Friday, August 20, 2010

Small Town Communications

One of my favorite things about living in a small town is the communication system. Many times I don't even have to use my cell phone or email to talk to someone I need information from. I do it on the street.

I walk everywhere I can and have noticed that many of my neighbors are doing the same, especially this summer. Even though it is a pretty hot day outside for the upper midwest (over 85), there were a lot of people walking to the grocery store, the hardware store, the Family Dollar store, or the "we sell anything you need except bananas" local drug store.

I saw one of my friends who happens to be the student activities director for our college. I told him how glad I was to see all the students coming back and how much I enjoyed the change in atmosphere.

He brought up that one of his new hats this semester is supervising food services. We got onto local foods and he mentioned the name of the person on campus who is in charge of the local foods iniatitive. The sieve that is my brain promptly forgot it because I wanted to mention the local foods bus tour tomorrow. I didn't know it but we have an edible bean plant right here in town.

As we were talking, a complete stranger to both of us walked up and overheard our conversation. My friend had to leave but the wonderful thing was that this strange woman, with jet-black, dyed hair, tatoos and piercings said that in their little town of 287 nine miles up the road, there was another edible bean plant. Who knew?? I certainly didn't.

I thanked the woman for letting me know and immediately walked across the street to our local food co-op. I told her about the edible bean plant on the bus tour and about the other one in the little town to our north. Imagine my surprise that she knew about the one on our tour and was related to some of the people who were growing the beans. She also said she would check into the other one to see what they had.

Sometimes the gossip can get nasty and feel intrusive but when we are all looking out for each other, I love our small town communication system.

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