A month ago I started submitting a column to our local paper, the Algona Upper Des Moines newspaper. It's been a thrill to share with my community this way and I'm thankful for the opportunity. The column gives spiritual encouragement and if I can help even a single person to take a step closer to God in faith, then the column is worth it.
So I'm grateful for the column space and it really is an excellent newspaper. But there are times I'm strongly reminded that I don't live in a big city anymore. Consider this: here are the stories that made it to the front page of today's paper:
Sump pump inspections coming
The article gives a detailed account of our waste water treatment facility after a heavy rain, the public meetings held on the issue, and some quotes from city administrators. It's a well written article but I can't imagine NYC, Chicago, or Phoenix making their sump pumps the leading story.
Not the McD's you grew up with
Our McDonalds in town is closed for construction right now. If you work somewhere in Algona, you've had at least a dozen conversations about this with a dozen different people. It's been a big deal. Seriously.
What will the visiting marching bands eat on band day? Will the McDonalds or the KMart fix the large pothole in the parking lot? Will the construction be done before Christmas?
I told someone the other day that in Phoenix my nearby McDonald's was closed for a week, during which a crew ripped the whole building down, and built a new structure to accommodate more drive-thru lanes. The person thought I was lying.
The great thing about a "small town newspaper" is that I have yet to flip open to the sports section without seeing one of the church High School students featured. Whether it's track, volleyball, or the prom king/queen candidates, there are always stats on local achievements.
There's something profoundly nice about purchasing a newspaper, knowing that somewhere in there is going to be someone I know; whether they wrote an article or are featured in one. For all those who live in a bigger city -- you should really move to a town of 10K or less sometime in your life, it's a different way of living.