In this town there is a lady – let’s call her Gladys – who knows everything about everybody. She grew up in the depression and post depression era. There are three generations of her family living in town. Her husband and her lived in the same house for a very long time and when they sold it, she left a long letter explaining the lifestyle and nuance of each and every neighbor for the next owner. She knows everyone and all their gossip from back until the 30’s. It’s amazing. Recently she was in the shop and (mind, we are not a big shop) she literally could not leave as everyone else who came in had to be spoken to and visited with.
This is true for so many of our little town people. They have lived her forever. They know everything about people. It’s amazing!
Truth: Most likely I will be this lady some day. I’m probably never really leaving this town. It’s my home. I love it here despite the fact there is nowhere to shop and no where to eat out. It’s my town.
When I was struggling, I was in MOPS and a small group. They were both different. MOPS is moms mostly of the sameish age who support each other and it’s great. The small group was mostly made up of women who’s children were between high school age and my age. They were old enough to be my mother. I was the baby of the group at 32. But when I needed people to say that my life was going to be ok, it was the small group women – who had been through cancer, divorce, pain, loss, life – who I believed.
Here in this town, there is a small university with a couple of professors who have been stirring up stuff. They give lectures that glamorize the 60’s and the free love movement. However, there are people who lived through that time and were hard working, real people who remember the riots and the disease and the terror. Those small town people tell me about the reality of the 60’s in this town and I believe them more than any imported professor from New York or Boston. Sorry….
My mother had polio. Grandmother had it as well.
They know what the fear of that disease was like. They know how detrimental the recovery was. They know what it means for a preventable disease to be eradicated.
My clients often are those who lived through the depression. They know what a REAL depression is like. They understand what it is to have a job and make money and support a family because work is available. They are not entitled.
In my small town world, experience matters. In my mind, those who have gone before are the only ones to be believed. Sometimes, it’s hard because you can’t get them to figure out the remote or their phone but they are Generation Wise. That matters more.