There’s something to be said for living in the same area all your life, knowing your way around and knowing the people around you.
You take your kids out for ice cream to a local dairy bar and, halfway through hot fudge sundaes, you realize you left your wallet at home. Initially, panic sets in. Then, you begin to think rationally.
The woman whose family owns the dairy bar taught your youngest child in elementary school. Maybe she’s in the house, and you can explain the situation to her. You’re sure she’ll let you slide until you can return with enough money to pay the bill.
And, then it happens. A guy you graduated from high school with walks in the door. Eureka! You’re in luck.
Making your way to his table like a puppy with its tail between its legs, you explain the situation to him and, without hesitation, he pulls a $20 bill out of his wallet and hands it to you – no questions asked. He knows you’re good for it.
The next morning, you show up at that Good Samaritan’s place of employment, hand him a $20 bill and the two of you have to do no more than exchange a warm smile. He knows you would do the same for him in a similar situation.
Or this …
All of a sudden, and without warning, your favorite doughnut shop discontinues the production of your favorite morning pastry. You cause enough of a stink that the manager, who realizes you can’t possibly go on without this pastry at least once a week, agrees to have the baker make one especially for you every Thursday – and the world is back on its axis.
The staff at this doughnut shop knows you so well that your coffee is ready before you even make your way to the register. Now, that’s service!
Or this …
On those cold winter mornings when you choose to pick up your coffee at the drive-through window of said doughnut shop, chances are you’re going to know the person in the car in front of you or the person in the car behind you. In the former scenario, that person in front of you will often pay for your coffee while, in the latter scenario, you’ll sometimes pick up the tab for the person behind you.
Or this …
You realize you’re driving around with only one headlight working on your car. You pull into your favorite auto repair shop, the mechanic replaces the headlight bulb, but the shop owner is not there at the time and the mechanic has no idea how much to charge you. So he sends you on your way.
You stop into the shop the very next day, the owner is there and you pay the bill. Both of you feel good about that.
Or this …
It’s been an exceptionally stressful week, and you need to wind down at Friday Happy Hour. You text a friend nothing more than “Drinks after work?” She returns the text with “Absolutely.” And, like magic, the two of you end up at the same place at the same time. You both just know.
The only downside we find to living in a town for a long time is you end up attending more viewings and funerals than you would if you lived in one place only a short time.
It’s called the Circle of Life.
— The Times Leader, Wilkes Barre, Pa.