In the meantime, I've been thinking about the advantages of living in a small town where people know you and look out for you. I love the village where I live and I seriously have the best neighbours in the whole world.
You know you live in a small town when...
- you get a haircut and both the ladies who work at the library, the owner of the bakery, and the cashier at the pharmacy all notice, and compliment you. And one of the librarians even recognizes which of the stylists at the salon is responsible for the cut.
- while picking your daughters up from daycare, you casually mention to your daycare provider that you're planning on mowing the lawn that evening, and your 4-year-old pipes up with, "Yeah, Jeanette [the school bus driver] says our grass is too long and you should mow it, Mommy." (If Jeanette has so much time on her hands to notice people's lawns, then maybe *she'd* like to come over and mow it is what I'm thinking. And how does she know which house is ours? She picks the kids up at daycare.)
- your neighbour gets his chain saw out to chop up a large limb of a maple that was blown down in his yard during a storm, and, while you are at the grocery store, decides to take down the dead maple beside your garage for you, just 'cause he's got the chain saw out.
- another neighbour returns a dolly you've loaned him and the two of you stand looking at the branches of the downed tree and you tell him how you're going to hire someone to run the branches through a chipper and say that you're going to have them take a look at the large dead branch in the adjacent poplar tree and maybe take that down too. And he tells you that he could do it with a buck saw, and you thank him, thinking that he'll do it sometime during the summer and then you come out an hour or so later to turn the hose on to fill the pool up and nearly have a heart attack because he's halfway up the tree sawing away at the dead branch.
- you call the pharmacy in a panic at ten past six in the evening, hoping it's one of the days that they're open til nine because you have to pick up your prescription before you leave the next morning on vacation, and the pharmacist answers the phone, recognizes your voice, greets you by name, and says that they're closed, but he's doing some inventory so if you come down in the next hour or so he'll give you your prescription.
- you leave on vacation with the remains of the maple tree plus the limb from the poplar still on the ground because it turns out that hiring someone to chip it is too expensive, and you've decided that you'll deal with it yourself when you get home, sawing it and bundling it for yard waste pickup, but when you get home, someone has not only gotten rid of the branches, but has mowed the long grass the branches were lying on.
- you run into the mother of one of your daughter's friends at the local farmers' market, and start to tell her about your older daughter's bout with strep throat, but she's already heard about it from her daughter, who heard about it from Jeanette the school bus driver.
It turns out that my neighbour behind me, the one who took down the tree for me, talked the tree people who came to take down the rest of his maple tree into chipping my branches for roughly one third of the cost that they'd quoted me. So I ended up having a possibly dangerous dead tree removed and cleaned up for $50. And it was the tree-climbing neighbour who mowed the long spot in the lawn where the branches had been. Too bad, I was hoping it had been Jeanette.