Can You Spare A Little … Time?

Our little town of 800 boasts a grocery store, restaurant, pharmacy, clinic, restored Theater, library (that’s where I work), coffee shop, hardware store, antique store, and gift shop/art gallery … all within two and a half blocks.

We live right behind the theater, so I guess that means we live in the theater district.

Everything is walking distance for us … love that about living here.

Yesterday, I walked to the store for a candy bar. (Yes … it is a problem that I live that close to the store and can run over there whenever an indulgence strikes … and to clarify … it was DARK chocolate … I’ve been on a modified Keto eating plan of late.)

On the way back one of my neighbor’s and her son were coming down the street.  She was letting her little guy try out his battery powered kid scooter that he was finally old enough to steer without running into her ankles.

After chatting a second, I dismissed myself as I was clearly walking much faster (and had in mind wanting to get home and dive into my chocolate). “I won’t keep you guys … see you later,” I said as a way of escape after a reasonable amount of customary, polite small talk.

“Wait,” called out Little Guy from his little scooter.   “I want you to watch me drive.”  No whining … just a sweet smile and a sincere invitation.

How could I turn that down.

I slowed my gait and backed up so that it took two minutes instead of one to walk down the street.  One extra minute in order to escort Little Guy and His Mom which also perked into a much more meaningful exchange with His Mom in that two minutes.

We crossed the street and came to the juncture where our paths split.

Completely unprompted, Little Guy looked up and beamed.

“Thank you for watching me.”

You would have thought I’d just handed him my chocolate bar (a thought that didn’t even cross my mind in that moment) from the glee.

Two minutes.

Two minutes and I completely made a three-year-old’s day.  I may have made his whole week.

We moved here to slow down.  To relish family … each other … and life … in a more sane and reasonable manner.

Thank you, Little Guy, that this means taking time to watch a kid do something that to him is remarkable. I’ve written about the gift of time before, but the lesson never seems to get fully learned … and unfortunately that is even more true when a chocolate bar is at stake.

I love the small stuff that makes a big difference.

Tekoa Empire Theater
My neighborhood. (This photo was taken in 2014)

 

Small Beginnings and Endings

My life is starting to resemble a Big Stuff Oreo Cookie™.

My life is starting to resemble a Big Stuff Oreo Cookie™.

My beginnings were in a small town, and I’m talking small … the population topped out around 100 people before I left home. At 18, I transplanted to a sprawling metropolitan area in order to attend college. From 100 to 3.5 million people (50 thousand on the campus alone!), I lived the urban life. I finished college … worked in the heart of the city … married a fellow college student … did stints in various suburban neighborhoods where we raised our family … enjoyed the luxury of being minutes from shopping malls and numerous restaurants … fought traffic … listened to constant barrages of sirens and gunshots (seriously) … attended theater and concerts and festivals and other big city offerings .

But now I’m back to small town life … just 12 miles from where I started.

And I. LOVE. IT.

For awhile, city life made me feel like Big Stuff … somehow important .. . somehow in a position to change the world … somehow a big deal because I was close to where everything “important” happened. Like that gooey sweet stuff in the middle of the OREO … that stuff for which people yank off the ordinary old outsides and cast them off in order to inhale the sweet cream of the middle.

For me, however, the big stuff has grown stale. I don’t think as much about changing the world … or know that I even want to. All the sweet, enticing stuff in the middle of my life has faded in its glamor.

These days, I just want ordinary, and I’m kinda enamored with it. My big, hairy, audacious life goals have morphed into wanting to leave what’s right in front of me a little better than I found it. AND … I want to do so at an easy, kind-hearted pace.

So here I am (well just not me … My Guy and me) … city folk for nearly four decades, now sporting country duds in a town of about 800 people … this after maneuvering live in a metropolitan area of 3.5 MILLION people.

There are many, many things to appreciate about the last four decades of city and suburban living … but …

But … every day here in small town America feels like a celebration to me.

That’s what this blog is for … to celebrate small town life … small stuff. It’s not meant to rail against or even a be a comparison to city life … well … except maybe when it comes to traffic.

Loved the recent visit with our daughter in the Seattle area, but DID NOT miss this part of city life.

And to be clear … small town life isn’t an escape from human problems … from suffering … or sadness … or disagreeing … or disappointments … or hardships … or anything that comes from living life on  a broken planet.

Small town life is simply a season for me to take on all the hard stuff at a slower pace with a bit more realistic view of who I am and who I am not. 

Today I celebrate simple walks and beautiful drives with My Guy and end with a few shots of a drive just south of us into the Idaho panhandle.

Freeze Church near Potlatch, WA
The Freeze church near Potlatch, ID. This simple little church still has an active congregation and is the perfect example of what I love about small stuff.

These pictures are for real … this is the bathroom situation at the Freeze Church.  Now, I guess we know the reason for its name.  HaHa.  (By the way, it’s pronounced Freez – y … rhymes with Breezy.)

Seriously, though, I know people who have left churches because the music was too loud or the parking lot wasn’t big enough or the children’s department didn’t provide enough entertainment for the kids. 

And then I see something like this church along with the sermon notes and song list inside the building.  Simple … small … and maybe a little outdated (whatever that really means) … but earnest and alluring in a way that only small stuff can be. Give me more of that!

Sunset at end of highway

Thank you for reading “Small Stuff”.  This is my second blog.  You can read more about my life experiences and the faithfulness of God towards a simple country girl on rashellbud.wordpress.com. 

Please note that all photos, unless noted, are mine and permission must be sought to use them.

Wishing you a beautiful day full of the small stuff that makes life wonderful and a big deal.