Thursday, May 24, 2007

Small town talk

This morning, I went for a run around the neighbourhood, which, turned out to be the entire town. I went down by the river, past the church, the school, the playground, the pier, the gas station (which is also the video store and bait shop), and the plaza, which has the post offices (and where you pick up your mail), the Northern store (a general store) and the hairdressers. I'm in Pinawa, Manitoba right now, visiting my in-laws, before heading to Winnipeg this afternoon for my in-store reading and signing at McNally Robinson Grant Park at 7:30 pm (last plug, I promise!) where there will be cupcakes and beauty products, so if you live in the Peg, come by! So anyway, I was gone for about half an hour (including a sit down at the pier to rest), and in that time I saw one car drive by. Total. And it was 9:30 am. But the people inside waved, and I know now to wave back. The first time I visited here, it was for a bridal shower my MIL and her girlfriends were throwing for me and so when people waved from their cars at me as I was running along the street I had to wonder what they were thinking: "Don't know that girl, must be new, better wave to be friendly, since I'll probably bump into her at the post office later in the week" or "Don't know that girl, she must be the Simmons' daughter in law to be who's visiting this week." Because in a town of 1,500, everyone may not know everyone, but they probably know about everyone. I know about a lot of people that I've never met. All good, don't worry. My MIL & FIL are the sweetest couple. EVER. And I'm not lying when I say I've never heard them say a not-nice thing about a single person, in Pinawa or elsewhere.

Either way, being waved at is a nice way to start your day, since in a big city like Toronto if someone actually waves at you, you either definitely know them, or they're actually not waving at you, but someone behind you and then laughing at you if you mistakenly wave back, trying to be friendly.

Still, waving can have its hazards, apparently, as I learned when I was telling my MIL about how nice it is that people in Friendly Manitoba really ARE friendly, just like the license plates state. She told me that just the other day, my FIL was out on the roof fixing something and she left to go out and locked the patio door -- the only access to the roof -- by mistake. My FIL tried to get back in, found the door locked, so climbed to the street-side of the roof to try to wave down someone walking or driving by. Only, just like on my run, not many people actually walk or drive by so it was a good hour before someone drove by and there my FIL was, waving at them, trying to get them to drive over or roll down their window so that he could explain he was locked out and they could let him in. But when you're waving, people just wave back. Finally someone stopped, and my FIL asked them to come inside through the front door (because even though my MIL had locked the 2nd storey patio door, she'd left the front door open -- because it's a small town and that's what you do), up the stairs and let my FIL inside.


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