Monday, 31 October 2011


There's a saying going around Facebook that says something like: The best thing about getting old in a small town is that if I forget what I'm doing, somebody else will know.

I'm not old yet, but I understand about other people knowing our business. We are blessed to live on a "through" road, so there is a bit of traffic past our house every day. A lot of that is from people we know, and even more is from people who know us. At least three families from our church live down our road, past our house. Another three families (or more) can get to their house from our road, and are related to people on our road. Next door is Bob's uncle; his cousin keeps hay in the barn adjoining our field.

I'm not good with faces, so I frequently run into people I've never seen before who ask about our children, or chickens, or some project we're working on. Today as I was walking the dog, a man 3 houses down was leaving in his car, and he backed up to ask me about our "little blue car" (the Mini). Really? If he walked past our house I wouldn't know from whence he came.

The Mennonites know who we are, though I can only distinguish a couple of them so far. Bob was identified as "the bucket guy" by the lady who works at the cake store, because he occasionally goes in to buy a food bucket. Surely other people do, too? Maybe we're just the only ones who don't buy a cake when we go in.

Anyway, I don't really have a point to all this, just a reminder to my self that people are watching all the time (and people aren't as forgiving as God) so I better be good.


Wil said...

Also, Marline and I have noticed that people remember us because we're distinctive (and I mention it because the same applies to your family).

When we go to restaurants or stores, people that we absolutely don't remember ever meeting before will ask specific questions that prove they remember our last meeting. For whatever reason, we stood out to them and they filed us away in their memories.

In your case, it's because everyone else only had to remember one new family (yours), when everything else in their lives is going on as always -- you're the change, the 'new kid' on the block that everyone recognizes. :-)

Wil said...

Something that New Yorkers simply don't believe until they've lived in a smaller town:

It really does pay to be nice to people, even if it's just an act. It is a certainty that you'll meet at least one of those people again and the fruits of your previous niceness will materialize.

(Even in our area of around 200,000 people, we consistently see the same people again and again, but this is more true in a small town.)