|Don’t Leave Town
“Don’t leave town.”
That was the joke at our house. Everybody said it as anybody went out the door. It was like a ‘Have a good time,’ or ‘Be careful!’ We often embarrassed ourselves, at other people’s houses, when it slipped out as someone was leaving.
Our house was at the very edge of Ashford. Our neighbor’s house, a house that we could actually toss a rock and hit, with no throwing talent whatsoever, was in the next town, Millville. Add to that, in the other direction from each house there was a lot of woods. Then a stream on our side, a highway on theirs. We were like a little island, next to another little island, in the middle of nowhere.
Fortunately, we got along well with the Blanchard’s, but of course all our town stuff was different. Different town rules, different trash day, different police department, fire department, schools, voting all that. It was a joke between the families, though I’m sure it irritated both towns.
Lincoln Street is a long street and a royal pain for the post office, actually anyone who had to come to the houses regularly, and especially, for the school buses. Both families had four kids in school at the same time, all different grades, so all different schools and routes, and towns.
When the last two kids graduated from high school, me from our house, James from theirs, the same year, every bus driver from both towns showed up at both schools and cheered us as we got our diplomas. It was so cool!
When James and I got married four years later, we held our wedding in the two backyards. On a whim, we decided to invite all those bus drivers who’d come to our graduations.
Every one of them came.