Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Life in a Small Town

By: L.A. Kohl
June 15, 2006
(published in the June 21, 2006 edition of "The Bullseye")

I know it was only a few months ago that I wrote an article about how much I appreciated living in a rural, small town area. But something happened a few days ago that made me want to express my “awe” over small town life once again.

It all started one day when I sent a $39.00 check with my husband and oldest daughter, so they could purchase a roll of stamps on their way through town. She had lots of thank you notes to mail, so I wanted lots of stamps. (Perhaps before I continue, I should explain that we normally only stop at the post office an average of a couple times a month – at most.)

Anyway, later that day when they got home from working together, Nate tossed some assorted stamp booklets on the table and said, “They didn’t have any rolls of stamps, so they gave us five books of 20 instead.”

I noticed that there weren't many full booklets laying there, but I just assumed my daughter had more thank you notes than what I thought she did, and ended up using several of them. Imagine my surprise when I walked into our post office the next day and the postal mistress (or matron…or what do you call a female post office manager?) asked me a question.

“Was your husband in here yesterday?”

“Why yes, he was,” I replied, wondering where this was going.

“Did he buy a lot of stamps – like $39.00 worth?”

“Yes he did; all in booklets, since you didn’t have any rolls of stamps on hand,” I answered. I couldn’t help feeling impressed that she not only knew who my husband was, but she remembered how many stamps he’d bought!

“Well,” she continued, “Did you get all of them when he got home?”

Now this was getting humorous…did she know that my husband was prone to leaving things in places and then forgetting to tell me where he’d put them?

“Umm,” I stammered, “He did bring home three booklets....”

“I’m asking because a woman found half a book of stamps in the trash yesterday, and turned them into me. Your husband was about the only one I could think of that might have accidentally thrown them away – so here you go,” she said as she pulled them out and handed them over to me.

I couldn’t help chuckling as I got into the car and drove away. I was amazed by several things about the incident...all of which could undoubtedly only happen in a small town.

First, that a lady found 10 stamps in the trash and didn’t keep them for herself. Secondly, that the postal worker was able to figure out who had thrown them away. And lastly, she not only figured out who threw them away, she figured out who his spouse was so that she could get them into the correct hands.
You gotta love small towns!