3 Key Things A Small Town Can Teach You

3 Key Things A Small Town Can Teach You

The small town of Okanogan and the footprints from my grandpa have taught me some of the most valuable life lessons.
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The charming, pink house. The simplicity of walking down the street. The warmth of the smiles. The love that radiates from house to house, neighbor to neighbor.

This is Okanogan, Washington.

Born in 1920, my grandpa grew up in this charming, pink house. His heart belonged to the small town and to the 1,519 other people who also found a home in it. He went to school, then to his job, and returned home for dinner with his family. It was a simple lifestyle that we don't see as much of anymore.

In past summers, my family and I would travel to Okanogan to spend time with my grandparents. It was a time filled with limited wifi connection, one bathroom for seven people, and grandma's secret meatball recipe. It was an escape from reality and an opportunity to be fully present with my family.


My grandpa passed away in 2011. It was hard visiting Okanogan without him, especially for my grandma. My grandma and grandpa had a great love story full of faith, patience, and humility. Even though the town was different, his legacy and love still remained in that charming, pink house. The small town of Okanogan and the footprints from my grandpa have taught me some of the most valuable life lessons.

1. Find joy in the simple things.

Though it seems simple, this can be hard to do. It's easy to get caught up in the world around you. School. Work. Social Media. Friends. But once you put your phone down, turn the television off, and look around, you'll start to notice that joy hides in the most unexpected places.

Like in my grandma's garden. There's nothing better than a good PB&J sandwich to go along with my favorite Nicholas Sparks book. Or in the park. With my favorite pair of swingsets and an open field to play soccer, my sisters and I will stay here for hours.

2. Slow down.

We live in such a high-speed world. It seems to pass us by before we can really appreciate it. That's why I love Okanogan.

I can appreciate going to bed with the doors unlocked and feeling safe. I can appreciate my grandma singing me to bed. I can appreciate waking up to the sound of laughter and smell of bacon coming from the kitchen. I can appreciate it all.

3. Family is everything.

Sometimes we forget how much our family means to us. This small town constantly reminds me just how important family is to me. From walking the halls of my grandpa's high school to staying in the house he grew up in, my family and I can still see his footprints. And for this, I am forever grateful for Okanogan, Washington.

So, I encourage you to find joy, slow down, and hold on tight to the ones you love.

In loving memory of Donald H. Greeley: my grandpa and my hero.

Cover Image Credit: Joanna Cotter

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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9 Reasons Your Grandparents Are The Best Gifts You'll Ever Receive

They love us unconditionally and are always there to lend a helping hand.

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Grandparents are special. They are the leaders and foundations of our families. They love us unconditionally and are always there to lend a helping hand. The spoil us way too often! My grandparents mean the world to me. The picture above is one of my favorite photos with both my mother and my grandfather when I was a little girl. They are some of the best people in my life and have always set a good example for me. Cherish them while you can because they won't always be around! Here are nine reasons your grandparents are the best gifts you'll ever receive!

1. They give the best advice.

2. They have a lot of life experience and are willing to share it with you.

3. Their smile makes your heart warm.

4. They are so intelligent.

5. They have the best stories to share.

6. They are a great example of love.

7. Their hugs are like no other.

8. They spoil their grandchildren.

9. They love you unconditionally.

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