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You Know You Live In Small Town When . .

Driving home one evening last week after a delightful afternoon with a grandson discussing irony and imagery in “The Gift of the Maji” (be still, my English teacher heart!) I followed a police cruiser…to my house!  

  There we joined other cruisers, two firetrucks, several pick-ups, and a handful of on-lookers!  Oh, my!  My husband was standing among them, and at that moment that was all I needed to know! A few minutes earlier, a great bang, a loud puff of smoke, and a strange smell had prompted my very capable, very independent husband to dial 911.  

   All is well.  The furnace guy has been here, carbon monoxide monitors are in place.  The theory is that despite the filter he uses, sawdust from Dave’s workshop had built up in the furnace which probably needed a good cleaning. 

   You know you live in a very small town when …one of the cops complains that the dispatcher had only given our street address; had she said “The Kimptons’” he’d have arrived much more quickly . . . when the firefighter who scolds you for not having carbon monoxide monitors on every floor is a former student who promises to be over in the morning to help install them… when your neighbor and general contractor walks over to make sure everything is all right and he hugs you when you tease him it was all caused by his workmanship . . . I think we’ll stay in this very small town another 47 years! 

   And then there is all the “housewife” garbage to consider.  Of course the firefighters went through the house, where they were assaulted by my “delicates” drip drying in the laundry room, Christmas decorations spilling out of boxes all over the living room, the stripped but not re-made beds.  Next time I’d like better notice so I can have my house in order!

   But here’s the important thing: our fire department is volunteer.  Their dinners, their evenings, their family time was given to us!   There is no way to thank them enough.  When all was quiet and resettled, we treated ourselves to a restorative beverage.  I hope they did, too. 

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