Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Things I never heard in California...

I've heard some things...OK, it's not like I was eavesdropping, but come on, sometimes you just can't help but overhear snippets of other people's conversations. A few of the verbal exchanges I've heard here that serve as reminders that I remain a stranger in paradise...
(In the Paonia True Value) "Hey, Bob- did your cows get out again?"
(At the vet's office) "That medication is going to run $5.00- is that OK for you?"
(At the hairdresser) "We're really busy, can you wait like 3 minutes?"
(At the convenience store) "This isn't my real job. My real job is blowing up beaver dams. With dynamite." To which I replied, "Ummm, I have to go home now."

The other thing about living in a small town is that everyone really does know what's going on with everyone else. My mother's house is on a corner lot with some very large, very old willow trees. The day she had the tree service out to trim the branches, my sister was out running errands for her. It went something like this...
First stop was the bank. Our favorite teller, who happens to live a few doors down the street, remarked, "Oh, I see your mother got her trees trimmed!" My sister nodded, not quite sure of the proper response.
Next stop, Post Office. (By the way, at the Hotchkiss Post Office there is rarely a line, and everyone who works there is so nice I want to invite them home to dinner.) While she's getting stamps the small talk turns to "Hey, I heard your mom got her trees trimmed." Do you think they heard it at the bank?
So the last errand to run is the grocery store. You guessed it...the grocery clerk knew, and commented to my sister that she's heard my mother's trees in the front yard just got trimmed.
What I don't get is not just that it's kind of a mundane thing to mention-it's how does word get out so fast?
What I don't hear around town....anyone blasting music from their car stereo. When I asked my niece about it, she explained that there is a noise ordinance in town. "So?" I responded, "We had noise ordinances in California, and that never made a difference to anyone- they'd blast their music so loud that the car in the next lane would vibrate." She just looked at me for a while and said, "Well, that would be awfully rude."
Plus...when the cows get out, it would drive them wild.

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