Small Town Life


Looking back at the last post I published, I surmise that, for a great while, I really didn’t think I could top that.

Looking back at the last post that I left unfinished, in August of last year, I surmise that it is now pointless, and I need to admit writing it brought me no real joy. Well, what was it? you ask. It was a grand polemic on what was wrong with Mark Driscoll’s exegesis. It is irrelevant now, because it has become evident that the core problem was himself, and not just his exegesis. Each person’s exegesis is based on their worldview, their perceptions, experiences, their core identity, no?

Digressing…

I put off writing any more because I knew I had this sitting in my files (until I had forgotten about it), and I didn’t want to be a blog post quitter.

And then I picked up grad school again, and writing really fell by the wayside.

I can’t promise I will be consistent in publishing on this site, but upon reflection, I really am happier when I write something. So, I’ve made a list of ideas, and, naturally, decided to write about our most recent move first, so, here goes.

At the end of January this year, we picked up and moved to a small town in central Pennsylvania, the seat of Mifflin County: Lewistown. Now, I am a fan of Gilmore Girls, and the Mitford series, both of which are set in small towns, so I’ve often held an idyllic view of small town life. Life thrived in those fictional settings, rich in color, adventure, and community.

We’ve been here for almost two months, and aside from the positivity of living across the street from my kind and generous father-in-law, it’s been…interesting, and challenging.

Not a Lynchburg kind of challenging.

At the end of January, we came to a good amount of snow already occupying the ground. Second, it kept snowing throughout February (we even had a snow last week!), and temperatures were frigid, sometimes dipping below zero. Perfect hibernating weather for a West coast person like me, which meant eventual cabin fever. I was perpetually cold.

Most of the amenities I am accustomed to having (Target, coffee shops, bookstores) are a nice 40 minute drive away, as well as the one church that appeals to me, and I’ve yet to visit. (It’s hard to motiviate myself to attend a church that far away! Bad weather hasn’t helped, either.) Dunkin Donuts is to this area what Starbucks is in many cities, and the “good” coffee is available at Sheetz.

There isn’t much to do, locally. Hiking and walking is available relatively nearby, but there aren’t any museums, or venues for art and music. Not surprising, since the population has been slowly declining since 1970. And, much to my surprise, when I went to the library to inquire about volunteering, they told me they did not need any more volunteers.

I must look really strange sometimes. One afternoon, as I was checking out a few groceries, the clerk actually leaned ever-so-slightly over the counter to look at my (then VA) driver’s license, as I popped out my wallet to access my debit card. There are a few friendly people, but I get suspicious looks from many around town.

There are some perks to living in this area. I really enjoy the drives through Amish countryside, and through the hills to State College. The state capitol is about an hour away, Lancaster is about 90 minutes, and Philadelphia is only 3 hours away. Not to mention my father-in-law again, who is known in the area for his master gardening, and loves to cook for people. Oh! And because I am a resident of Pennsylvania, I can have a library card for the Free Library of Philadelphia. They have a LOT of e-books (e-books are awesome when bookstores aren’t close, and the local libraries have sparse collections).

The weather is beginning to warm up, the birds are really excited, and some of the trees are beginning to breed, so I hope to recount some more Central PA adventures soon. How was your winter?