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Friendship living in a small town has its ups and downs.
- It is very convenient to be able to enter your local post office and the lady knows your number before you utter a word.
- The grocery store is more like a social outing then buying milk.
- In every church, you know people and the ones who don’t know you are confused.
- You are never lost and you can spot a “flatlander” by the car they drive.
Living in a small town has its perks. However, there is this one BIG downside. It is hard to keep friendships here. Families move up here because of a job or to escape the city life. Once the job or the reality of small-town living stops being fun, they leave.
Unless you were raised up here and some of your family is here most people end up leaving.
The heartbreak of that friendship leaving for myself seems to get easier, but having to walk my kids through it is a new kind of awful. They are now old enough to make really good friends. People we camp with, break bread together, and celebrate life with are hard to let go of. It is sad to comfort your crying kids when once again we find ourselves saying goodbye.
So we are learning as a family to hold friendship loosely. To love big and generously but not to the point we forget that they do not belong to us. Our family is what we can count on and our traditions are what we are building. Our homeschool would run with or without anyone else. Camping and boating go on because its what we love to do. Celebrating reminds us just how blessed we are to be together.
Yes, it is good to have people to join us, to remind us that we are not alone, but it does not define us.
The advantage to having had friends means that we can now visit them wherever they are.
I like to say, “our tent stakes are spreading out” instead of feeling like we will never see our friends again. Thanks to social media many of my relationships carry on without skipping a beat. Other friends, we have shown up at their front door or stayed for an extended vacation. Teaching myself as well as my children that friends may come and go physically but rarely do they we ever leave them permanently.
Living in a small town has its ups and downs, but I would not have it any other way.