Hell, I’m a freckled redhead with the last name Taylor.
I AM Mayberry.
I once saw our small-town cop stroll up the block to break up a bar fight that had tumbled out the swinging tavern doors into the deserted street. We have 2000 people who every other summer weekend gather in a circus striped tent that closes main street to celebrate any and everything Swiss.
Things here are quiet and slow. More importantly, they are simple. And ideas that can further simplify life are lauded and loved. That’s why there was a collective, mild-mannered cheer when our small town organized a farmer’s market. A month ago, 4 pioneering entrepreneurs opened their trucks and unfolded their card tables, providing farm fresh produce and baked goods. I wasn’t able to attend in the first three weeks, but when I walked over this Thursday, the vendor count had more than doubled and now included tomato starts, woodworking crafts and pickled delicacies.
On my way down the block I caught up with my elderly landlord walking his high-strung, curl of a dog. I side-stepped a potential tangle of her leash as he filled me in on the latest town gossip, which included the exciting development of a local ice cream shop being renovated and slightly reinvented to 50s-style soda fountain.
We parted when we reached the railroad depot parking lot that is home to the market and I went on to find farm fresh eggs, a mini apple pie that had all the taste with half the guilt, and the most addictingly delicious herb and cheese bread that may have ever existed. Happy with my purchases and ready to get home to carb load, I bagged my finds and started back down the block.
As I crossed through the middle of an intersection, quite literally right in the middle, I was stopped by a couple in a car waiting to turn.
“Are you from around here?”
I wasn’t sure how to respond succinctly, as technically I’m not FROM here but I live here now.
“How do you get to the Glarner Stube?” he asks, while she points to the ad in a local tourism guide.
“Take a right here, then another right at the next block. When you get to the main street, take a left and it’ll be right there on your left.”
“Is the food good?”
Now, what I really want to say here is, “They have the Midwest’s largest urinal and not that I’ve seen a lot of urinals, but it’s not THAT impressive.” But doing that ruins the moment. I’ve integrated myself well enough in this small town that I’m perceived to be a local. I don’t need to ruin it.
They make their right turn and I continue home, purse resting on my shoulder and mentally whistling the theme song of small towns everywhere.