Letter From the Editor: Perspectives on a Bungalow Village

Small Home Gazette, Fall 2013

Letter From the Editor: Perspectives on a Bungalow Village

Photos around town.It’s another Saturday in our corner of St. Paul. My list of errands is partly mine, partly Gail’s. It should only take an hour or two…

  • Why are there so many people out today? There’s a long line of cars at every stoplight! I thought everyone would be at the lake this weekend. It’s never this busy during the week!

  • Waiting in the teller line at the bank. Why can’t they assign more tellers to work on Saturdays?

  • Ugh! There’s an equally long line at the post office. No wonder these people are losing money. This package is getting heavier by the second!

  • At the grocery store I’m trying to read the label on competing brands of tomato paste and calling Gail for instructions, while a horde of shoppers try to push me down the aisle.

  • No big line at the hardware store, but I don’t know what to call the thingamajig I’m looking for, so it’ll take me awhile to find what I need. The clerk is able to put a name to what I need, but it isn’t in stock.

  • Good grief! It’s 5:30 already, and Gail swore off cooking tonight. Better call to see what she would like. Thankfully, I’ve beat the rush and am out of the restaurant with carry out quickly. Except, when I get home we realize they forgot to include the salad. So I have to go back, and now it is wall-to-wall people at the restaurant.

What a long and frustrating day! Maybe there’s a different way. I could have stayed at home and gone online to do my banking; pay for and print a shipping label for my package; compare and purchase the tomato paste; put a name to the hardware thingamajig and order it; and order dinner from a restaurant delivery service.

Or I could look at my afternoon out of the house in a different way…

  • I spent all day outside, within five miles of my house, and crossed over the freeway a couple of times with pity for the drivers stuck in a jam.

  • At the bank I bumped into a former neighbor who remembered my name and asked how Gail likes retirement. I asked about his kids and how the new (old) house was working out.

  • The clerk at the post office could do stand up comedy. Young, old, immigrant alike, he manages to get a smile or chuckle out of everyone. His larger-than-life personality makes the time pass quickly. Wish I had his gift for people.

  • At the grocery store, the manager came over to say hello and went in the back to find the brand of tomato paste Gail wanted. He concluded by calling me by name and wishing me a good day. Feels good to be recognized.

  • The hardware store clerk offered to special order the thingamajig and have it shipped free of charge to our house. “We have to keep you old house owners happy,” he said.

  • When I get back to the restaurant, they have the missing salad waiting for me along with a gift certificate for a free meal.

With the right perspective, every Saturday can be a great day in a bungalow village.