Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring in a small town

Spring is obviously a beautiful time for everyone, the temperature is warming up, the flowers are out, the grass is growing, things are are coming back to life from the drudgery of winter. Who could possibly not like spring? How about the crew that cuts the grass, the folks that plant the flowers, that pressure wash the place, all those people in a small town that try to make theirs look better than others? They must hate to come to work knowing the "relaxation" of winter is over.

I know this is going to sound like I'm with the Chamber of Commerce (which I'm not, in fact I don't think Port Gamble has one), but the employees of this "company town" must be pulling the wool over my eyes, because it always looks like they are overjoyed to be here. The boss commutes 45 minutes each way to work and he says he enjoys it, some live here, but everyone has a smile, but no time to talk.

They've been incredibly quick on reconstructing the old Stables building to make it into a quilt store, in fact they are a month ahead of schedule. And now they are mowing, pressure washing, weeding, too, but still ahead of schedule.

Yesterday I tried to talk one of the leaders into a break in the afternoon to have a piece of apple pie with some of us commercial renters to let her know how much we appreciate her and her staff, but she wouldn't have anything to do with it. She sent me a note apologizing, but she was on the phone all afternoon and didn't have time for a break. Is that dedication or what?

Another element that amazes me is how much is done by how few. I have identified, I think, four people in the mainenance crew. They keep up every building (EVERY building. This is a company town and the company owns EVERY building. They mow every blade of grass (I sold my lawn mower when I moved here). The only thing they don't take care of is weeding around flowers the residents put in themselves.

I think a person can go through a neighborhood, any neighborhood in the world, and look and see the amount of dedication people have toward where they live, or where they work, by looking at their surroundings. Are the buildings kept clean? Does the grass look green and watered, are the sidewalks safe?

The next time you drive by Port Gamble, or come here for an event once they get started, (don't worry, I'll tell you all about the events, once they get started) you will see a town where the employees who take care of it and the people who live here have as much pride in a town as you could ask for. I know I'm repeating myself, but I think that's unique to a small town. Or perhaps it's unique to Port Gamble.

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