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Tag Archives: small town living

There’s a Disruption in the Force and We Feel It

Whenever my husband and I try to take a day off of work at some point in the future things start happening.  It’s like someone put a billboard up for everyone to see that we are trying to take a day off.  A few years ago we decided to take a Tuesday off to get some things ready around home for our oldest daughter’s graduation party.

At  8:30 am a truck drove in our yard and a man came to the front door and asked if my husband was home.  I went in the livingroom and got him from his recliner.  He had decided to enjoy his cup of coffee in his pajamas before getting busy on our projects.  I was still in my pj’s as well.  My husband talked to the gentleman about the kind of truck he would like to purchase and sent him on his way.

Back to the recliner and coffee for him and I headed to the shower.  Next our next door neighbor saw our car still in the driveway and came over to ask my husband some automotive repair questions as long as he was home.  He didn’t want to bother him at work.  They sat at the kitchen table drinking coffee and talking cars.  Soon he had his answers and left.

Back to recliner once again and then the phone rang and asked for my husband.  It was one of the guys from the shop and asked if we couldn’t take our air tank over to our other neighbors and air up her flat tire so she could drive it the four miles into town and have it repaired.  It made sense to them that we were closer to her and it would be easier for us to do it.  So I headed over to the neighbors with the tank and sent her on her way after airing up her tire and my husband headed to the shower. 

We managed to get the things accomplished we had intended to after our not so great start.  It got to the point it was getting comical for the amount of interruptions before 9:30 in the morning.

This past week we have been trying to get ready to be gone for a few days next week so we each have our list of things we need and want to have done before we leave.  It has been a never-ending series of phone calls and chuckles from my husband as he announces “You’ll never guess who just called and wants an appointment for this week.”  You would think that somewhere out there they think that if we leave town for a few days we might like it better somewhere else and may decide not to return so they better get their stuff taken care of now.

On the same note however I am amazed at the list I have come up with of things I feel I need to have done before we leave.  There is the closet that has been a mess for the past year really should be cleaned out, the refrigerator needs to be cleaned .  The bathrooms all need to be cleaned just in case someone stops by to use them while we are gone.  Of course, I should get all the windows washed and all the laundry done.    I’ve been driving myself crazy and the rest of the family as I try to tackle my ever-increasing list. 

I would love to leave home with a picture perfect clean home but who am I trying to kid.  It didn’t take a week to get in the condition it is in and it certainly will take more than a week to get everything clean especially with working full-time.  I found myself washing winter coats today that were in that closet mentioned above.  Why??  I don’t know.  They have been just fine in the closet and would have been until this fall when it would be time to dig them out again.  I guess I will be a little ahead of the usual game by having them clean this early but at what price.  At the pace I have been keeping this past week, it will take my entire time off to wind down to relax and then it will be back to work.

I’m looking forward to a few days off.  At least this year when we leave we finally have our will in place just in case something would happen to us on vacation.  It was one of those things on my ever-increasing list to do before vacations.  Up til now we never got our wills done because we couldn’t decide who to put in charge of our four kids if something happened to us.  They are all grown now and can fend for themselves.  It’s nice to have at least one thing off that list.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2010 in Humor, Vacations

 

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Now Where Can That Load Go…

Ford 650 with a overloaded Ford 1 Ton

One of the things I like about my job is that I think I know what I will be doing when I go to work but it’s not always what I end up doing.    Today I needed to ride with my husband to St Cloud to pick up a vehicle that was getting a recall taken care of at a Toyota dealership.  It’s about 40 miles away so we went over our lunch hour to the upholstery shop to drop off one vehicle and pick up another.  Then on to the Toyota dealership.  While we were on our way my phone rang and a customer that was coming to see the truck that we were picking up from the upholstery shop was on his way home from the Cities and his truck died and he would need a tow.  The other guys at the shop were busy so my husband sent me to St. Cloud to pick it up after we got back from our trip to St. Cloud.

I hopped in the flatbed that we use for towing vehicles.  It’s a Ford F650 Diesel and headed to St. Cloud.  My husband warned me that the customer’s truck was heavily loaded because he’s a tile setter by trade.  I got to the location to pick up the truck and he had it loaded to the max, 1700lbs of tile and all the equipment and tools to install the tile.  There was stuff everywhere.  There wasn’t a wasted inch of space.  I got inside the truck to put it in neutral for loading and every square inch was filled inside as much as the box of the pickup truck.  I hooked up on the truck and started winching it up on my truck.  It moaned, it groaned and made every possible sound to let me know that it wasn’t happy about the load especially in 90 degree heat.  I got it loaded and chained down and hit the road for home.

My truck is not a speedy truck.  About the best you can do loaded is about 70 mph.  Not today,  it was protesting and only giving me 57 mph.  It was a slower ride home which wouldn’t have been bad if the air conditioning was working on the truck but it apparently ran out of freon and needs to charged up for our summer season.  When I got back to the shop I was greeted by the owner of the truck.  His wife said, “They sent you to get the truck?”  I said, “Yes, no one else had time before closing time to go and get it.”  She said, “Good for you!”  Most of the time I get looks from the men when I go to pick up a vehicle like they somehow got shorted by sending a woman to do a man’s job.  One guy took months to pay his bill because he didn’t take me seriously as a tow truck driver.  I finally said, “I picked up your car from where you wanted picked up and delivered it to where you wanted it delivered for you undamaged.”  He looked at me like I was crazy for charging him for the service since one of the mechanics didn’t pick it up.  He finally paid the bill. 

Back in the day when my father-in-law used to buy and haul farm machinery with Uncle Orville they used to bring some wild loads home.  They would have combines, racks, corn heads and other miscellaneous items stacked as high as they possibly could and still make it under the power lines.  Uncle Orville’s usual comment about their load was “Now where can that go!”  Today’s loaded up pickup reminded me of the good old days of  Wayne and Uncle Orville’s loads.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2010 in Life Happens, Reflections, Uncategorized

 

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We’re not Mayberry RFD but we’re close…

We're not Mayberry RFD but we're close...

When I was growing up one of the shows that we watched at our home was Mayberry RFD.  We grew up with Aunt Bea, Sheriff Andy, Barney Fife, Opie and the rest of the gang.  The show was based in a small town and focuses on small town life and its individual characters.  

We live in a small town in central Minnesota, population 400.  We own a used car sales and service garage.  Each day there is a stream of men that wander through our shop and chat with  the mechanics as they go about their work.  They are our own cast of characters.  One day one of the older retired men asked my husband if he minded them stopping in the shop to talk and my husband’s response to him was “Some men have to go the wise man for wisdom, but I can stay here and they bring the wisdom to me!”  

In our local hardware store the men gather each morning around a small round table with their coffee cups and discuss all the local and world problems.  Our local librarian calls it “The Think Tank”.   Rainy days usually have more participants than usual because the farmers are not out in their fields.  

We have older drivers in our town.  Everyone knows who they are and to give them more room.  Some probably shouldn’t be driving anymore but no one wants to take away their freedom.  One man is 90 years old and drives from our town 20 miles each day to see his wife in the nursing home in the next town.  They’ve been married for over 50 years.  One older man in our town doesn’t drive anymore but he walks around town daily with his walker.  You have to watch out for him because without any notice or looking he will walk right in front of your car to cross the road and usually never at a corner where you might expect it. 

I used to be the city clerk in town for ten years.  Part of my duties were to oversee the election process in town.  I had been involved in the election process before I became city clerk when my dad was in the Mn House of Representative for two years and the MN Senate for twelve years.  I had been a poll observer as we collected the voting tallies and brought them back to the campaign headquarters.  I was really surprised at the voter turnout in our small town.  It was nearly 90%  of the registered voters.  The people would line up outside the polling place and wait for it to open.  It was a regular social event in town.  Some planned to vote first thing in the morning, some voted before lunch or after, others voted on their way home from work or came to vote after supper but everyone voted. 

Our small town has many churches.  On Main Street there are three churches,  one church is one block off Main Street, one a mile out-of-town and one about 3 miles out-of-town.  Every one knows who belongs at which church and if you should happen to appear at a church different that the one you attend regularly you will be the talk of the town until the next Sunday and everyone sees if it was just for one Sunday or you are making a change for good. 

We have our local parades, community theatre, and community choir.  The town’s people always line the streets or auditorium chairs to cheer on our local talents.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2010 in Life Happens

 

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