It's not that I know everyone in our small town by name but I do recognize most faces as being "locals". So it seemed a bit unusual today at the grocery store when I saw nothing but strange faces...strangers. It seemed so unusual that I actually looked around me to see if I were imagining things.
One young mother in particular caught my eye. She was dressed like a hippie or a Mother Earth type. Not that there's anything wrong with that...it's just that we haven't had any hippies around here for decades. She had two delightful toddlers in tow. The younger of the two wore a leash that was attached to a loop on her mother's pants. Nobody around here uses child leashes although it seems like a reasonable and sensible thing to my way of thinking. Easy to keep track of a kid that moves quickly. The two little girls appeared happy and well loved.
Her grocery cart was filled to the max and a second cart held six gallons of milk and six gallons of water. I wondered if they were traveling or perhaps lived way out in the boonies somewhere in the hills on the far side of the county.
We left at the same time so out of curiosity I looked for her license plate to see if she were local or "out-of-town". No license plate on the back of her old Toyota. As I exited the parking lot I noted no license plate on the front either. I wondered how long she'd been driving without plates. Strange.
Then I stopped at the thrift shop. A young mother was checking out a large stack of jeans and shirts. Her young daughter was happily carrying a blue stuffed dog which she told me was "Sado Abigail". Her mother explained that what she was saying was "Sarah Abigail". Nothing unusual about that...a young Mom saving money by buying clothes and a stuffed dog at the thrift shop. Then I overheard the mother tell the clerk that she should probably head on home as she had left a pan of eggs boiling on the stove!
I haven't heard the fire sirens so I suppose her home is still standing.