Thursday, July 26, 2007

Small Town Q&A

We've been in our new locale for a month now, and two things have already become routine. The first is a question we inevitably receive and the second is an answer (to a different question) we inevitably must give.

The Question.

When we meet folks for the first time we are usually asked, "Are you staying?" Now, this may seem like an odd question to ask people who have just moved into town, but there is a legitimate reason people ask us this. Our new town has a Coast Guard station, which means families are in and out all the time. We're also asked if we're Coast Guard and then asked The Question because the town also contains commercial fishing families and others who only come up for the summer and are gone at the end of the season. So while I was initially confused by being asked if we were staying, I completely understand. And when we tell folks we're here for the duration (as long as DH has his job, which better be freakin' forever because I. Am. Not. Moving. Out. Of. Town. Again.) they seem pleasantly surprised. Which is a good thing.

The Answer.

Often in conjunction with The Question, we are asked where we're living. I automatically give people the name of our street and receive a blank look. And I swear I hear crickets chirping in the background. The thing is, other than those of us who live on the road and the people who deliver propane tanks or pick up the garbage, I doubt most know this street exists. It's only a couple of miles out of town, but there is no street sign. When I arrived my husband (who had been here for several months prior to the rest of us) made sure I knew what landmarks to look for so I wouldn't miss the turn. If I got to the area of the avalanche chute I'd gone too far. (Hand to God, there is a neighborhood that was pummeled by an avalanche not so many years ago. We didn't buy a house there for obvious reasons.)

So what answer do I give people? I tell them we live in J and P So-and-So's old place. They immediately nod their understanding. I guess that's typical in a small town. And I'd hazard to guess that if/when we move out of this house (NOT out of town, just to a different house) the folks who move in here will have to say they're living in Scott and Cathy's old place.

I can't wait to ask newcomers The Question and give them the blank look when they give me their Answer. When I can do that, I will truly feel like part of our new community.



At 9:48 AM, Blogger Tracy Montoya said...

You sound like you're settling into your new place really well--cool! Good call on not living near the avalanche chute....

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Heheh. Thanks, Tracy. We thought it was a prudent idea. And also avoiding the area a mile or so from the avalanche shoot that flooded in recent years. Good thing DH had locals to talk to before we bought!


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