mr. Sensitive will sit for hours on a picnic table in the forest – our thinking spot – on my parent’s property.  He sits and we talk about the leaves, how trees protect themselves, how trees eat, and tell endless stories about a young boy named ‘Trevor.’  Trevor is Mr. Sensitive’s alter ego, a boy who rides on a magic pirate ship and faces scary nighttime monsters.

Life in Smalltown, Ontario moves more slowly, there is more time for the things that count – like storytelling on a picnic table.

In Smalltown, Ontario small things become big adventures.  One afternoon the kids and I piled into the minivan with my sister to go to a feedstore to buy hay and straw.  We all were excited about any excuse for a roadtrip – so off to the feedstore we went.  Driving through fields, past farmhouses and small towns, we crossed a couple townships in less than an hour.  Little Miss Adorable yelled excitedly at every horse we passed and commented on the different winter blankets they wore.

We arrived at the feedstore, the owners had a small bale of hay, but were out of straw.  No problem they said; they’d call a friend in another township, the friend probably had a small bale of straw for sale.  The owners called up the friend, charged my sister three dollars for the straw, and sent her on her way with a handwritten receipt and the friend’s address scrawled on the back.

Down more backroads, across a couple more townships, past more fields and farmhouses, we eventually find the address.  I pull into a snow-covered driveway, Little Miss Adorable squeals when she sees horses staring at us from behind a fence.

I look around, no one was nearby.  There was someone working a bobcat in the distance.  I wondered if we arrived at the right place.

I inched the minivan up the snow covered driveway, hoping I didn’t get stuck.

Sitting in the snow was a bale of straw, waiting for us.

Sometimes you just need to have trust and faith.


You might notice that I haven’t reset the countdown widget at the bottom of my blog and I haven’t removed it either.  I’m just not ready to do that yet.


About Angela

Super-powered, Special Ed teacher and special needs mama to FOUR (!) children with an assortment of special needs; including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Prader Willi Syndrome. Our family features a heavy dose of good ol' ADHD). I blog about our halfpastnormal life.
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