Five Minute Friday — Community

So let’s spend our five minutes of writing today, sharing about community. Fight it, love it, hate it, hurt or healed by it, we were certainly built for it.
Set a timer and just write. Don’t worry about making it just right or not.
Go all in with your words.
Are you ready?

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:

Community…

I grew up in a small community, 500 people. There were good things and bad things about growing up in such a little place.

  • We had lunches made in our school, by our “lunch ladies” who also happened to be moms of kids going to school too. I was so thankful they put out a cookbook. I’ve made many recipes for my family that I remember eating as a student. I know now, how blessed we were as students to be cared for each day.
  • We played 8 man football. Our basketball team one year only had 6 girls out, just enough for a substitute. We had a stellar band and choir.
  • If you shot a deer in the morning before school, you could probably miss the first 2 hours while you drug it up to your house. It wasn’t uncommon for kids to come to school in camo with a gun in their gun rack. We weren’t worried about getting shot, we wanted to know what they shot and where.
  • We didn’t have homework on Wednesday night usually because everyone went to church.
  • We had a spring concert with a huge BBQ for the community. We walked to the nursing home for social studies when we were in junior high.
  • We have a Threshing days celebration every year that is an impromptu class reunion for anyone who happens to be visiting. The band marches, we eat, we watch sand volleyball and we catch up. I knew the name of every person in my high school and really, for several years before and after me.
  • Our school was “haunted” and our art teacher was a great story teller.

But there were drawbacks. It was sometimes hard to find a niche’ where you felt like you belonged. I moved into that little town when I was 8, third grade. I remember feeling like such an outsider. Like there was some kind of secret I was supposed to know but didn’t about being there. When I graduated 9 years later, I still felt like an outsider. It was a shell I never felt like I could break through. The town motto painted on the side of the grocery store was “Small town, Big heart”. Sometimes, it could feel like it was the other way around if you weren’t born there or were just a little bit “different”.
There were people though, who did their best to make everyone feel welcome. I remember my bus driver stopping me before I got off the bus so she could zip my coat for me. We had a long driveway and the wind was cold. When she retired, we were blessed with another bus driver who came to my wedding. I had a math teacher who invested in my future and who spent lots of time with me helping me understand trig. I had a wood shop teacher (yes, I took wood shop), who would spend late nights at the end of the semester helping students finish projects. He’d also draw all over the top of your board to make sure you sanded it good enough.
I met and started dating my husband in our little community. We were 15. We made an unlikely pair because we were so different. I am so blessed though in reality we couldn’t have been better matched.
When I think of community, there are so many different things that come to mind…church, family, work, school. But most often what comes to mind is the little community I grew up in, in south central Kansas. The place where I learned about making friends and enemies, acceptance and rejection and that no matter where you go small town living has no rival.  That little community taught me far more in terms of “life” than any other place I’ve been. I’m thankful for my experience growing up there and as a parent I try to capture and teach some of those same lessons to my children while living in a much bigger city.

One thought on “Five Minute Friday — Community”

  1. Lovely picture of real small-town life. I felt like I was there with you. And real “community” actually boils down to individuals, doesn’t it? I’m thankful, too, for individuals who reach out in encouragement. 😉

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