Life in the Burg: “Creatures of Habit” Vol. 2 Art. 9
It’s been said that we are creatures of habit. Routine is inevitable. Spontaneity is just out of reach. The only real break in the cycle is the weather.
Small town Nebraska is a prime example of human nature. Pay attention on your next drive down any of our streets and you’ll have a strong grasp on where people are at any given time. Coffee groups, business owners and everyone else.
Just yesterday I walked into one of our local businesses and a group of farmers were having a conversation that I have no doubt, they’ve had before (possibly even the day before). Voices rose and fell. Smack talk ensued. As usual, the conversation was diverted into another direction before they took things outside.
Ask anyone who works with the public and they’ll tell you the same thing. Stories told and re-told a dozen different ways by the same person. Getting the mail, depositing a check, grabbing a few groceries — most days, the people who work at these locations can set their watch within five minutes of your arrival. This is a place where “See you later” can be taken very literally.
This is also one place where you don’t need a cell phone to find out where people are. No call or text needed. Take a drive by one of two places they frequent and you’re bound to find who you’re looking for. Or at least someone who has seen them and can point you in the right direction. It doesn’t matter if they walk to work or park in the back, you know they’re there.
The people that you spend the most time with are obviously the easiest schedules to master. You know when you can and can’t call them. When they’ll have a few minutes to chat. What committees they’re on. What days their kids have activities. You know before asking whether or not they can get together this weekend.
To an outsider, this might seem a little too predictable. Too safe. Even boring. Most of the time though, for the residents of Petersburg, it’s part of this village’s charm. If you don’t want to be found, stay home and turn off the lights. Better yet, go visit distant friends or relatives for a few days.
And don’t worry, more than one person will likely bring you up to speed on what you missed when you get back.