Thursday, March 25, 2010
This weekend was a fun time for Kris and I. It was the first visit of our daughter, son-in-law, and twin almost-3 year old granddaughters to our new home. We weren't sure how it would go. After all, our last town is still called a "small town", but it has more stores, more parks, in addition to the non-small town items of more traffic, more congestion, more crime, etc.
Our "routine" every morning was just what I hoped it would be. We would leave the house shortly after breakfast (except the day we planned our meal to be at the General Store ) and across the street to The Gamble Bay Coffee Co. http://gamblebaycoffee.com/ for hot chocolate. Yes, the girls needed help getting across the street (that should read "the highway"), but apart from the two times crossing, they were free to roam as they wanted, something they could NEVER do at our last house.
Down to visit the workers at Grandma's new quilt store (http://www.quiltedstrait.com/), in to see Laura and pick up the mail at the Post Office, across to see the friends they had made at the General Store, then home again. On nice days the girls had a park to play in.
Today they left. What an amazing five days can be had in a small town with kids that age. "The nicest things here?" my daughter repeated my question over cocoa this morning. "Probably the back yards," she said, surprising me, "Since everyone shares them, it's like a huge playground." It is true. There are no fences and everyone keeps their personal items off the yards, so when the crew at Port Gamble mows, it is like a huge back yard. The residents have grown accustomed to seeing strangers in their yards, so when local kids come through there are no complaints, no yelling, and no suspicion.
"And," she added, "there's an amazing amount to do here." Of course girls that age don't take much entertaining, but even so, they were easier to keep busy than they had been on our ten acres, where we had to watch them constantly lest they wander into our 10 acres of trees. A person might not notice these things without the benefit of 3 year olds to take care of, but little things like the shell museum in the General Store being a block away makes a big difference. As I've said time and time again, "No where else but Port Gamble is quite like this place."
We are looking forward to the years ahead when the girls will have even more freedom to wander through town, even walking across the highway to get to the BIG playground, then later, when the event weekends take up Grandma and Grandpa's time, I'll feel comfortable that they are safe, having fun, and enjoying the experiences of "small town life." I can only hope THEIR children will too.