Small Town DOs and DON’Ts

This week I’ve put together some small town DOs and DON’Ts. I’ll go more in depth with some of these points in future posts. Take a look!

Small Town DOs and DON’Ts

DOs

  • At Halloween, it’s very important to remember the houses that give out big chocolate bars so you can go back every year.
  • Make sure to come up with a funny name for the people who have just moved to the new development in your town (if your town has a new development). You’ll probably become good friends with some of them, but this is just a standard issue DO.
  • Have winter bonfires on the river—they’re the best.
  • Make fun of the towns around your town. These towns probably have a lot of similar qualities to your town, but this is just another one of those standard issue things.
  • When you’re under 18 and trying to pick up beer, go to the next town over. People will know who you are in your town and likely know your parents, too.
  • Definitely hang out at the Esso (or whatever gas station is in your town) when you’re in grade eight. It’s the cool thing to do.
  • Always be fully stocked with firewood—you must be ready for a bonfire at all times.

Oct. 17 - fire wood

DON’Ts

  • Never assume you can grab something from the grocery store in under five minutes—you can’t.
  • Try not to leave your car at the bar over night. The next day everyone will ask you, “Oh hey how was your night last night?” And they will have a stupid smile on their face. But remember not to drink and drive either! I’m sure you can figure something else out.
  • Don’t date someone you’re related to—sometimes, depending on the town, it’s a good idea to check with your parents before.
  • Never contribute store-bought pies to the fall supper—it’s disgraceful.
  • Don’t hit the ditch with your car on your way to high school—everyone takes the same road, which means everyone will see you and make fun of you.

These are just a few of the many small town DOs and DON’Ts. I hope you enjoyed them!

~Janet

Anyone seen my alpaca?

My family had a horse named Spiral when I was growing up—kind of a weird name, but hey, horses have weird names. One morning we went outside and Spiral wasn’t in his pen, so my mom did what everyone in La Salle did when they had an animal go missing, she called the Esso.

“Has anyone called to report a wandering horse?”

Luckily for us, someone did. A family from the other side of town spotted him and kept him at their place until we went to retrieve him.

Here’s a high-quality photo of Spiral and me (he was just a little guy).

Spiral

It was a recurring thing for our animals to wander outside the yard. Spiral mastered jumping the fence after his first escape, and we had an entire heard of goats get loose a couple of times. Our dogs also liked to go visiting around town, and our two young cows once swam across the river, which served as the fourth wall to their enclosure. Our animals’ tendency to escape didn’t reflect the way we treated them; they lived like royals. I think the problem was more of a containment issue—we were a little too lax.

The place to go to report a missing animal has now shifted from the local gas station to social media. My friend Paige is from Russell, Manitoba, and she showed me this Facebook post.

BLOG 1

Aside: If you’ve never seen an alpaca before, here’s one jumping with joy.

alpaca

(photo: localharvets.org)

Alpacas don’t just jump though—CLICK HERE to see one surfing.

Here’s another post Paige came across on her Facebook homepage.

BLOG 2

Poor little pony.

My aunt wrote this next Facebook post. She came across a pack of travelling pet dogs by her place near Arborg, Manitoba. If you check out the comments, you’ll see this new method of animal lost and found on Facebook is just as effective as calling the Esso.

BLOG 3

 

Good thing the “SNIFF” Gang didn’t get lost and end up in Morweena!

~Janet

 

The Pie Table

Oct. 3 - Pie

It’s the beginning of October, which means it’s fall supper season.

Every year after harvest small town folks gather at their local halls to share their garden vegetables, fill up on turkey and stuffing, and be merry.

I’ve experienced two types of fall suppers, each very different from the other.

The La Salle fall supper:

Up until this year, my hometown has hosted the fall supper at the community centre — an old, dilapidated building with low ceilings, and a smell of 40-year-old carpets (there aren’t even carpets in there). On the day of the fall supper, the doors would open at 3 pm, and the line would quickly form with busloads from senior homes in the city. A good portion of these seniors are from small towns, so their home organizers take them to the closest small town outside of the city for the “fall supper experience.”

This experience involves standing in line, sitting at a crowded table under bright fluorescent lights, scarfing down your plate, and getting the heck out of there.

This year the fall supper was different in La Salle. Last Sunday, Sept. 28, was the first fall supper in our brand new community centre — very exciting. I didn’t go.

The reason I didn’t go is mostly because I had a pile of homework, but also because I’m not a huge fan of the La Salle fall supper. The food is good, but when you’re in there it feels more like a fall supper factory, with volunteers scrambling to pump as many people through in as little time as possible so they can pump the next round of people through.

It’s a good event for the community and all, but I prefer to fall supper in a different way (yes, I just used ‘fall supper’ as a verb).

The Vidir fall supper:

Vidir is about a 15-minute drive northwest of Arborg, Manitoba. It’s not really a town; it’s more of an area with a bunch of farms. Because I have a lot of family from there, I used to attend the Vidir fall supper every year. A few years ago the community sold their hall so they don’t have the supper anymore, but I remember it well.

My family would usually arrive at my grandparents in the early afternoon. Granny would be busy roasting a turkey and baking pies. She’d take us to the hall to drop off the food for later in the evening. My cousins and I would steal sugar cubes from coffee table in the hall kitchen and eat them (gross).

Around five or six, people would start to arrive. The Vidir Hall was beautiful – old wooden floors, high ceiling, and a stage where a polka band would play after supper. Side note: older people sure know how to dance. Their footwork is incredible.

The hall was always full of people but somehow never felt crowded the way it does at the La Salle fall supper. Everyone ate around the same time, and once you were there, you would stay for the night. It wasn’t an in-and-out situation like in La Salle.  We’d fill our plates full of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, carrots, and whatever else. Then after supper, the pie table would come out.

I was talking to my mom the other day about funny small town things, and she said this:

Oh, you know what’s pretty small town – when you’re at the fall supper, and you can tell who made which pie based on the crusts.

Can you imagine that? Crusts!

I had a good chuckle over this. Crust identification isn’t a thing at the La Salle fall supper, that’s a serious small town thing.

“Oh, I know those crusts.”

“Those must be Barb’s crusts, they’re perfect – good fork impression technique around the edges.”

“What’s this?! Store-bought crusts?! Blasphemy!”

Fall supper pie crust identification – just another one of those small town things.

~Janet