Small-town living

View from our front balcony!

View from our front balcony!

Craig and I have now lived in our home in Smalltown, USA, aka Loyalton, California–population 790–for more than 35 years. Retail-wise we only have a small grocery store, a pharmacy, a hardware store, a quick mart in the gas station, and an antiques shop (which, by the way, is fabulously just down the block from me). And there are no stoplights in our entire county–the only one in California that can claim that.

Some people wonder why we ever chose to move to such a remote community after finishing college and his Army stint. After all, the nearest city, Reno, is more than forty miles away with pretty much just ranches and sagebrush in between.

A recent visitor...

A recent visitor…

I’ve thought about this a lot and boiled it down to four reasons:

  • No traffic. When I taught school, I only had a ninety-second commute. The only thing that can slow you down on the road around here is the occasional cattle drive…and that’s just such a great Facebook photo op!
  • Real friends. People have brought meals when I have been sick. They have cared for our children in times of crisis. And they would give the shirts off their backs without our asking.
  • Educational opportunities. This may be a surprise to you, especially if you also know that our high school has under one hundred students. However, our local schools are excellent and provide opportunities for college admission and scholarships that students elsewhere do not have. At least half of our seniors are admitted to four-year universities each year–twice the state average. Not bad, not bad at all! Our own children graduated from Biola University, Cal Poly, and UC Berkeley. Way to go, former Grizzlies!
  • 24/7 vacation vistas. We live where other people come to vacation. The view out our windows screams “Look at me!” Our mountain valley is a daily retreat from the craziness of the world…and it is easy to list the blessings in gratitude just by looking around in a prayerwalk around town.
Out on the ranch...

Out on the ranch…

I hope you, too, live where you can retreat. Anyone want to give a shoutout for their hometown?



2 Responses to “Small-town living

  • Donita Toavs
    4 years ago

    I live on a gravel outside a small town in Montana. (North of Kalispell, where you spoke at a ladies retreat Tricia Goyer put together. ) During my growing up years, it was much like you’re describing. As the area’s population has grown, many changes have manifested-some good some bad. All in all, it’s still a great place!

    • Oh, Donita, I love the Kalispell area! And…I got to see/hug Tricia last week–soooo good to see her! I’d love to come up to Montana again and just tool around to all the small towns. Blessings!

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