Tuesday, July 12

File Under: Green Acres

My first stop in town, before even The House, was the Walmart. It is, after all, conveniently located between the highway and the center of town, where The House is located. While I did need to actually purchase something (a lock to secure Everything We Own in the U-haul overnight), the symbolism is not lost on me.

This first experience of what our real estate agent had warned me was "not even a Super Walmart" was disappointing. The greeter (yes, retarded) did not even greet me. I had to ask three different employees to find the section I was looking for, then there was no one in that department to direct my wandering. If this were a Home Depot, I would be astounded to even see that many employees, let alone speak to them. But I expected more from Wally World.

Much more disconcerting were The Locals. Uh. Trucker hats - not ironic - check. Missing, blackened, and twisted teeth - check. Large numbers of children in tow - check. Eyeing me suspiciously - oh yeah. All of a sudden, I was overcome by a feeling of dread. What had we done? We've made a huge, huge mistake. How would we ever fit in here?

The feeling returns in waves. When I meet the sellers, I think "How would we ever get along with these people? What if everyone here is like them?" We learn that one of the sellers is a car mechanic, and D. and I later puzzle over whether small town etiquette deems we patronize him or not. (I think we'll probably just use the Subaru dealership in the Next Bigger Town Over.)

When we're sitting here in the lovely coffehouse (one of the best I've ever been to in my life - and only 1.5 blocks from my house!), using wireless internet, choosing between the two brands of chai (Oregon and Big Train), it's hard to remember that we have basically moved to Hooterville.

In 36 hours, we're already making a rapid transition to small town life. Restaurants all close on Monday. Banks close at three o'clock. Cars stop 20 feet back as soon as a pedestrian approaches the curb. Pedestrians politely wait on the sidewalk for the green light. Lunch and dinner combined cost about what we would have paid for breakfast in the BIG City. The birds chirp in our yard. Butterflies and bumblebees waft through. The nights are hushed. The stars glow. I mean, we can see the sky!

And we can wander through OUR house, room by room, opening drawers, sliding the pocket doors back and forth, marveling at the Oak woodwork, and imagining walls the color of the sunset we just watched.


At 7:01 PM, Blogger J. Blobbom said...

Rush not to judge the residents of your own new Hooterville. Every town, even the very biggest and the very smallest, has its bumpkins and its sophisticates. In Dakota, author Kathleen Norris, moving from New York to western South Dakota, had to seek out the Presbyterian minister in order to find someone who appreciated poetry. But find him she did.



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