One year ago today we rolled into Ridgecrest ready (kind of) to begin our new California, small town adventure.
What a year it has been.
We’ve lived in three temporary houses and two regular houses.
We’ve moved our stuff from trailer to truck to storage unit to house to house.
Kyle finished 8th grade and started high school.
I became unemployed and then partially employed.
I started a business.
I questioned my purpose.
We found a church home.
We lost a family member.
We’ve sweated more than we ever thought we would.
We ran a 10k.
We traveled. San Diego, LA, Vegas, Seattle, Albuquerque, Death Valley, Point Mugu, Grand Canyon, Disneyland.
We’ve laughed, cried, been angry, disappointed, frustrated, jealous, joyful, silly, ambitious, grateful.
We’ve made friends. We’ve missed friends.
What a year its been.
Although I know I complain about Ridgecrest and its size and location and *cough* climate, its really not as bad as maybe I joke that it is. I’ve really learned about the positives of small town living throughout this past year and thought it would be good to write them down. What a better time to do this than on our one year anniversary?
Things I do like about living here:
- Two words: Pony Espresso
well actually its more like 10 words: Pony Espresso Big Tom Tropical Iced tea with three splenda.
- The edge of town to the edge of town is 10 min, 15 min max depending on the route you take. Everything is accessible, quickly. I can run from work, pick up Kyle from School, drop him off and be back to work in less than 10 minutes. From our new house to Albertsons or Wal-Mart is literally like ONE minute (maybe two) by car. I mean honestly, you can’t beat that.
- Flip flops. I know they are probably horrible for your feet and all that but I just love them. I pretty much wear them every day.
- There are only one of most places. Someone says I will meet you at Starbucks you pretty much know which one they are talking about. 1 Home Depot. 1 Wal-mart. 1 Bank of America. 1 Pizza Hut. 1 McDonalds. 1 Burger King. 1 Taco Bell. There are two Subways and two Albertsons and technically I guess there are two Starbucks because there is one inside Albertsons, but no one “meets” at an Alberstons!
- People are relatively friendly. I don’t know if this has to do with the 30 + churches in town, but mostly people are friendly and kind and courteous.
- Smaller communities are more bonded. I know this feeling derives mostly from my church family, but it just feel like people are just more invested in each other because they generally just live so much closer to each other. Paul and I were talking about this during our move. We had SO MUCH help and we couldn’t help but think a lot of that had to do with the small community. People can come help out and be home in a few hours. In Seattle some people would have to drive up to 45 min to even come help out…the commute alone causes people to just be more isolated.
- Pizza Factory, China Express, Red Bowl, Bankok Cafe, and Bernardinos Taqueria. Amazing how quick it is to get attached to food!
- Small town sports. Going to games with pretty much the whole town and knowing people and enjoying the games together. Super fun.
- Proximity to things. Weekend trips out of town to fun places like the California coast are pretty do-able. Its like being isolated and relatively close to lots of stuff all at the same time.
- The weather. Ok, Ok, this one is hard for me to add, especially right now since its still hot hot hot, but blue skies and sun are never a bad thing.
Things I still struggle with:
- The roads. They are horrible. Its a good thing we both have 4 wheel drive b/c man I feel like we need it here. So many of the roads are just plain crumbling and it doesn’t seem like anyone really cares. There are also these huge dips all over town to help water flow in case of flash flooding and geeze they are annoying.
- The weather. Obviously I have mixed feelings about this. I miss clouds!!! Oh and its crazy windy here a lot. Wind is my least favorite weather.
- The location. Hour and a half to chain restaurants, Target, Costco etc…You’ve heard it it before and it remains true. Wal-Mart can only get you so far. At least we have that? (I’m trying to be glass half full here…is it working?)
- All the gas stations in town are on the same side of the road. I guess I don’t really struggle with this but I find it interesting. Couldn’t there be at least ONE on the other side of the road. I mean literally, you drive up the MAIN street in town and there are probably at least 6-7 gas stations and they are all on the west side of the road. #itsjustweird
Overall, its been a good year. So interesting to reflect on a year ago today and how different it is now and how different our lives are. We are blessed.
What is one favorite and least favorite thing about where you live?