11 June 2016

Big Towns and Small

First, there's this:

That suspected bear mauling in South Anchorage? Fish and Game now says it was most likely a moose attack

Medical staff previously suspected a hospitalized man was mauled by a bear, but Fish and Game now says a moose was the most likely the cause of his injuries. The victim himself is so seriously hurt that investigators can’t talk to him.

Okay, then.

* * * * *

It's rather grey with a high overcast, and a 90% chance of rain today. There were a few light showers overnight, but nothing significant.

We've altered our routine, doing the grocery shopping in increments during the week, and today we're staying home rather than spending three to four hours hitting the stores. Now that we have our new place outside of Anchorage, we're zealously guarding the amount of time we can spend here.

By the way, we're not the only ones to notice something (although I haven't written about it until now).

In the last couple of years, Anchorage has grown from a rather laid-back, friendly "big small town" into an angry, impatient place. People there seem to be tense and ready to fly off the handle, these days. It probably has something to do with the continued rapid growth of the city into a more-and-more crowded venue; at least, that's my educated guess.

As the oil industry continues to collapse and constrict, we suspect the resulting contraction of the economy has people on edge. Oil has been a mainstay of the Alaskan economy for 40 years, but suddenly isn't. And the crime rate has slowly started to go up, leaving people less and less outgoing.

Our decision to move wasn't really ours; it was the Lord's timing, and He nudged us with the idea. But we were happy to go. Moving away to a small town was the right thing to do. Folks are much happier and friendly here.

And so are we.


Anonymous said...

It's not just ANC that's changing (but your point regarding economic contraction is well taken).

Most cities seem to be becoming angry places; my "official" residence in suburban AZ being no exception. It's always been a busy place, but the amount of aggressive behavior has become truly acute over the last few years, and I observe the changes seem to tie back to the start of the Great Recession. Just a simple shopping trip is a case of combat for space, so we plan around the slowest times and the minimum number of trips.

I'm afraid it will get worse before it improves. You might note a sense of community that you didn't have before. If so, that's worth protecting...

Rev. Paul said...

airphoria, we didn't think it was limited to Anchorage, but haven't lived anywhere else in a long while. And we concur with your observation about shopping trips. Yes, there's a sense of community in our new place, and it's a welcome relief.

Rob said...

Amen Padre. Looking back in my life after living in SoCa in the 70's and Florida from '07 to '13. SMALL town life rules. Thank you Lord for giving my family and I the knoeledge to move here. I looked at a map when we moved back to MN, of the far western suburbs, I heard him tell me first go to Howard Lake, it didn't work out, but he told me Cokato. So Very happy here.

Rev. Paul said...

I'm glad it works for you & yours, Rob. We absolutely love it here, and are SO glad to be back in a small town.

deborah harvey said...

is there any way to foster, nurture, and enlarge the sense of community, in order to guard against the 'rot' that comes with growth?

Guffaw in AZ said...

Glad to hear you are happier!
Sadly, I suspect with the continued influx of population, your idyllic new place will eventually succumb to the same problems. :-(
It seems to be the same everywhere. People find out about some one else's Shangri-La, move there, and put up a parking lot.
I moved a couple years ago from the big city back to the 'small' town (a big city, college town suburb). Sadly, it too had grown, and was different from the place I grew up in thirty years earlier.
Hopefully, yours will remain better, longer.


Rev. Paul said...

deborah, there are always things a community can do to enhance the feeling of "we're all in this, together". It depends on how successful they are at fostering that togetherness. Comes down to identifying common goals, and making folks feel wanted & included.

Guffaw, one big difference between our new town & the city we just left: this one is a community of owners, whereas Anchorage is 60% (give or take) renters, and a 'sanctuary city' for immigrants, many of whom don't speak English. When one's only community is that of one's neighbors, and no attempt is made to assimilate the native culture ... sigh.

Chickenmom said...

Have lived the city and the burbs, but now living in farm country is the best. I could never, ever go back.

Sandy said...

Rev. Paul,

I so hear you when talking about people being tense. We hate going into town for the same reason. Just getting there can be miserable, people drive extremely aggressively. Country living is where God leads us!!!

Rev. Paul said...

Chickenmom, farm country is absolutely the best. :)

Sandy, that's a fact!