Posted by: Diane | October 15, 2013

Living In A Small Town

Now, THIS is small town living.

small town picture

A couple walked into the store on Saturday morning and asked where they could buy a gift certificate for a manicure/pedicure.  I suggested that they head over to the little spa, a few door down. Two minutes later, they returned to the store and told me that the spa was closed.

Why would a spa, in a tourist town, be closed on the Saturday of a long weekend, especially since cottagers were heading north to close their cottages for the winter? It’s a small town.  It’s a long weekend. Everybody wants to relax!

The man who runs the local gym is married to the woman who runs the spa – small town living – so I called the gym to see if the guy could arrange to process a gift certificate. The gym was closed. It’s a small town.

Meanwhile, another customer had come into the store and she suggested that the couple walk around the corner to the hairdresser and get a gift certificate there. Surprise! – the hairdresser was closed too.

I couldn’t think of any other traditional ways to solve this dilemma so I resorted to my personal small town living strategies – someone had recently given me a spa gift certificate for my birthday so I called home and spoke to my husband.

Diane: Chris, it’s a long story but a strange lady is coming to the house. Please give her the spa gift certificate that’s in my drawer.

Chris: I have no idea what’s going on…but OK. (I think Chris is used to living with the unexpected, since he lives with me!)

I gave the couple directions to my house and they paid me cash for the certificate. As they left the store, the woman turned around and said, “It was great talking to you. I feel like I have a new best friend. Next time, we’re in this town, I’ll come visit you.”  They were giggling in delight about this nontraditional transaction as they headed out the door and I’m sure they were still laughing, as they drove down the gravel, concession road to our house.

I have blogged about small town living a few times (see June 5th post that links to previous posts)  –  life is simpler, distances are shorter, skies are “starrier” and people are friendlier. One regular customer, who is in her 30’s, put it beautifully – “I used to think that a small town is just too small to spend a life in but now I’m not so sure. I love the starry skies and the back roads. I love the friendliness, the shorter store hours and the unique ways that folk figure things out.” 

I couldn’t agree more. When I was teaching, I brought some senior students to my place for a role-playing game about parenting.  Believe it or not, one student had never seen a cow before, one young man looked up in the sky at night and said,“So, THAT’S what a starry sky looks like” and when I told the students that my husband had to bring the dock in soon, a young lady asked me, “What’s a dockin?”

Such city folk.

Chris and I have come a long way since we unpacked our bags and settled into our little house, on this little road, in this little town. We’re about a thirty minute drive to any sign of city life… and that just suits us fine. 

dedicated to those who live in a small town


  1. Ha, ha! Can SO relate to the small town businesses being closed – even when they are posted as Open. Scribbled signs with – back after dentist’s app’t, or going to the cottage this weekend, or “over at Jerry’s – find me there if you need anything.” Can be annoying, but at other times living in a small town “where everybody knows your name” is nice – like when you phone the pharmacy at 10:00 pm to determine when they’ll open in the morning for that prescription you NEED, and the pharmacist answers and says, I’m doing inventory, come on over and I’ll quickly run it up now (and yes, I threw a coat over my PJs and got it filled!)

  2. Funny story Diane!

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