Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Small Town America

Coming from what is considered a small town in California, I felt I understood Small Town America.

But that was before I spent time in New Mexico.

You see, in California, most of the small towns (at least in Central California) may be small in population, but you are never really very far from a metropolitan area. Even when we first moved to Boulder Creek, some thirty five plus years ago, while the population was a sparse twenty five hundred, Santa Cruz was just fifteen miles away, and for big items, San Jose was a forty five minute drive.

Still, it was an introduction to small town life I had never experienced. We became friends with people who had never left "the valley" except to go to Santa Cruz. Many had never been to San Francisco.

These people had a different outlook on life than those who had been raised in a more urban environment.

And I liked them. They were involved in community in a way I had never known. Granted they were a bit leery of "outsiders" but they had something I had never found.

Over the years that all changed. We moved from Boulder Creek to Ben Lomond, then to Felton. As we moved "down the valley" the whole area changed.

We watched as it morphed from a place where families lived and stayed to a place where people had their homes, but commuted for long periods every day, meaning they had little time to spend in the community. They shopped and took advantage of the entertainment in the metropolitan areas where they worked. They seemed to only spend time at home on the weekend.

As the population exploded, our little haven became a bedroom community for Silicon Valley.

Since it happened so gradually, we didn't really take notice. We were fortunate to have good jobs close to home. This meant that we weren't involved in the hellacious commutes, and time just sort of rambled on.

We were oblivious.

we decided

to try RVing
we discovered
New Mexico.

We rediscovered
the truth
of small town America.

We remembered
what we had lost.

I love New Mexico
the landscape
the skies
most of all
the people
how they are tied
to the land

and each other.

1 comment:

photowannabe said...

Beautiful tribute to Small Town America and your insights.
New Mexico seems like heaven on earth and you have put down long roots.
I'm so happy for you and Terry.