Living In A Small Town

Small towns. John Cougar Mellencamp sings about it, and I complain about it. Most shopping has to be done 45 minutes away and we are very limited on services. If someone from out of town visits you, people ask who they are. Today the Lord reminded me of the blessings of living in a small town.

If you’ve never been to California and traveled extensively, you imagine California to be Los Angeles and San Francisco. It isn’t though. There is large area of California called the Central Valley and it’s made up of small farming communities. That’s where I was born and have lived a great deal of my life. As a teen I couldn’t wait to leave! Small towns were good places to be from, not to be in, I wanted big city lights.

Educated in a small town
Taught the fear of Jesus in a small town
Used to daydream in that small town
Another boring romantic thats me

I moved back to the valley when I was 29 and have lived here ever since. I finally stopped commuting to the Bay Area 7 years ago and I have lived exclusively in a small town. We are a small town to the core. When something new happens everyone knows about it here. When we get a new store, we all rejoice and think we are big time now!

Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Probly die in a small town
Oh, those small communities

So here was my day yesterday. Lulu and I headed to the office via Starbucks.

“Good morning, welcome to Starbucks, would you like to try a blah, blah, blah?”
“No thanks, can I get a Grande Soy Chai Latte please?”
“A grande soy chai latte, we’ll have your total at the window”
I get to the window and big smiles from the staff, “Hi Lulu! Here’s your whipped cream”
Lulu is dancing in the front seat and crying and drooling all at once. No one can ever say my dog doesn’t multi-task just like her mom!
“Awwww! She’s the cutest thing!”

We run to the office and work.

At lunch we run to the bank. The teller waves me over.
“Hey Susan come on over. LOVE the new flowers in your yard. What’s the stuff you put in the beds it looks so full.”

Then we run to the dry cleaners:
“Hello Mrs. Young, your cleaning is ready. Do you want to pay today or is Mr. Young coming in to pay?”

Then we run to the post office:
“Hey, how’s the church building coming along? I saw men working there, is it almost done?”
“Where’s Anthony been? Haven’t seen him around lately. Heard he’s dating a local girl, whose her family?”
(yes, everyone is involved in your business, it can be kind of annoying or it can be kind of comforting depending on your mood that day). At least they care if for nothing else fodder for gossip.
“Is Casey still in Los Angeles? Good for her! Sounds like she is she doing okay for herself. Sometimes I think I should have moved to a big city when I was younger for more opportunity but hell, I raised my kids here, married my high school sweetheart, my parents are here and we’re okay.”

All my friends are so small town
My parents live in the same small town
My job is so small town
Provides little opportunity

On my way back to the office I get a phone call, “Stop talking on your cell phone. It’s against the law. Besides I was waving and you didn’t even see me. When did you change your hair color? Weren’t you blonde last week?”

Yes, the things that used to drive me nuts blessed me today. I am a part of a community. Maybe I’ve realized it for the first time ever in my life. Maybe it’s a really good thing. I’m not part of a neighborhood. I’m actually part of town. A place where my children are often asked about and cared about. It really was the best decision to raise them here.

No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be

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