Saturday, November 13, 2010

Small Community Interest

This week I revisited my love/hate relationship with small community interest in others, which some may call nosiness.

It all began when I called my bank and told her the account numbers where I wanted to transfer money from and to (no I haven’t mastered that online yet). I finished and the gal said, “Who am I speaking to?” I told her my name and she said, “I knew it, I knew that was your voice.” I don’t know this person very well and can’t remember ever talking to her on the telephone, but she felt and then was convinced that my voice belonged to me.

(Love living where everybody knows my name.)

A few months ago, I ran into someone at the grocery store who asked me how I was because she had heard I had been ill. She had heard this from a place where I had purchase some of my medication. What about HIPPA?

(Hate everyone knowing my business.)

For years at the end of each summer, I would go into the local post office where various postal workers would ask me if I needed a change of address form.  I would say no and ask why. I would be told that he or she had heard I was moving to the large city nearby. Every summer. It became quite amusing to me.

(Hate fabricated information being told as truth, but love the humor of it.)

A few others:

I wonder often, what’s going on at my neighbors’ homes when multiple cars are parked in the yard or along the road. Is it a death? Is it a birthday? Is it a murder? Of course it’s none of my business, and yet, that’s not our way. It is our business. It’s our reality and you can’t change our minds.

(Love that I notice my neighbors and they--me, and that I’m not ignored.)

I wonder why my meticulous neighbor’s grass is nearly a foot tall. Is he sick? Is he travelling? Is he dead in his house and no one knows? None of my business? I think I’ll check.

(Love how we think we are taking care of each other.)

I wonder whose untagged cow lays dead in the ditch apparently a victim of a car crash. Who didn’t fix his/her fence? Who does not own up to the cow being out because he/she might be sued?

(Hate having to dodge farm machinery on the highways, and cows, and horses. Love having to dodge farm machinery on the highways, and cows and horses.)

Love and Hate. As my mom has told me, there is a fine line between love and hate, a relationship of similarity. We can love and hate something in the same breath.

Significance of Community

I must admit, I have been aggravated by the lack of privacy in my rural community, and yet, there is something satisfying about walking into local restaurants and stores and being identified that makes you feel like a rock star. During my own personal “hard times” my community has rallied around me. There are always friends who don’t make an appearance, but there is always the extended family--of friends called community.  It's my reality and I love it.

Photo source: Ruralhood


lakeviewer said...

Yes, Maam! It does feel cozy and comfy knowing that people know you and can vouch for you. Yet, it can also feel restrictive, as if in a small fishbowl, everybody knowing your business and passing the info along to the rest of the town.

Kelly said...

You're absolutely right - it's a love/hate situation...and it all depends on which side I'm on whether I'm loving it or hating it!

This reminded me of the time the mail carrier drove up to my house to ask if we were missing some donkeys. She'd seen them turn out of our driveway and head down the road!

Judy Sheldon-Walker said...

I grew up never having a key to my house because we never locked the door. I was in for true culture shock when I was stationed in Brooklyn, NY and lived in city after my discharge. I truly would take the country over the city any time.

Mason Canyon said...

I so enjoyed and agree with your love/hate relationship. I feel the same way but wouldn't move for the world. :) Have a wonderful Sunday.

Thoughts in Progress

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Teresa .. having never really lived in that type of community I can't really comment .. but I can see what you're saying.

The support from friends in a community is so important though & community can be anywhere .. I have a lot of support from the carers at the Nursing Centre - they know I don't get it elsewhere & it certainly make a difference to life..

Thanks .. love getting back to the earth of people .. Hilary

Mary Aalgaard said...

Oh, so well described. On the one hand, we notice something is amiss and might be able to help. On the other hand, they might not want the intrusion.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I grew up in this kind of community. I LOVE it. There's a bit of that here in Harrisonburg, Virginia where I now live.

I LOVE this blog of yours. Family history, old photos, etc. are some of my favorite things.

I think I was your follower once upon a time on Journaling Woman, before a blogger glitch forced me to start a new blog--and when you do that, you lose all your followers and have to start over. Some fell through the cracks! Glad you came into my blog just now so I could re-find you.

♥~Judy~♥ said...

I grew up in a small town. I had only 86 graduate in my class. I live 30 miles from there and still run into people I grew up with. It is warming.