I am going to begin by telling a little of my situation. I grew up in what I thought were small towns in southern IN-towns with about 5000 and 15,000. We lived in town for both of those towns. When I was in middle school we moved to OH and we lived in a subdivision out in the country. We moved to Fort Wayne, IN when I was in high school. With the exception of 4 years of college, I lived in Fort Wayne in the city until we moved here almost 8 years ago.
At Ram's interview at the seminary, I said it would be ok to go to a small town. My definition of a small town was about 5000 like the smaller of the two towns I lived in for my childhood. Ram's hometown in ID was about 2000 when he moved there and has now grown to about 4000. So I was thinking about the size of Ram's hometown. I had totaled my car backing up out of my driveway in Fort Wayne. In the interview I said I would like to go someplace where I could back out of my driveway without worrying about getting hit.
On Call night when they called Ram's name, they kept listing churches he was being sent to until they got to a tri-parish in 3 different towns. I had brought my atlas along and none of the towns he was being sent to were listed in the atlas! A pastor from our circuit happened to be there on Call night and he found Ram and showed him on a map where we were being sent. I realized right away that I didn't have to worry about being hit backing out of the driveway in this town!
The parsonage for the tri-parish is in a town of 113 people. Can you imagine that I left a town of 185,000 to come to a town of 113? I think when he first received the Call I was in denial. The wives of the candidates had a brunch and we all had a few minutes to talk about where we were going. I put my marker on the map in the wrong state-I put it on the border of WI and MN instead of on the border of MN and SD!
When we arrived here one of the first conversations with someone here actually asked me which room in the parsonage we were using as our bedroom. The person asking me didn't even live IN our small town. We weren't raising the shades/blinds at a regular time so she couldn't figure it out. Never mind that we were in the process of unpacking and weren't going to bed at a regular time nor had Ram been installed as pastor yet so he wasn't getting up at a regular time for work. Nor that I never raise the blinds/shades in our bedroom because we're just going to sleep in that room! I knew we really lived in a fish bowl then.
One of our first trips out of town after we moved here we went to a town about 1 1/2 hours away to do a little shopping and make copies of Ram's ordination/installation bulletin. After we got back our church members told us we could have made copies at the local newspaper. After living in a city I never imagined doing copies any place besides Office Depot/Office Max. I was so excited to get out to a big town. I still remember when we went in Target Ram almost slapped me because he was tired of me going on and on about how happy I was to be at Target. (Don't worry he didn't really slap me, but he was disgusted with my talk!) It had been less than 2 weeks since we were in Fort Wayne! I realized right then that I needed to accept living in a town of 113 and not complain, especially not to burden Ram with that.
We will be here for 8 years in May. Living in a town of 113 has grown on me during that time. If Ram were to get a Call I would miss living here.
Check back tomorrow for more about being a rural pastor's wife.
I would welcome any rural pastor's wives that want to share a little of their story in the comments here.