Small Town Girl

3:22 PM

Today we got up, got ready as quickly as we could, and explored town attempting to find some yard sales.

Sadly we didn't find anything we were actually looking for. The only find we found (ha) was a Seward trunk. Not sure what we're going to use it for yet, but it's in great condition and was a whopping seven dollars. Too good to pass up.

As we drove around we just happened to be looking at all the "For Sale" signs in the decent neighborhoods of starter-homes. All of a sudden the small town we're currently living in went from being a "temporary thing" to "this could be home" in my mind.

I grew up in a family that always moved. I'm not sure I could truly be called a "small town girl" when I was young, but then again we really didn't live in any big cities. We always seemed to live near something. A good piece away that we could drive and have a day out, but it was close enough that we didn't all go insane with cabin fever.

I loved the way I grew up. Every two to three years I'd get that "itch" to move. That's how it was. We started off moving with my dad's ministry, and ended up following that call into the military life. The military seemed like such a fit, since the people who were a part of it understood that we didn't have the traditional home with four walls and a roof. Home truly was where the heart was.

When we first moved to North Carolina I was bitter. The bitterness was still hung over from when we moved from New Jersey to Indiana. I mean, I felt like we were going from something wonderful near NYC to hick-ville, and that feeling worsened when we actually moved to the South.

I was constantly preaching about how I couldn't wait to get out of here. I couldn't wait to go to college somewhere up North or out West. I couldn't wait to escape this ridiculous place full of people who hadn't ventured far from home. I was ready to pack up, leave, and never return.

Then I met Clark. Then I fell in love with Clark. Then Clark and I got married.

All of a sudden, the South didn't seem so bad.

When we lived in Boone my dad kept telling me we'd miss it. We'd miss our college town. We'd miss knowing our way around. We'd miss the mountain air. We'd miss it.

I laughed at him.

I told my dad I wouldn't miss Boone. Boone didn't have much, after all. Boone was full of college kids just looking for a "good time". I wasn't a typical college kid, after all. We had gotten married young. We were moving forward. We were about to have a baby. There's no way I'd miss it.

Now I laugh at myself.

As many of you read in Cindy's guest post, "home" doesn't have the traditional meaning to us. It's not necessarily a "house", but a feeling. As moving as Cindy's words were, and even though they brought me to tears... I can't help but wonder if that's how I really feel.

When we were driving around our small town today, I wondered if my feelings were those of "settling". The idea that I could live here. I could get used to knowing everyone. Get used to many people checking in on me, Michael, and future kids if Clark has another accident. Get used to driving through the same downtown to to go somewhere. Get used to having to plan a trip to Target or a decent mall. Get used to all the festivals, the summer activities, the tourists, the wilderness... get used to it all.

Is wanting to stay in this small town I've scoffed at so much "settling", or are those feelings my true desires coming to the forefront?

I'm not entirely sure of the answer.

As we get closer to Clark's college graduation, I try to talk more and more about our plans. It's always the same.

"Where ever I [Clark] can get the most decent job, the closest thing to what I want to do, that's where we'll go."

I always want more. Always push for the unknown. I mean, really, we don't know. We could end up anywhere between California and here. There are infinite possibilities of where Clark could be hired to go. It's all about finding where he wants to go.

It's all about following where God is leading us.

My mind has constantly changed when it comes to where we (aka I) want to live. When Clark first thought he wanted to be in the military, I thought it fitting. We loved to move for the most part, and we had both grown up in that environment. It would work.

Then when he changed his mind, mine wandered. When I was young I used to want to live on a farm with lots of land and very few people around. Having to drive my children to a school far away or even homeschooling didn't phase me at that time.


Now we've had to endure winters where we couldn't get anywhere and I realize that may not be what I want. I'm prone to cabin fever, after all.

Then my dreams moved to wanting to be in a city. Wanting to live somewhere that I'd have to walk or ride a bike to get wherever it was I was going. To live somewhere that cars were almost fickle.

I was a small town girl with big city dreams.
(March 2010, on the ferry to NYC from Stanton Island)


Now I think I'm just a small town girl.

(June 2012, White Squirrel Festival)

Maybe it's settling. Maybe it is fear of not having a place to call home. Maybe it is the idea that I didn't grow up with the same four walls and roof, so maybe I want my children to have what seems like a luxury to me.

I will follow where we are lead. If we are lead to Colorado, we'll go to Colorado. If we're called to Maine, we'll go to Maine. Anywhere we are needed, that's where we'll go. But I think at this point I have learned that I will always have a special place in my heart for the High Country of North Carolina.

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