When I was seventeen I couldn’t wait to leave the small town I grew up in. My tiny high school couldn’t pass me my diploma fast enough as I took it and ran to the city, casting off my rural roots and vowing never to return to the small town ways of my upbringing.
Imagine my surprise and total confusion when only a few short years later I was signing the mortgage papers for a house just a few doors down from the school I had to gone to as a kid.
It was then that I realized I might as well accept and embrace the fact that I’m a small town girl. It turns out I love small towns. I love the feel of them. I love the safety of them. I love the space and the closeness and the history in them.
I love campfires with friends in our big back yards.
I love long walks down country roads, and big sprawling fields and little pop up markets where I can buy locally grown veggies.
I love knowing my farmers, buying my meat and eggs and cheese from the people who pour their hearts into feeding our towns and villages.
I love knowing my neighbours, I love chatting with the other parents when we pick up our kids from school, I love watching my children roam the neighbourhood seeking out friends for a bike ride or a game of tag.
I love the social groups with their Fish Fry’s and community dances and family movie nights.
I love the small town businesses, the special services they offer, their quirky off beat ways, the home made or rural focused products they sell, the culture they have created simply by not being one of the big box stores.
I love the flower stand on the side of the road and the bakery with its fresh baked treats. I love the fall fair and listening the church bells ring in the evening and the teeny tiny liquor store, where I have sampled their entire selection of wine.
I love that by dusk the streets are bare except for the few cars parked outside our only pub.
I love all these things, but, even more than I love the library with its weekly activities and the sports teams and the busy little arena, I love the people, especially the people here, in my own small town.
Since I clearly can’t fight it, I’ve decided to embrace it. I’ve decided to spend my life showing off how amazing small town living can be. I want to uphold and encourage and support our people, our businesses, our programs, social groups and churches. I want to shout out how proud of them I am.
Our community newspaper is designed as a way of showing off, supporting and loving our small town. It’s here to keep our people informed of what’s happening in our own little corner of the world. It’s a place for local youth to write, a place for businesses to shine, a place for our resident specialists to share their expertise, a place to connect us and build our community every single week.
For me, where I live and who I share my life with is worth celebrating.
The Burford Advance is a way for me to do that. In fact, if you flip through its pages or wander through our website, hopefully you see a whole load of different voices saying the same thing – “we love it here and to us, this small town means the world!”
Happy Reading and may you truly hear ‘the voices of our community.’