Have you ever said that? I have said it so often, and the reason why is because I lived and worked in a small Midwestern town for about 10 years. The people I met there were wonderful people and I loved working there. (See Previous blog August 14, 2008, "Good Friends Together Again" about my experiences last summer when I went back to visit.) And I keep bumping into them, or people who know them, wherever I go!
This small town has a lake community near by with a resort-like feel about it. The lake is big enough to feature water sports like boating, fishing, water-sking. It draws people from the big city to move there because it is about 100 miles away, and not as crowded as some other bigger lake resort communities in our state. Many people who own property there use it only on the weekends. I loved spending my weekends there. I felt like I was going to a nice hotel every time I went there. I made sure the maid (me!) made the beds and did the dishes before we left, so it would look nice when we returned!
We really enjoyed our time there, but for the late Mr., it wasn't a good fit. He wasn't the resort type or a boater (he never did drive the boat to my satisfaction, he drove me nuts because I thought he was going to run into stuff.) One summer, I spent all my time down there, and I got very good at driving the boat, including launching and docking it all by myself. He hated it, and would never go out on it. So we gave up on the resort lake living after about 6 years, and found a place a little farther out in the country, with 160 acres of trees and a small 5 acre lake of our own. To him, this was heaven.
It was odd, but one summer we went to Door County, Wisconsin for a short vacation. I think I met more people from my state while on that vacation, and so many of them had ties to this lake community we had lived in. We said over and over, "isn't it a small world?" I even met my best friend from grade school, high school and beyond, who I hadn't seen in a while, she and I both came out of two adjoining stores at the same time, to meet face to face! Now that's a small world!
Well, yesterday, I had another of those "small world" experiences. I was attending the final performance of Move Over Mrs. Markham, and as I went in to sit down, someone called my name. I looked up and here sat a couple I had known from my small town experience! He was one of the first people I met and worked with outside of the school where I was principal, because he was a caterer, and he catered our first big dinner benefit for the school the first year I was there. Since he could cook for a crowd, whenever the cook got sick, he filled in, and we ate well!
Now, how did he get to the performance of the play I costumed? Well, his daughter and son-in-law are two of the people who are organizers of the players group that put the play on! I had met these people, but had no idea of their relationship to my friends from Small Town! We just looked at each other over and over, saying "I can't believe this!" It was so good to see them and talk to people who I knew and loved to work with while I was in my Small Town experience years.
I had known that his wife was a former professional actor/singer. She still has her beautiful voice and good looks. I think that the two of them were involved with the creation of this theatre group way back when, before anyone of us had moved away from the big city to Small Town. He knows some of late Mr.'s cousins, because this group was launched at a Catholic Parish near where late Mr. grew up, where a lot of the cousins lived. Again, what a small world!
It is always good to see friends that late Mr and I made while we lived in Small Town. We loved that community, and they returned their love to us over and over, especially when he got sick. I think I'd be happy if I were still living there, because I still have so many good friends who live there. But life leads us down a road we know not where it will end up, so we'll just have to deal with that. I wouldn't want to be far away from my grandchildren or kids, so where I ended up is best for me. But it is always good to go down memory lane with my good friends from Small Town, USA, where the people are the salt of the earth!