How slow can you go? Walk down the right street in a small town where you know people and it can take two hours to go two blocks. Do that in a car and get a ticket. Do that in a small town and you might get some smiles.
Oak Harbor has Pioneer Way. Coupeville has Front Street. Langley has 1st Street. Sure, they all have other streets, and other towns have other places with shops and services, but small towns (or at least a small town feel) are opportunities to get out of the closed confines of a car and get realize the rest of the world can be more than just drivers and vehicles. There are people out there, and a hello can be more welcome than a honked horn.
Drove to Langley to find free wi-fi for a quick bit of work. The Sno-Isle libraries are good for that. It was hot enough that sitting in the car wasn’t smart so head indoors. That means seeing a friend with whom to share some information about dancing.
Got the work done.
Check on a few curiosities.
Maybe check out a movie.
Then wander to the deli to get a picnic dinner before heading over to a bit of theater.
Ah, but there’s a friend walking across the parking lot, and they should meet another friend because they have some common interests.
Which leads to a conversation about whether artificial intelligence is influencing island businesses and more.
Which led to wondering who else to include in a more formal conversation,
Which meant being distracted enough to walk past the entrance to the grocery,
Which meant some quick chats while in the store,
Which meant being mistaken for being the shopper who left the wallet at the counter,
Which meant scurrying along to find the person who left it, who hadn’t gone too far.
Throw in some accidental window shopping, maybe a trip to the post office, maybe running another errand or two; and end up being late for the picnic but also ending up with several new connections, opportunities, and a lot of smiles.
In Coupeville it may be a diversion from County business to get lunch, check out art, research something in the library, or answer a tourist’s question about Practical Magic.
In Oak Harbor the window shopping can lead to bicycles and maybe some folks to ride with, some tea and someone to share it with, and a new book or three and the inevitable conversation about favorite authors and the battle between hardback, paperback, and e-books.
Sure, you can shop in a mall and do even more; but in a small town you might know the people you meet
Be well enough known, or familiar enough with the community, or friendly enough to make new friends and it can take two hours to walk two blocks. No extra driving or parking required. A two hour walk like that can mean a day when you don’t know what to do, but two hours later you have a plan.
Sure, you can shop in a mall and do even more; but in a small town you might know the people you meet or know someone you have in common. It may be slower to live and shop in a small town, but it may be more fun. And you’re probably only two blocks from your car.