Friday, March 4, 2011

Small Town Kid

My whole life I have wanted to live in a small town. I blame it on the fact that I grew up visiting my grandparents in their sleepy little town of 1,500 people. A place filled more cows than humans and getting to the nearest mall takes half an hour. Visits to Apache, OK coupled with my early indoctrination of country music and my love of trucks, living where there were wide open spaces and less people seemed ideal to me.
But, I did not grow up in a small town. Not even close. As of last year, the population of my hometown of Arlington, Texas was 380,000 people. I grew up in a place where shopping centers pop up overnight, and you sit in traffic from 3-7 pm everyday. High schools have 4,000 kids, and there is a Sonic on every corner.
Oddly, it took me moving to Australia to get my taste of small town living. Though the population of Gosford is 160,000 people, it still feels like a little community. The sidewalks practically roll up around 6 pm every day, and nothing is open later than that besides McDonald's and the grocery store. I can't go to the shopping center by our Ministry Centre without running into at least one member of our church or someone I know from the community.
And I love it! I love that I ran into a lady I volunteer with at the soup kitchen a few weeks ago and she already knew that I was engaged before I could tell her. I love that the Wednesday night Macca's crew knows Gosford church is coming after mid-week study. I love that everyone has bumper stickers boasting the new Central Coast footy team (rugby) on their cars. I love that I can see trees, mountains, and a bay on my drive to work. I love that the guy at subway knows my regular order. Though there are times when I would kill for a 24 hour Wal-mart or only a 20 minute drive to the airport (opposed to the hour and half it takes me), I wouldn't give up my two year stint as a small town kid for anything.