My sister and her husband are moving to Gail, Texas. The population of Gail, Texas is, according to Wikipedia, less than 200. It is the county seat of a Texas county with a population of less than 1000. This is a bafflingly small town, in a county with a population which is less than half the size of the high school from which my sister and I graduated.
For some time, since the possibility of this move was first discussed, my mom, who has visited Gail in the past, has been saying to me, “Oh, but they can go to Post if they want to go out to eat.” Post is another Texas town, about 30 miles away. I assumed it was reasonably sized. I pictured something similar in size to Ithaca or Blacksburg, which are my reference points for small towns (populations of roughly 30,000 and 40,000, respectively). My recent Wikipedia research, though, says that even Post has fewer than 10,000 people. That’s about 1/4 the size of Blacksburg, which is by no means large, and they’ll be 30 miles away from it.
The nearest city of any size is Lubbock, Texas at 77 miles away. The population of Lubbock is about 212,000, again according to Wikipedia, which is a nice small city in my book. But 77 miles away. Ugh.
I hope they’ll be happy there. I’m having trouble imagining it, though, because I, myself, would be miserable in such an isolated locale. (Both Blacksburg and Ithaca are a bit small for my taste, although I suddenly feel as if I’m living in a booming metropolis.) Nevertheless, I wish them well. Sooner or later, I will go to visit them. I suspect that this may require a camel and/or a covered wagon.
Speaking of small metropolises, we have now been in Blacksburg for nearly 5 years, and the small town aspect of it is really starting to kick in. Today at the dentist office the receptionist asked me if the baby had arrived yet. She had seen my pregnant wife recently while working her other job, at a local retail establishment. During my appointment, I mentioned to the dentist that our new baby had arrived, and he said, “Yeah, not to sound like a stalker, but we saw you in a parking lot last week.” The baby has been out of the house once or maybe twice. Sheesh.