Photo courtesy of Red Fox Market, downtown Big Rapids, MI
Last night we got to enjoy one of the many great events our little town has to offer. It was the annual Parade of Lights that always kicks off the holiday season. I probably say this about a lot of the events I go to around here, but this one might be my favorite. It's just the most beautiful, well attended and magical event. With the lights, and the spirit, and the crowd and the excitement to see Santa Claus at the end, it's all just what makes it a great small town tradition.
This had me thinking last night and this morning about how wonderful it is to live in a small town that provides us with so much including these traditions and ways to make memories with our friends and family. Nick and I both grew up in the small town life and we chose to give that life to our kids too. Right after we got married we moved to the city together and we lasted there just six months. We never felt like we had neighbors or a community there. It wasn't that it was bad, it certainly had many perks, it just wasn't what we knew home should feel like to us.
Home to us is having neighbors that pop over unannounced and are always up for a last minute drink on the back deck. It's both friends and strangers that are willing to drop anything to help you when you need it. It's being at an outdoor event among hundreds and knowing faces on each of the four street corners. Home to us is an announcement on a business sign that prayers for one of our own is needed or that a celebration is in order. It's walking into any restaurant and feeling welcomed as though we've just sat down at a family's kitchen table for dinner. It's entering a local boutique and proudly supporting them knowing that you are making an impact. Home is growing up the same and raising kids together. It's trusting that we're all looking out for each other and that everyone else's kids are the same as our own. It's where everyone's funerals are packed in and weddings are like family reunions. It's where streets get blocked off to share a meal and roll pumpkins or to determine who makes the best chili. It's where you know your local firefighters and police officers and teach their children.
I know some people think that the small town life makes your life small, but that's not the case in the least. Small town life has made my life rich in blessings and relationships, safety and opportunities. It has allowed for my family to build supportive connections and it has given our kids the chance to grow deep roots in a town that is truly proud of them.
Small towns give you small town values and big hearts. I wouldn't trade one single day here in small town USA and besides, the sky in a small town is always the prettiest.
Melissa here! While I'm all about sharing trends, deals, and outfit ideas with you, I have a true passion for writing. I love sharing thoughts on life the most and am excited to share those thoughts with all of you right here!
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