Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Thinking about community

I stopped by the pharmacy this morning on my way to the homeschool co-op. My doctor had called in a new refill date for my medication and I knew it was waiting for me to pick up on the way to teach my class. What is unusual about this is the fact my pharmacy is in the grocery store where I used to shop when we lived in a nearby town. My husband tried to talk me into switching pharmacies to a closer location, as has he and my son. What if I had an emergency? Well...call 911.

We had to move a lot when we were following his career. I haven't had the opportunity to put my roots down deep so this time I stood my ground, I wasn't leaving the pharmacists who have gone through a few years of diabetes with me and who already know my story. When I walked in this morning, I didn't have to say a word. The pharmacist went to the section where they keep filled prescriptions. She called me by name and asked how I had been doing (well, I'm breathing). She asked how my husband was feeling now that the temperatures were rising and told me to be certain to say hello.

It feels like the bar on Cheers where "everybody knows my name". (Not intended as a recommendation of the TV show but I do like that song.) Anyway, it's really not that far away and I do drive close enough when going to our homeschool co-op meetings that I can plan ahead, as I did in this case. There are some things I'm willing to go out of my way for.

My son came home from watching a movie at a friend's house recently. They had rented Fiddler on the Roof and he spent some time telling me how much he liked it. I asked him what he found the most interesting (thinking perhaps the Jewish culture as his best friend is Jewish). However, he thought about it for awhile and said..."Community, they had a real sense of community and that's what they knew they were losing".

Now, I ponder such things as "community" and I've chatted with my daughter about the need for true "Christian community" but I didn't know he'd picked up on it. He liked the fact that people helped each other through their professions as shopkeepers. They needed each other. Their faith was central to their very culture. Believe me, that conversation has wrapped around my mind and given much to ponder.

I can't do a lot about the changing culture but I can do my small part by shopping at small stores and farmer's markets, getting to know the cashiers at the bank rather than using the ATM, stopping for coffee at locations where they know who I am...those tasks and errands necessary to life...even if it takes a little more time and effort. People...faces...families...stories...long forgotten in the world of malls and superstores.


Candy said...

Your so right! Im going to start doing that more too!


Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post Brenda. I feel the same way. There is something so special about walking into a place where they know your name and take the time to have a little chat. Even in this busy time in which we live, it is still possible - just as you have said.

Anonymous said...

I love this topic-it's very near and dear to my heart.
Today I had to meet a friend at our new library (which I hadn't been in yet) to drop off my girls for her to take for the afternoon. We were early so the girls and I went in and walked around for a few minutes.
When my friend showed up we got to talking and she mentioned that this new library has a self-check-out system where you don't even need a check out person anymore. Then I noticed there was only one person at an information desk.
So now I can literally run an afternoon of errands and not have to talk with a single person. I can check out books at the library, put gas in the car, take money from the bank, and even buy groceries. Yep, there's a store in town where you can check out your own groceries.
As a matter of fact, you can do that now at Home Depot too.
No wonder we're hurting for a sense of community. :(

Senkyoshi said...

I grew up in a small town and my parents are still business owners there. Sometimes, I really miss it. The bank has merged several times, but the ladies there still know my mom. They often go through the drive-through with their dog in the back seat and the teller always has a treat for her!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree! The other day my doctors office inadvertently called in an Rx to a different pharmacy. I called my pharmacist, who I have an almost 16 year med relationship with, and asked him to have the Rx tranferred to his location. He knows our history and current maladies. We're on a first name basis. I trust his judgement and advice. Yes...community.

Lallee said...

Sunday's sermon was on community. We were made for it! It is so necessary. How nice that your son 'got' this.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Yes, I find it amazing that a teenage boy understood the concept of community, too.

We have a few stores in town that have self checkout. I never thought about the fact that we CAN go all afternoon without face to face contact. If you don't count the teenagers at the drive-thru, one could go all day!

Hmmm...wonder who deleted their post?