Saturday, June 19, 2010

The land that time forgot

I'm visiting my mother in the small town where I grew up, lo, those many years ago. This truly is a reflection of what life used to be like as seen in movies and magazines.

Children ride their bike to the local swimming pool. People sleep with their doors unlocked. Cars are parked on the street with windows rolled down. There's a fish-fry on Friday to benefit the Kiwanis, and a party in the park to celebrate July 4th.

I could go on and on, but one thing yesterday really just made me love this place even more. I went to the grocery store. My purchases were tidily bagged for me and carried out by a young man of below-average intelligence. He, like all bag boys, wore a white shirt, black pants, and black necktie. He wheeled my cart out with my purchases and tucked them into my car, chatting pleasantly with me about the weather and town. I mentioned it later to a friend and she said the store owners train the bag boys to be polite, social, and courteous.

No kidding.

I wish I could bottle this place and carry with me whenever I go to a loud, not-so-charming urban area. I want to remember that places like this do, still exist. I write about them in my books (obligatory pointer to promotion here) and I really am not exaggerating. Places like this do exist.

Thank heavens.