Driving south, I stopped for gas in Wolf Creek, Oregon- a small town with small town folk. Born and raised in a small town myself, I'm drawn to places with tiny populations and life-sized secrets. Places where everyone knows everyone and beliefs run deep. The kind of town where you go to the coffee shop instead of the newspaper if you want the real story. Who knows if this is true for Wolf Creek, but I imagine it's something similar.
In any case, I was in and out of Wolf Creek in ten minutes, but what an entertaining ten minutes they were. The gas attendant asked what the roof rack was for on my car, and thought a kayak a pretty cool answer. A dusty driver with a dusty dog- you know the kind, small, snippy, and fully in charge- kicked up a cloud of dirt as they swung into the parking lot. When we met inside the store a few minutes later, she apologized to me. I had to ask what for. "For pulling in so fast," she answered. The cashier, who had been out on the porch chatting and drinking Coke when I entered, came inside as a small line formed at the register. She rung up my water and the guy behind me asked if Big Al still worked there. "Yeah, he's still here," she quipped, "but he don't work much." Surely, small towns lack for certain things. Humor isn't one of them.
Back at my car, the gas attendant poked out from behind a pump and said, "Lisa, your receipt for the gas is in your side mirror." Amazed that he not only looked at, but remembered my name from my credit card, I thanked him and was gone. Miles down the road, though, I was still thinking about Wolf Creek- the kind of town you'd never spend a day in, but one in which you might wake up to find you've spent a lifetime.