(Caution: This post contains language unfit for ladies.)
Sitting at lunch today, I was able to enjoy.
Well, in between tryin’ to swaller my mashed taters on accounta’ gettin’ so tickled.
Oh, how times have changed.
I am so grateful for the ability to enjoy this new season of life. In my past, I would have resented being stuck out here in the middle of nowhere. I would have grumbled and griped and held grudges.
But, oh, how time changes things.
I love the city. I love having anything and everything right down the street. I love the lights and the sounds and the busy and the opportunity and the choices for EVERYTHING.
But, oh, how time changes things.
You see, we now live in a town that is inundated with farm trucks, Buicks and Chevys driven by 80-90+ year olds, and camouflage.
We pulled up to the café just after noon. Lined up all along the side of the building were four white flatbed farm trucks, dirty from the recent snow.
The customers were mostly overalled or coveralled and plaid-flanneled, (to be expected in the January cold), filthy ballcapped with a little tuft of hair sticking up from the hole in the back of the cap, boots covered in mud or cow hockey.
It’s the cafe that could be the small town version of Cheers, where everybody knows your name.
I could smile, loving my neighbors who live life a bit different than the city farmers.
Oh, how time changes things.
I used to cringe when h-e-double-hockey-sticks was used flippantly in conversation, but not these days. These days, I recognize that it’s just expression. Country life expression. And it means nothing more than Gomer Pyle saying, “Well gawhhhhhh-lee!”
I’m pretty sure that Fred and Doris Ziffel, Eb Dawson, and Mr. Haney were sitting at one of the tables. Arnold wasn’t, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the café allowed a pig to enter.
Overheard while eating those boxed mashed potatoes covered in brown gravy made from a package:
“I seen that one guy over there…”
I tell ya, it pretty much wollered out on me…”
“Well, hell if it ain’t the same pahrt I got over at the harhdware stohr!”
“I done near blowed that power cord…”
Hell, if I hadn’a’ yanked on that little sucker, I’da be all the wayta Burr Oak by now!”
I listened and began to smile from ear-to-ear. And then I began giggling.
And I couldn’t quit, I got so tickled at this life we now live.
We finished our lunch and as Sam paid our bill at the counter, I looked at the very outdated postcards advertising our small town part of the world, standing up in a rack that was hanging on the wall. Just under the postcard rack on a little stand, was an old coffee can with a sign taped to it: “Questions for the Mayor.” Uh. That is awesome. There were even a couple of pieces of folded up paper inside. I was tempted, but I am not the mayor.
We drove down Main Street to stop at the lumber yard for a few minutes, needing to pick up some supplies for our building project. I am almost certain that the hardware store/lumberyard looks EXACTLY the same way it did in 1970. In fact, I am almost certain many of the items on the shelves were on the shelves in 1970.
Oh, how time changes things…wait. Oh, how things stay the same in small town America.
I was still smiling from ear-to-ear.
I was waiting on Sam Drucker or Hank Kimball to walk in the door.
Amidst the nails and hammers and such:
- One stocking cap covered in dust, hanging on a nail with a tag in place, ready for purchase.
- A wall of formica samples, a beautiful imitation wood or glamorous gold or that effervescent orange, or even avocado green.
- A rack of plastic shelving for just the right project, next to one dusty set of striped chair pillows for patio furniture.
And the owner sat behind the counter, writing out Sam’s ticket for his supplies.
“What’s your address?”
Sam’s roofer added, “Ya know, they bought the ol’ doctor’s house.”
“Well, why the hell didn’t ya say so in the first place?!”
We drove back to the house, and as we rode along, I saw a barbecue food trailer, a nice one, probably goes to events and fairs and such, parked on a corner.
“Wow, that’s a nice rig!” said I.
Other than still needing to work on my accent, I’m adapting quite nicely, I think.
Oh, how time changes things. And me. I am so grateful for this new season, for this small town world, for our new home, for the characters we meet each day here who make me smile and enjoy our world on a completely new level.
All we need now is a pig with a name and a phone on a pole.