We live in a community of 10,000 people. Depending on where you live, this may sound like a metropolis. Raised outside of Chicago, to me, it feels teeny tiny.
Living in a small town takes some getting used to. There are things you learn over time.
1. It’s impossible to go to Kroger without running into someone you know. Don’t wear your pajamas. Even at 6 am.
2. Don’t cut anyone off on Montgomery Road. You probably know them.
3. If you go often enough, the lady at Algamesis Brothers Ice Cream will learn your name.
Another fun thing about living in a small community is opening The Montgomery Bulletin, a newsletter published monthly by city hall, and finding your neighbor’s daughter smiling proudly from the front cover.
I slip the issue into a manila envelope and the boys and I drop it in my friend’s mailbox on our way to karate lessons. I’m certain extra copies will find their way into the hands of grandparents or far-flung relatives.
I pull the car to the curb. F. rolls down the window and leans towards the mailbox.
“Don’t fall out the window,” I say. This advice may seem obvious. I’ve got boys. Never assume.
He struggles with the mailbox but manages to pull it open and shove the newsletter in.
“Gentle,” I say. Again, obvious but have to add.