It’s not as if we came from the BIG city, but moving from an (in)famous city to a little town brought its share of culture shock. Where was the Home Depot, the WalMart, the hospital? Sure, I can get to those staples of civilization if I need them, but they are all now just a little further away than may warrant the trip. With the exception of banks and gas stations – of which our little town has an inordinate proliferation – I needed to satisfy my consumerist urges with a paltry few mom & pop stores with their limited selection and high prices. I’ve gotten used to this inconvenience over the years.
Then came last Saturday.
Starting out as any typical Saturday, we made our early morning trip to the dump [n.b. Curbside trash pick-up is one more of the shocking shortcomings of small town life to which I have not only grown accustomed but begun to embrace. While you must make the trip to the dump, you can do so three times a week and not have to accumulate particularly smelly things for up to a week.] After the dump we headed home, changed cars from my darling daughter‘s dump car (which is a far better model than Stephen’s commuter car) to the “If Mama Ain’t Happy Ain’t Nobody Happy” touring SUV, and planned our route d’errands. (I figure if I say it in Franglish, it may seem less perfunctory. It didn’t really work for me, either.)
First stop, an old farmhouse turned appliance store. A little over a mile from our house, we decided to scout out the local appliance store and immediately scored a new over-the-range microwave with installation for less than what I priced out over the internet at Lowe's. In addition to the fast and friendly service, we got to spend some time kicking around the merits of Metallica vs. The Bee Gees. Good times.
Ten minutes later we ventured to the car parts store on the next block and were able to pick up a broken signal bulb for the commuter car for under five bucks. Sweet! Then we drove a half mile to the hardware store to look for a new door knob and purchased a brushed silver one to match the other one in the room. Grabbing some Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and gas at the gas station with the Dunkin’ Donuts inside, we came home triumphant in our pursuits.
Later in the morning we collected our gorgeous and just-picked CSA vegetables from the farm across town.
I’m bothering to record and relate this experience because all too often things don’t go as planned: people are late, stock is lacking, help is discourteous or dumb. As we drove home from our last stop we reveled in our success not only in getting the items we sought, but also in doing so with an economy of both time and price and all within a convenient two mile radius of home!
Now why the microwave broke and an un-lockable brass doorknob suddenly started to lock itself are much like “What about the smell of the ocean?” in that they are questions whose answers are best left for another time. For now, I’m happy driving around my little town, waving to my neighbors, and appreciating what this provincial life has to offer me.
Did I mention the proximity of our Crossfit gym to our house? 1.45 miles.
Oh, yeah. It’s so close I could run there – if that were the kind of thing I’d be tempted to do.
And now a word from Belle & Co.