So, this morning, I rousted myself out of bed at my usual time, rolled into town at my usual time, and meandered my way into B&T, where Bob (the B in B&T) greeted me warmly and already knew all about my flat tire. I can only assume my husband called him this morning to tell him I'd be in, or that someone saw ARay on the road last night fixing it and told Bob about it this morning already. After some friendly teasing about why Aaron Ray likes to run around in my vehicle rolling over nails and such, he asked me how work was going and how my vet truck had been treating me this fall. I told him I'd probably be in for some new snow tires soon, and with a smile, he sent me on my way - it was $10.00 to fix the tire, but since I only had my checkbook with me, he just told me to come by sometime when I had some cash. "I don't see no reason to write a check for $10.00, Michelle." He said. "We'll see you again soon, I'm sure."
Bob's a nice man. What's even nicer is that he knows who I am without me reminding him.
I hopped across the street to G&B oil after that to talk fireplaces with Travis, who greeted me with a handshake and told me his dog was doing just fine after I had given her vaccines last week. "I'll be in to see you again soon, though I guess. I forgot to bring my cat in when I brought my dog." I told him I'd be glad to see him whenever he came back. Ben who works at G&B, who I know from church, hugged me on my way out and said he and Kay (his wife) hoped to see me at church on Sunday. I told him we'd be there.
I left with a spring my step, feeling that I had friends all over town (or at least that section of Hwy 21).
Then I went to the register of deeds and asked if I get a copy of my Marriage license. "When did you all get married again?" Debbie asked me.
"June before last," I replied with a smile.
She handed me my copy and asked me to tell Aaron Ray she said hello. I hadn't reminded her who I was either. She just knew.
This is a small town. Well, as it turns out, my small town, now. My kids will grow up here and everyone will know who both of their parents are. We'll go into the grocery store, down the street, or even three counties over, and people will remember me and tell me how their pets are doing, and ask what Aaron Ray is up to these days. It's a magical feeling, especially during this wonderful time of the year, to know you have a hometown and that people know you and genuinely care about how you're doing.
I hope you all feel that way this Thanksgiving and Christmas, too.