by Gary Torres
I love living in a small town and I hate living in a small town; but mostly I love living in a small town. It is that time of year…you know when lock your car doors or someone will leave a zucchini.
The leaves start to change, the air feels cool, the deer turn gray and its football every Friday night. That’s why I love a small town.
Little things make it all worth it. I went to the store and my butcher with the handle bar mustache – we’ll just call him Pat – gave me two big bones for Turbo.
I came home and told Turbo, “Remember Pat, the butcher with the handle bar mustache? He sent these bones home for you.”
Turbo looks up from his nap and says, “I like Pat with the handle bar mustache! I’m going to name one of my puppies after him.”
How can you argue with that? That is why I love a small town.
And then some people I know – we’ll call them Des and Tony – recently went to Green River. I don’t know why you go to Green River, you might pass through Green River, but go there?
But they went to Green River and loaded their truck with watermelon and cantaloupe and then after they had done whatever it is you do in Green River; they came back and showed up on my doorstep and said, “Would you like some watermelon?” I have never met a watermelon I didn’t love.
They apparently hit the watermelon lottery because their truck was loaded to the top with watermelon and cantaloupe and a little dog. I don’t know what the dog was doing; he wasn’t much of a watchdog; because I took three more melons without even so much as a yap from him.
That is why I love living in a small town; because people show up on your doorstep and offer you a watermelon.
I went to the store the other day and wouldn’t you know it I forgot my wallet. “Oh, don’t worry Mr. Torres, just bring me a check.” Okay, I don’t want to state the obvious; but try that in the city. That is why I love living in a small town.
I would rather put nets over my flowers to keep the deer away than bars over my windows to keep the riff-raff out, and that is just one more reason why I love living in a small town.
Once in a while I try walking to work; you know, for exercise. And sure enough about 20 people stop to ask me if I need a ride. Some stop and just talk along the way. That is why I love living in small town.
There is this one lady – we’ll just call her Tharla – who every so often will see me and say, “Hey CaveGuy and your too lovin-kinda wife, I sure did like that last article. I don’t care much for your funny ones, but every once in awhile you get a good one.”
She doesn’t realize that I can live two months on one good compliment. That is why I am still alive today. That is why I love living in small town.
I like the fact that when I go get a salad bowl, I usually find a piece of tape on the bottom of the bowl with some neighbor’s name on it.
I like the fact that Loren and Abbi drive their 4-wheeler over to borrow an egg and some baking powder.
I like the fact that Lynda brings me cookies at the drop of the hat, and that Melissa made salsa just because I begged her to, and that John brings me tomatoes, and Tammy brought me summer squash, and that Pilar brought cookies to Daniel, and Jeff brought me some corn, and someone brought Turbo home because he looked too tired to walk, and George left my package inside my door because he knew I needed it, and that Stan delivers my lumber into my garage even when I am not there to sign for it, and that my mom comes in my house when I am gone and leaves me some fresh tortillas, and Grandma and Grandpa-O always have time to go golf or run to Blanding for me, and that if I ever drop in at school to see my wife, all the kids giggle and say, “Is that your husband? He doesn’t look like you.”
Sometimes when it snows I get up and someone has already pushed my driveway and when I go thank my neighbor, he says, “It wasn’t me.”
It just goes to show if you want to do a good deed in this town, you have to get up pretty darn early.