Jacob and I are city people at heart. My junior and senior year many asked me if I would stick around Orange City since I was graduating a year before Jacob. My response was absolutely not. There was no way I'd be stuck in small town Iowa with nothing to do. Ha ha God responded, look where we are now. Two college graduates living in a place we never imagined ourselves to be.
While we do not see this as a forever home, we have come to appreciate the simplicity and perks of living in a small town - even if there is no target within a 45 minute drive.
At the very core, living in a small town teaches simplicity. Simplicity of mind, heart, and possessions is an unnatural concept when the world is telling us more, more, more. We have slowly been learning to rely on less and cherish more. Downsizing seems to be a key word these days as we are now a one car family, have minimized our wardrobes to the essentials, and are starting to grasp a simpler life that smaller communities promote well.
Making Our Own Fun
Instead of having cool museums to tour, local breweries to explore, or fill in the blank city activity we enjoy the perk of getting creative with our down time. One of my favorite small town Iowa memories involved photo bombing Christmas light displays and nativity scenes in the evening trying with all our might to not be spotted. Many of these memories are spontaneous activities that we created on our own to have fun.
Lack of Convenience
Sure it is frustrating at times when nothing is open past 8pm and you cannot mow your lawn on Sundays for religious tradition but convenience is not everything. The lack of convenience in being further away from everyday accommodations shows us just how dependent we were on these instant gratification items. We do not want to live an effortless way of life, we desire to live intentionally even when this means planning our errands out ahead of time, mowing our lawn after a long day of work, or eating dinner at our house instead of out.
Never have I experienced such generosity even comparable to that in small towns. After living in a small town for five years now and traveling extensively in small towns I am so humbled by the outpouring of gifts, time, and money people continually offer. My heart has grown tremendously in this area from those who have invited me to their table, shared valuable time with me, and gifted me with their stories. I want to be a person who now fosters that same attitude wherever I am.
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What do you love about where you live? What are some perks of your town or city?
What are you currently learning from those in your community?