Small Town Life

Today was a softly lovely pre-spring day with temperatures in the mid-sixties and warm sunshine. Yay, California. It was a wonderful day for getting out and about, and Conal and I decided to go to town. We had some banking and light grocery shopping to do, as well as the usual post office stop (mail is not delivered where we live). Our internet satellite bandwidth limit has been chafing a bit lately, so we planned to stop by the library to see if we might find it a comfortable place to take the laptops and get online, once they finally get around to installing a public wireless network, which Conal was told by a library staffer “might be late spring.”

Our occasional town forays are also a chance to have lunch at my favorite San Andreas eatery, The Blue House Bistro. Their vegetarian burrito with fresh green salad is our favorite choice. Today, we also particularly enjoyed their light and delicately floral iced tea, which the server told us was a local brew. We’ve been there enough times now to know where to sit to avoid being overwhelmed by the jazz standards and kitchen/bar activity. This time, we had a lovely little window table at the far end of the dining area. We also had the place virtually to ourselves since we arrived just after the lunch rush.

After lunch, it was just a few steps into the next parking lot to visit the bank. Then we were off to the post office, where we ran into neighbor John G. as we checked our boxes and sorted through our mail. Dropping a reject piece of mail into the basket on the counter in the main office, I said hello to Angie, our Purty Post Office Princess (I like her long braid and irrepressible humor) and she howdy’d in return. As I was scooting back out the door, the woman Angie was helping at the counter said, “Who is that?” and Angie said, “Oh, that’s Holly and Conal–” I don’t know what was said after that, as I was already out the door. I would have eavesdropped a bit more if I could have figured out how to do it without getting caught.

Once outside in the parking lot, John’s wife Ann came up to us to say hello and check in about coordinating gardening efforts in Conal’s mom’s deer-proof garden space. After a nice chat we said our see ya’s and went off to Treat’s (our funky little hardware/grocery store). Well, golly, as we were rolling our cart up to the registers, there again was John. Not only that, but John was visiting in the checkout line with Jim N. and his wife Polly, the next neighbors down Murraydale Lane. More friendly banter ensued.

After asking John in the parking lot outside the store for the location of the nearest mailbox (in the excitement at the PO, I forgot to drop our outgoing mail in the slot), we detoured to the blue box on the next corner, and then around the block down historic Main Street to go the back way to the library.

As we were pulling in to the library, who should be walking across the parking lot but Ann G. We all had a chuckle at seeing each other for the third time in half an hour, and the laughter only increased as we walked in to find Jim and Polly there, too. Apparently, all three cars were running synchronized errands and didn’t know it.

Ah, small town life.

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