Small Town Living: The Gathering Spot

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Every small town has one...the place where long-time residents gather to share their news, gossip about others' news, solve the world's problems and just generally stay updated. One of the spots in my small town is McDonald's. I discovered that in my BWD (before work days). After the death of my husband I started going out for a morning coffee, just to get out of the house. I'd take along a book and sit for an hour or two, reading and sipping my coffee.

This gave me time to watch the interaction between the locals and eventually get to know many of them. The farmers who have retired and discuss local haying that needs to be done. The young mothers with small children in tow, meeting grandparents....or just as often the grandparents with young children in tow, baby-sitting for the day. The high school age kids catching a quick breakfast on the way to school or, in the summer, grabbing a bite with friends. Local law enforcement, business owners, realtors, social workers, local politicians....visiting with friends, neighbors and co-workers.

The conversation flows around me, I catch it in snatches. Sometimes our eyes meet, we nod our heads and exchange a smile. On occasion that moves into our own conversation, sometimes a new friendship starts.

"Was that Mary's boy in the crash over by the bridge last night?" "No, it was Bill & Sara's boy." "The young one?" "No, the older one. You know...the one who's always in trouble".

"Did you see what they done to that house on the corner?" "You mean the Johnson's?" "No, the old Miller house." "I thought they tore that down..." "Nope, ya gotta go by there and see it."

"How's your mom doing?" "Better, she still misses Dad but her ladies church group is keeping her busy. Don't know what she'd do without them."

"Did you hear that old Joe died this weekend?" or "I heard Sylvie's getting worse, they don't know how long she has." or "Mary Jo's boy had a baby last week."

Over the last two years I have come to know many of these folks, not usually by name but by face. We exchange pleasantries, I get teased about reading so much, we smile and know that we are not alone in the world.

I've had to trade my leisurely morning coffee for a cup to go but still stop in for lunch from time to time as well as breakfast on weekends. The staff is still friendly and welcoming and the conversation continues to ebb and flow....

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna


8 comments:

  1. Hi Donna, I have following your blog. I love it!!! Due to "life" I am also back working for at least a year. But my dream is to be on the road in a year - but you know how dreams go!!! I did find my travel trailer, a 2004 Arctic Fox. I have a year to get it ready to go and get rid of all my "stuff"... i never thought I could do that, but I am now at the point in the road, and it does feal good!!
    I am looking forward to meeting you someday on the road.
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  2. I use my local Starbucks just exactly as you use your McDonalds! Annie & I used to go out on a mocha date, originally once a week, then we added Sunday after church. After I retired we often found ourselves over there nearly every day, when we were not out of town. We both loved to read so it was a wonderful way to spend a little quality time together. I still feel her presence when I am over there and can almost see her there in the chair beside me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah, the joys of small town life. Except when you become the topic of the gossip.

    No bites on the sale of my house yet. If it doesn't sell by the end of this month, I may take it off of the market and rent it out as a ski lease until April and then put it back on the market.

    Hang in there and good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah, the joys of small town life. Except when you become the topic of the gossip.

    No bites on the sale of my house yet. If it doesn't sell by the end of this month, I may take it off of the market and rent it out as a ski lease until April and then put it back on the market.

    Hang in there and good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Donna,

    I think I have a Ski Lease for my house negotiated. Please check my blog. I plan to get on the road on Thursday and start wending my way to Texas and then on down to the state of Veracruz in Mexico.

    I hope things are going well for you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. great blog and homepage. i am a medical student at the medical university of south carolina and i stumbled across your page concerning your late husbands battle with head and neck cancer. The story was moving and educational. I am creating a poster and presentation for head and neck cancer and wanted permission to use some of your images and show your website for educational purposes in front of a small class.(10-15 people). If this is ok, i can be reached at cohenj@musc.edu
    thank you for your time,
    jon cohen

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Donna! Have missed your posts and hope your newest path is all you had hoped.

    We recently camped on the Colorado upriver from Bullhead, AZ (Katherine Landing - nice federal campground) and met some super folks from a group called IBMC - Int'l Brotherhood of Motorcycle
    Campers - thought of you & your cycle travels right away. They even have a pretty neat website.

    OK, all for now - take care, be well & please keep posting. Hugs from our desert camp in Quartzsite - L 'n D

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Donna - this is the 3rd time I've tried to post a msg ... perhaps 3rd time is the charm, as they say.

    We recently camped on the Colorado River at Katherine Landing (upriver from Bullhead City, AZ) where we met some interesting folks on an outing with IBMC ... Internationa Brotherhood of Motorcycle Campers! Of course, we thought of you right away, after reading about your cycle touring adventrues.

    Missing your posts about this newest adventure with your job - let us all know how you're doin', eh? Take care of you - L 'n D

    ReplyDelete

We're waiting.....be sure to leave your Name/URL if you don't have a Google account. Thank you!