I’ve lived in LOTS of places. I do mean great, heaping gobs of different places. I have fond memories of Fillmore, CA, Apache Jct. AZ, Meiners Oaks, CA, Ventura, CA, Noel, Missouri, Siloam Springs, AR, and Mojave CA among many places, but Ridgecrest is definitely my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, there’ve been times I’ve wanted to move closer to family or dreamed of living where things are green and have seasons, but it doesn’t last long.
Ridgecrest is one of those odd little hamlets that doesn’t seem to fit the surrounding area. I mean, come on, this is “liberal, expensive California” right? Yeah, well here we have a high salary base, low cost of living, and compared to the rest of the state, it’s nice and conservative. Almost everyone you meet goes to this church or that, is related to or knows someone you know, and people are friendly.
That’s what prompted this day’s thankfulness. On Wednesday, I was in Stater Bros (our favorite grocery store). The place was PACKED. I mean PACKED. I had to stand in an aisle to be in line for check out so that people could get past on their way to other aisles. Just as I was getting into position, the woman ahead of me let a man and his wife go. She had a happy smile and assured them that their three things weren’t a bother. I love that people still do that here. I don’t see it as much out of town. Then again, I’m not out of town as much so that may just make sense. Then, a couple came and cut in front of me. I wasn’t going to say anything. I mean, I’m sure I looked like I was just trying to get out of the aisle. It was mildly irksome for a minute, but then I was good. The woman let them go ahead of her. When I finally was able to pull up behind her, I laughed and shook my head saying, “It’s crazy, isn’t it?” Her response was just so cool.
“Yes, but we’ll get through. It’s just a line.” I LOVED IT. I hear stuff like that all the time around here. Even if someone is complaining about how horrible this or that is, SOMEONE will usually say, “It’s just a few minutes. They’re doing their best,” and then make a joke to diffuse the frustration.
At K-Mart 2 years ago, we were all out there waiting and they opened the doors. Everyone was holding them for someone else, sayign things like, “Oh, after you.” and “Go ahead.”
I love this town. I am so thankful for Ridgecrest.