Sunday, March 23, 2014

Where Everybody Calls You Friend

My love for St. Johns started with a boy named Ryan Patterson.  My first trip to St. Johns was 16 years ago. It was February 1998, I was a sophomore in college, and had decided to go on a road trip with two friends.  I was headed to Mesa for a family reunion by way of St. Johns because Ryan wanted to be at his dad’s birthday.  We spent our one day in St. Johns 4-wheeling and shooting guns.  Our day ended with dinner and birthday cake around Catherine’s dinner table.  I will never forget that first experience around her table.  I remember everyone talking and laughing and visiting with each other.  There was an easiness in the way they were together.  I had never experienced anything quite like it.

My next trip to St. Johns was just a month later with Ryan for his Grandma Greer’s funeral.  There were so many people there, and they all knew each other very well.  Watching the people in this town interact under the circumstances of a funeral was something to behold.  Everyone I met was so warm and friendly. It was strange and wonderful all at the same time. Now I realize this will sound corny but it’s the honest truth.  That day felt like I was living in that country song, “Everybody knows everybody.  Everybody calls you friend.”  It was unreal.  I didn’t know people in this world really lived like this.  I couldn’t get over how genuinely kind people were.  Not just to me, but to each other.  

Just over a year later I married that St. Johns' boy.  We lived in Mesa for the first 6 years of our marriage and came to St. Johns EVERY weekend we could get away from school and work.  We even celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary at El Camino.  We came to St. Johns so much I think Nick and Catherine thought something was wrong with us.  I can’t exactly tell you why we came to St. Johns so often.  I can say it just felt good to be here.

Maybe it was the way Ryan’s heart was lighter when we drove over Grover’s Hill.  Maybe it was the way Nick would tell stories, make you laugh, and make you feel welcome.  Maybe it was Catherine’s amazing homemade bread, green chili, or Christmas donuts.  Maybe it was the life lessons I picked up from just being around Ralph and Colleen Drain.  Maybe it was the awesome diehard Redskin fans I met at Adam and Kyle’s football and basketball games.  Maybe it’s the way the adults in this town put time, energy, and work into not only their kids but every kid within their reach.  Maybe it’s the way everyone waves at you as you drive through and around town.  Maybe it’s the many hands—old, young, and in between—that are tirelessly working to lift and help.  Maybe it’s the peace that sweeps over you at night when the whole town quiets down.

There is something special about this town and the people who live here, something amazing and wonderful.  I believe that “something” started with love, love that was brought here by the families that settled St. Johns, which love has continued to grow deep and strong.  The people here love God, love their families, love each other, love their country, and are not afraid to show it.  

I have been asked if moving to St. Johns was hard.  I have to admit that it was as easy as coming home.  I am grateful to this town and the people in it.  I am blessed to have married a St. Johns' boy.  I am humbled to be raising St. Johns' kids.  I love this town and the people in it.

By Monica Patterson


  1. Your words honestly made my eyes water. Thanks for articulating your feelings about my favorite place on earth. So glad to have you and your family here. Brandon Crosby

  2. I love this! I've been coming to SJ all my life to visit my family. I finally moved here 6 months ago and never did I imagine falling in love with a St. John's boy. Like yourself, it's been quite the adjustment, but I love this town and believe that it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

  3. I love my home town and am grateful that, you can always come home. Thank you for sharing.

  4. It's people just like you Monica that make it so wonderful!

  5. Thank you, Monica, for adding to our wonderful little town. And speaking of St. Johns' boys: you married one of the best. I've known Ryan for many, many years, and I cannot think of a single instance where he has acted dishonorably. He is a great man who married a great woman. Thanks for helping to keep St. Johns the place where it is easy to come home, and thank you for articulating why that is the case. Warm regards, Carrol Lambson