Something to Talk About: Adjusting to Life in My Hometown

(Following is my column, which appeared in the Tues., Aug. 14th edition of the Devils Lake Journal where I sell ads and write stories.  For more info about my hometown of Devils Lake, North Dakota, visit

A couple of weeks ago I wrote in my column “Poppin’ on by” that I was adjusting to friends and family stopping by my house on a whim for a visit – something that seldom happened in my Big City living days.

Another small town phenomenon that takes some getting used to is people knowing sometimes a little too much about other people’s business. When I was scheduling an interview for a story with a local business owner, she said she couldn’t do the interview that afternoon because she had an eye doctor appointment. She added that I might already know that because everyone knows everybody’s business in this town.

There is some degree of truth in that statement. For example, friends and family sometimes track my whereabouts via my vehicle and will say things like “I saw your car was at home at 10:00 a.m. Monday, didn’t you go to work?” or “I saw your car at Kmart, I thought you said you were going to Walmart” or I saw your car at Proz at 2:00 a.m., Wed. morning. Don’t you think that’s a little late to be out on a work night.” Ok – nobody has said the latter to me, because for one thing, it’s never happened, but you get the idea!

Because of the something to talk about nature of small town living, if you were a criminal on the lam from the law, hiding out in a small town wouldn’t be such a bright idea. However, some criminals aren’t the brightest peeps on the planet. That being said I got hooked on a Discovery channel show called “I Almost Got Away With It,” which profiles criminals on the lam, some for quite a few years. If I remember right one episode told the story of a guy, I can’t remember his crime, who cleaned up his act and opened a video store in a small town, where he lived as an upstanding, law abiding citizen for some 10 years until police caught up with him. I actually found myself rooting for the guy to get away with it and not be found!

Now that my brand new vehicle has a rather sizable crunch on the driver’s side, due to an embarrassing run-in with a cement parking sign block, it’s even easier to track my whereabouts. It’s also made me the object of some mockery with people calling me names like Crunch and Crumble!

Anyway, I have to remember that friends and family who make car tracking comments only do it because they care, and after living so far away from family for so many years, that’s a good thing!



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