“What was there to do growing up in a small town?”

I have been asked that question often through the years by my friends who grew up in bigger cities than I. Continuing on in my series of posts stemming from What I Learned Growing up in a Small Town from a few weeks ago, this week I’m sharing how I learned life is an adventure!

Our town didn’t have a movie theater, or a pizza place, or even a teenage hangout. Our hangout was usually Railroad Street after a baseball game in the summer, or someone’s house in the winter. As we became old enough and got our driver’s licenses, some of us were allowed to drive 20 minutes away to the nearest city to go to a movie or stop at Pizza Hut for dinner with friends. But up until then, we got creative in our adventures.

As a junior high aged kid, we rode our bicycles and roller skated all over town. We would come up with all sorts of games outside to entertain us. Those games became even more fun after the sun went down. We played sports with any who were willing. We talked about our dreams of what we wanted to be “when we grew up,” and we spent time dreaming big.

I can remember a few friends and I after school would jog on the gravel roads that extended out of town. (I never dreamt I’d be living on one of those roads later in life!) We did it for fun, and to get/stay in shape for the next sport we were involved in. Some of my most vivid memories are of those jogging trips. It saddens me to think that one of those friends was taken from this life just a couple years ago. She was a blessing to me during those teenage years, but after graduation, we seemed to lose touch with each other. (Why do we let that happen??)

roadLife truly was an adventure back then. We had our entire lives ahead of us. We could do or be anything we wanted to. We were taught to dream big, to live life well, and to make good choices.

Did I always follow what I was taught? I wish I could say yes. Even in a small town, there was plenty of trouble to get in to. And I found my fair share. But, there wasn’t much one could get away with for very long, as everyone knew everyone else. Word seemed to travel quickly, and if you were doing something you shouldn’t be doing, before too long, you’d be found out. I guess that was a good thing. 🙂 And I’m sure our parents appreciated that the most.

If we’ve gotten away from living life as an adventure, I suggest we return to those roots. Last summer I committed to making that season of our family’s life an adventure, and I was determined we’d do all we could to make the most of summer. And we did. It was one of the most memorable seasons in our family. I’m embracing that attitude once…life IS an adventure. A beautiful, amazing, meant-to-be-lived-to-its-fullest adventure, and what we do on this earth–here and now–does matter. Will you join me in making the most of it??!!

I’d love to hear how you are living life as the adventure it is (or how you intend to do so)!

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