Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In A Small Town Everyone Knows Everyone

I'm connecting the dots.

That's what Judy says.

Judy is our campground host in Seward, AK, and she, along with her husband, Jim, invited us to go to church with them last week. And we did.  Then, they invited us to go to a free salmon/halibut picnic by the bay (see the pic? click the link; there's more) with the senior citizen center. And we did.

This morning, we're back at church (a Methodist church) for the second visit. It's here  I'm connecting the dots, and finding out that when you live in a small town, everyone knows everyone. And everyone knows your business.

Even if you've lived here only two weeks.

Here's what happened.

It started at the picnic, where I discovered a sturdy stock of senior Alaskans. A few talked about their hip replacements and some tottered about because they need one.   But most were like Bob, and Monty and Louise, who talked about their love interests, their exercise classes and their fishing adventures.
I don't know how old Bob is, but I'm guessing he's in his 80s. He's lived in Alaska since 1953 and has a girlfriend (of eight years) who's down in the Lower 48 visiting family. Louise, (in her 70s), exercises a lot and volunteers for the local food bank. She's going out fishing for salmon on Wednesday with Monty, who's 93. He owns his own boat and although "he's slowing down a little," Louise says, he and his wife enjoy the sport of catching the salmon. I met his wife, too.

OK. Now back at church this morning, the preacher mentions he went fishing this week WITH MONTY! Our new friend Monty. Who's 93. And he caught 13 salmon.

I look over at Judy who winks at me and painted her index fingers together. She mouths  "you're connecting the dots."

There's more. Remember, I said in a small town, everyone knows everyone and everyone knows your business.

Well,  after the service, a young man (in college) comes to greet us in church because, he said, he knows our business (we'll, he didn't use those words.) He said he met us earlier this week at the SeaLife Center (it's like the state aquarium). He's the fellow who lectured on seals and sea lions and he remembered talking to us after the presentation and applauded his efforts. He remembered that, and was happy to see us again, this time in his church.

So, I guess after two weeks of living in Seward, AK, I'm now part of that  "everyone" crowd. I'm beginning to connect the dots. I'm getting to know everyone and they're knowing my  business. I can't hide. If I sneeze anywhere in town, someone I know will say "God bless you."

So while I'm loving it here, I'm rejoicing that we leave on Tuesday.  And will regain our anonymity.

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