When we first moved to San Miguel I was unsure about small-town life. Ultimately, I loved living in Portland and thought of myself as a big-city girl. Moving to Paso Robles was a little disappointing after having access to anything and everything in Portland. And San Miguel... well let's just say it's quite a bit smaller than Paso! But, the last few weeks have really changed my mind.
Three weeks ago the kids and I were in the library for our usual Thursday visit. The library is about the size of our living room but they cram a surprising amount of books in there! The kids picked out their books and I checked out an "express" book. "Express" means that it's a new book, has a lot of demand and can only be checked out for one week, no back to back renewals and a dollar a day late fee. It's a big risk to check out an express book! But I thought, no big deal, I can get it read in time and we'll be back next Thursday anyway. Well, the next Thursday came and the library was closed so I dropped the books in the box outside (not Thanksgiving, the week before). I promptly got my automated library email expressing their dismay at my tardiness and the resulting fees. The next time we went to the library I went to the counter to hand over my fees. The librarian said, "which day was it due? Last Thursday? Oh, I was sick on Thursday (thus the unexpected closure), don't worry about it. Besides, I never collect fees anyway!"
This morning Darren asked me to pay the bills and get them in the mail because he forgot to do it this weekend. No big deal, happy to help. He called later in the morning to ask which ones I had sent out so he could update the spreadsheet (yeah, he's a spreadsheet guy... I can't get away with anything!). When I listed them off he paused and then asked if I had read the statement correctly on one of the bills. Apparently, he had set up automatic deduction and the company sent us a statement to confirm the amount and due date. The company included in very small print (this is not a bill). Thanks a lot! December is not the month to be doubling up on payments! I tried to call the company to stop the automated payment... that's a no go less than 5 days from the due date. I went to the mailbox to stalk the mail carrier (we have a locked drop box)... no good when an impatient 3 year old is along for the ride. I thought about calling the bank to stop payment, but put it off when seeing the fee. So last resort I headed down to the post office to see if they could find the letter for me. Wouldn't you know it, that was the simplest solution! The postal worker there took my name and address and phone number and said she'd call me when the carrier got in. Less than an hour later I had the silly bill in my hand!
I am now officially satisfied with small town life. And since gas prices are falling so steadily, driving into town is not a big deal anymore. Thanks for reading my rambling stories...