I love living and working in a small town.

Our town is preparing for a three day celebration that attracts tourists from all over the world. This means that all other aspects of life stop so that we can focus only on what is important -- The Festival.

For example, our little office, normally known for it's financial aspects, has become a trading post over the past three days. It began on Monday morning with Jody, a short, vivacious, poodle-haired woman in her early thirties who bounded through the front door and called, "Yoo-hoo! Cra-aig!" She lofted a real bowling pin painted metallic gold and tied with a red, white and blue ribbon over her head and performed a quick victory dance. Craig emerged from his office with a bemused smile on his face. "Hi, Jody," he greeted her. Once he sighted the bowling pin, he grinned widely. "I've heard about that! So this is it, huh? The famous trophy." I squinted from my office to read the placard fastened to the pin. It read

1st place:
Mother - Son Bowling
"Ty will be so proud," Craig was telling Jody. Ty is Craig and Kathy's youngest son; he is nine. Jody announced that the pin was designed to be placed on the fireplace mantel at home. I smothered a laugh as I imagined Kathy's reaction to the hideous gold bowling pin sitting on her mantel forever. Craig quickly rescued Kathy's home decor by telling Jody that the pin would have to stay in our front office for a while so that he could show it off to all passing through. I'm sure Kathy properly thanked him that afternoon when he told her the story at home. She came in on Tuesday to view the trophy and laughed with me over the idea of keeping it on her mantel at home.
The next visitor to our office brought a bag full of costume accessories for the parade. The bag made its way home with Craig that night.

Our third visitor stopped by to ask it we had a hat he could borrow. I wondered why he would think that we would have a hat in our office, when lo and behold, Craig pulled a dark blue hat that snapped in front out of his desk drawer!

On Tuesday, Jody stopped by again. This time with another lady named Amy and an eight year old girl. "Yoo-hoo! Cra-aig!" Jody yodeled. I rolled my chair back from my desk so that I would have a better view through my office doorway. I had already learned that where Jody is, the action is. "We need a Dutch costume." I heard her loudly and clearly...our neighbors across the street probably did also. The hat incident on Monday had already taught me not to doubt the power of Craig's desk, so I waited for him to emerge with a costume. Instead, he groaned, prompting Jody to harangue him good-naturedly about responding "how high" when she said "jump." She also spoke volubly to Amy about any subject that popped into her head. I found myself giggling as her sentences went on and on. She poked fun at herself so easily and joked and TALKED. A constant stream of fun proceeded from her mouth while Craig escaped to his car to find a Dutch costume. Once back in the office with a costume on a hanger, Craig told the eight year old that she needed to try the outfit on and do a Dutch dance for us all. The girl peered up at him with serious blue eyes. Really? Her countenance spoke for her. Craig laughed, "I'm just joking." The girl did try the costume on over her clothing and jumped around slightly. We all laughed and clapped. And the trio left, their liveliness echoing behind them.

Kathy breezed through the door next, bearing large black wooden shoes. I assumed they were for Craig, but she told me, "Someone will be by to pick these shoes up soon. Blom is their last name, I think." She hurried out.

Amanda came by, her light blond hair cut into a cute bob. "I'm just dropping this off for Kathy," she sang out and handed me a small plastic bag tied shut with Kathy's name scrawled on the outside. "She knows I'm dropping it off." She smiled at me and was quickly gone.

Craig's parents came next carrying lawn chairs. "We're just leaving these here ahead of time for the parade," they explained to me. They took our full recycle bin out with them when they left.

Kathy rushed in again. "Oh, Amanda was here already?" she said as she saw the plastic bag bearing her name. "Well, I have something for Amanda, too." She left another small plastic bag in my care for Amanda and departed.

"Hi, I'm here for some shoes?" a young woman said as the bells on the door jingled behind her. Her short reddish brown hair styled softly around her face and accentuated her light tan. Her blush colored shirt and khaki shorts seemed perfect for the sunshiny day. I examined her broad face quickly and decided that she looked like a friendly person. A comfortable air surrounded her. I considered challenging her for the password Blom, but instead I announced with a smile, "I've got just the pair!" and I turned to the black shoes on the counter behind me. They were heavier than I thought they would be, and they were warm, rough and comfortable feeling when I slid my hand inside them and lifted them into her waiting hands.

Amanda came in as the young woman was leaving. "Did Kathy leave something here for me?" She asked as she searched the front desk for a package. "She did," I replied. "Hold on just a minute." I walked into my office and picked up the new plastic bag from my desk. "Here you go." She took the bag with thanks and quickly left.

Today, Kathy breezed in with a load of drinks. She stocked the office refrigerator in preparation for the parade tomorrow, and invited me to use the office as our family's base camp during the next few days. "Feel free to change here, store things here and keep any food or drinks that you want in the fridge." When I passed that information on to Jeremy, he scoffed. "They don't know the purpose for celebrations like this, do they?" he questioned. His mind is fixated on all of the good food that we can buy from the street vendors. He's not going to be eating food from a fridge.
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1 Response
  1. Aaaahhhhh - the joys of small town living. Some days I miss knowing everyone in town, and not having to take the keys out of my car, much less lock it! However, my hubby loves being a cityslicker! It is nice, on the other hand, to have all kinds of fun activities and places to eat and shop right at your fingertips... but I miss the human relationship aspect of it all. However, you may catch a glimpse of it here and there, even in the big city... like the man at the gas station that my hubby stops at every Sun. afternoon to buy coffee to clear his throat before choir practice... he remembers my hubby and calls him by name! :-) Love the story... reading your blog is like reading a good book. I totally can picture everything happening. Thanks for sharing!

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