The Romance of Small Town Life

by Nola on January 15, 2014

BG SidewalkI’ve written before about my life in the boonies of southwest Washington state. Yesterday I was reading the local weekly newspaper, and it made me flash back to when we first moved here 18 years ago. We came from Portland, Oregon, the biggish city on the other side of the Columbia River. I was unfamiliar with Washington aside from the I-5 corridor and the Seattle area. I was certainly unfamiliar with small town living. I’d lived all over the west coast as a kid, but never in a town of less than 20,000.

About two weeks after we moved into our rural home, I learned there was a small town nearby – about seven miles away – called Battle Ground. I’d never heard of it before, but I was very relieved to find out I would not have to drive a half hour to Vancouver for groceries.

On my first trip into Battle Ground, population then just 5,000, I was enchanted. Yes, there was a Safeway (hooray!) and a McDonald’s (hooray!), but most of the historic part of town was built in the first half of the 20th century. The buildings are not particularly picturesque, but they house charming gift and antique shops, used clothing stores, and service businesses like hair salons, tax preparers and insurance agents. It had – and still has – the feel of a village. We ended up opening our own shop here 14 years ago (computer repair), and I’ve come to know many of the other merchants as friends.

Anyway, as I was reading the newspaper yesterday, enjoying the stories of small town life, I thought back to the first time I bought a copy 18 years ago. I will never forget the front page headline: Kittens Saved from Burning Barn. After living in the city for so long, it touched and surprised me that such an event was considered important local news. Since then I’ve learned that concerns like this are typical here. Thank God. I adore my small town life.

I’m working now on a series of romance stories set in a fictional small town in southwest Washington state called Everfield.  I’ll be infusing those stories with my own experiences and memories and adding more than a dash of fantasy and imagination. I hope you’ll find a home for your heart in my stories.

Have a great week!

– Nola
“Small Town, Big Love

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