Towns are a lot like mothers. Some towns insist on a neat, tidy, and uncluttered environment with well-groomed yards. Some have stipulations for businesses wanting to remodel or rebuild for the town’s appearance sake.

Some communities regularly have buildings getting updated or renovated to restore a town’s original vintage look or a new addition of some kind to improve the community’s appearance. Then there are a handful of places like Pringle.

Where my family and I call home, tidiness is not a priority. Pringle may not be the most impressive looking town but it leaves lasting impressions on people who stop by, of an easy going place with down-to-earth locals. Pringle is a proud community; it just doesn’t view town pride in the same way other communities do. Ours is nurturing, like a caring mom, and a sense of family in our town is what makes Pringle proud, not its appearance.

Passersby are apt to notice that Pringle likes to hang onto stuff. There are piles of people’s belongings here and there and a handful of abandoned projects that are scattered from one end of town to the other. Pringle doesn’t get summer tourist’s attention but it doesn’t feel inadequate without it. Our town is confident in being what it is all on its own and has never been fixated on drawing attention to itself or improving its appearance for others. What matters more to our little dot on the map are the people in it.

Our hometown is more like the fun mom, who probably coddles too much, is a bit lax on rules, and lets its residents get away with stuff, but is popular because it’s a fun place to be around. Instead of putting in time and energy trying to impress visitors by appearing important, Pringle prefers being a comfortable and relaxed environment where people feel like they can be themselves and where friends, neighbors, and families share many of their good times together.

Pringle provides a typical small town’s basic needs such as a fire department and community hall, post office, church, grocery store, and local watering hole, but what really makes Pringle shine is the motherly support, care, encouragement and concern for its residents that’s given selflessly. Any benefit auction, community feed, celebration, bridal or baby shower is likely to be packed with locals offering whatever’s needed. Pringle may not be well-groomed, have a city park, sidewalks, a convenience store gas station, or paved roads lined with fancy street lamps but our town looks out for each other.

Pringle raises generations of families on old-fashioned principles of what’s most important; remember the people in each other’s lives—regardless of everyone’s interests, line of work, or backgrounds, and treat everyone with fairness and respect. Like a mother who makes you feel right at home, Pringle’s a non-judgmental community that makes people feel comfortable coming to because it doesn’t act conceited and appreciates respect.

Pringle isn’t known for its beauty or neatness as much as it is for its atmosphere and genuine people, and we’re proud to call Pringle home. Those who overlook the untidiness usually find what makes Pringle a great place to live. Our community may not look like a well-to-do town, but its occupants have a wealth of motherly care.

column originally published the week of April 4-10, 2010

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