From City Girl to Small Town Mama

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I NEVER thought I would live in a “small-town.” I always felt like a city girl at heart, or a “suburbia” girl at least. You see, I grew up in the Twin Cities and then lived in Louisville, KY for a couple of years before moving to our small town outside of Rochester. So, this quaint little town of 3,000 is a completely different experience than anything I’ve known before. I may or may not have on more than one occasion pretended I was Belle singing, “Little town…it’s a quiet village. Every day, like the one before…” But don’t tell my friends I said that.

Not 5 minutes from my house, Summer 2019- Jessica Wilson

To be honest though, living in a small town has really grown on me. We live in a quiet corner of our town with our house on a corner of a dead-end street that backs up to a cornfield. Although I still don’t think I will ever get used to the seasonal ‘farm’ smell (if you know what I mean), I’ve come to really appreciate the unique beauty of farm country.

Picture I took in my town, Summer of 2019- Jessica Wilson

There’s something so peaceful about the sight of a farm on the horizon with golden corn stalks lined up perfectly or the green soy dancing in the wind. My drives to and from Rochester might look a bit boring at first, but the more I drive past the same field the more I appreciate the unique beauty of it. One of my favorite parts about living in a rural town and being surrounded by so much farmland is just the fact that I can see the sky more. Driving around at sunset (or during a crazy summer storm) is alway thrilling.

Picture I took in June of 2019 just outside of my town- Jessica Wilson

I’ve also come to love the slower pace of living. We’re not constantly on the go, running to activities. If we did that we would be driving too much. So for now, we stay home more. This is really the perfect season and way for me to practice a little more of a hygge lifestyle. It also helps that I’m more of a homebody, but our family has really become comfortable and cozy in our home, and there’s plenty to appreciate about that too.

Sure, we go a little stir crazy, especially in the winter. But there are plenty of ways to cope with that (check out some ideas here, here, and here!). I like to get outside no matter what the weather is like, at least often enough where I can take some fun pictures.

Picture I took in winter of 2019- Jessica Wilson

The people of small towns are pretty great too. We are in Minnesota so I feel silly for saying this…but, everyone is SO nice. I truly mean that. Whether it’s getting to know your neighbors or greeting the same cashier every time at Kwik Trip, the friendliness factor is through the roof. And if something bad happens in the community, the whole town is going to rally together to overcome.

The low housing cost is also pretty great. You get more house for your money, potentially a lot more land than you might get in a city, and your realtor will be related to or friends with 80% of the home owners selling their properties, so you will get all the ins and outs of every property available to have everything you need to make the right choice. To put it in perspective… we are paying roughly the same amount of money now for our 4 bedroom, 2-car garage house (monthly) that we paid for a tiny 2 bedroom apartment in the heart of Louisville, KY.

I’ve also really enjoyed the annual events and traditions that happen in this small town. It feels very ‘Stars Hollow’ to have a special Christmas festival and a corn-themed summertime parade. And when you go you are bound to see almost all of your neighbors, friends, fellow church members, or schoolmates. So, there’s lots of opportunity for socialization.

If you are a small-towner and homeschool (which is even more uncommon) like I do, it’s easy to think that it will be hard to get connected. But between extra-curriculars, church, the local library, community pool, etc… there are plenty of ways to stay connected to the community around you.

While logistically we have had to get used to planning our grocery hauls more strategically (since we prefer to do the bulk of our shopping in Rochester), it has helped us to be more thoughtful with our grocery purchases. And when we do pile into the car to go to Rochester once or twice a week for various things, it’s fun and exciting every time.

Being in a small town 30 minutes from the great city of Rochester hasn’t left me feeling isolated. I feel a part of the Rochester community too, just in a different way. When we need our “city” fix we can take a quick jaunt into Rochester, and when we want to stay home in our quaint little town we can. It’s really the best of both worlds.

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Jessica lives in Plainview with her husband and 3 kids. They moved there from Louisville, KY when her husband got a pastorate job. Before that she lived in the Twin Cities where she was born and raised. Since having her first baby in 2012 she's been a stay-at-home mom and is now busy homeschooling! To balance out her busy at-home mom life she tries to find creative outlets, some of which have included furniture painting/restoration and creative writing. She survives on coffee and chocolate and has a big wanderlust. You can get to know her more, and read about the debut novel she is working on over on her personal blog or by following her on Instagram.