Poking around on a friend's blog, she mentioned her closest Wal-Mart is 45 minutes away. She lives in the definition of "small town", and loves the community feel of it all. When we were looking for our first home to buy, we chose this town because it had the small town feel, with all the conveniences of the big box shopping stores. I can walk to ANYTHING I need in less than 20 minutes. This was important knowing I wasn't going to have regular access to a car.
However I'm starting to wonder if this convenience is really necessary. What would happen if I moved to a small town in the truest sense? How often do I really need to get out quickly to a Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Staples, etc? I imagine myself living in town (still within walking distance to a small grocery store, convenience store, main strip, etc), with a good size backyard for running and neighbours I really know? Even in our town now of 25,000 I don't know too many people on my street. There is just something about living in a small town that says "know your neighbours".
As I slowly (very slowly) adopt the "buy less" attitude, I'm realizing that being central and within walking distance to my needs does not necessarily mean close proximity to big box stores. Imagine the imagination my children would develop when a field, a forest, a group of friends, an adventure, are what they have for entertainment. I'm not looking to buy another house anytime soon, but I've certainly readjusted my requirements.