People often upon hearing that we are from Los Angeles (by way of Ventura!) AND that we love St. Andrews tend to look at us a little sideways. St. Andrews is pretty much the exact opposite of all of Los Angeles’s defining characteristics. The sprawling mass of humanity that is LA would swallow St. Andrews in one gulp. Now I don’t know if I am ready to sign up for permanent small town residence, but we are just about two months into our stay here and well maybe the novelty hasn’t worn off, but I really our quaint, little town.
Jeff grew up in Mt Shasta, population 3500, so he has a head start on small town life, but even for him St. Andrews pace is new. Despite being larger in population than his home town, the square mileage of the contraction of all the important things really can’t be beat. When everything you need is a 5 minute walked, tucked into old cobblestone buildings it really eliminates some of the frantic-ness of life’s most mundane requirements. A trip to the store isn’t a 10 minute drive after work squeezed in before another drive across town. The market is actually a closer walk to our house than journeying from one end to another of a Costco parking lot. There is obviously some convenience to our compact life. My new internship is literally 2 minutes and 45 seconds away. I timed it this morning. But even more importantly, I love that our small town makes running into people a daily occurrence.
When everyone you know in an entire country is squeezed onto a postage stamp size town and everyone walks everywhere, it is very difficult to avoid seeing people you know on the street. And because we aren’t in giant metal people separators we stop and talk, usually about the reading we should we doing, but it creates a really special sense of community.
We have found a wonderful church here. It is so hard being away from our dear family at Orchard, and yet we are so lucky to find incredible people in this corner of the world too. Seeing faces from the pews in the streets and the smiles and the waves in the grocery store and running into our pastor at our favorite pub, it is a special kind of privilege that comes with living in a small town.