Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Local Color

Small town country life... I love it! Finally, a place that meets what I've been preaching all along - a place where folks aren't afraid to look you in the eye and say howdy, and more often than not beyond howdy and into a knee deep conversation. Granted, some of them would make fascinating characters for a book - the kind that get written into the "odd duck" chapter. Still, it's nifty and once again, just what I'd hoped.

The other day I stopped into the local grocery store (yay, a grocery store and not a *gag* superstupormarket), got to the cash register, and the cashier greeted me as if I was her long lost friend, "Well hey, how are ya? Having a decent day? Whatchya up to?" When I explained that I was in the process of moving to her neck of the woods, she was delighted - gave me a hearty welcome and regaled me with weather need-to-knows. After about five minutes, another customer walked up and we parted ways, both of us with a "Hey, have a great day - see ya later!"

I stopped at one of the local gas stations (way cheaper than "in the city") to fuel up and met the mayor of Granite Falls. Friendly guy, drives an old diesel truck, agrees that real people should have a say in what's being done (or not being done) about the confounded bank "bailouts," welcomed me to his fair metropolis with a hearty handshake (and he's not even up for re-election!), and sent me on my way with a "be careful out there..."

Then there was space cadet Teresa. I was out unloading the truck the other day when a shabby old mini pickup pulled up. See... I'm at a dead end, keep going past my driveway and you end up in the river - no one shows up without being noticed. The scruffy looking hippy-chick got out of her dusty rig, stretched and looked down the slope toward the river. I pulled another box out of my truck, stretched as well, leaned against Birddog and said, "Howdy!" She met me with stoned eyes and a rather sleepy, "Heyy..." We chatted a minute or two about my obvious moving pains. She asked me if I needed a roommate (uh, no thanks hippy-chick... one gypsy in this camp is enough). She proceeded to explain that I'd likely see her around as she is a "rock hound," and comes down to the river to hunt quartz and garnets. She went on her way with a wave and a "Be cool!" (Yes, she really said that!) I am SO getting a rock hammer!

Last night as I was hauling some empty boxes (yay!) and empty beer bottles (also yay!) out to the recycle bin, a gorgeous big mix of what appeared to be collie and german shepard came loping up to me. "Well, hi there buddy!" I exclaimed as I gave him what seemed to be a required pat. Then, "LOKI!" I heard a male voice holler, and I turned to see a woodsy looking fellow walking down the road toward the river, fishing pole in his hand, second equally large dog by his side. "Sorry," he said. "Friggin' beast has boundary issues." I laughed and introduced myself to my new neighbor, Bob. We talked a minute about fishing - turns out my bit of river is a prime trout spot and the steelhead should be arriving any day now. "Good luck," I said as he followed the dogs down the bank. "You too!" he responded.

Life in a Northern town... ah hey, ma ma ma ma.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes, the blasted Great American Novel is practically writing itself for you!


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