In the last two places I've lived, I was fairly anonymous. Wausau was a small city where few people knew or cared what I was up to. Spirit Lake was a much smaller town, but had so many transplants that there didn't seem to be the gossip you find in more rural areas.
We're no longer anonymous here. I learned this when I made my first hospice visit. I was chatting with the patient and a nurse came in to give her some meds. I was in the middle of telling Louise that we weren't originally from Beloit when the nurse pipes up and asks, "So are you the ones who moved downtown?" Her husband also works for AGCO so she knew all about us.
The next day one of Jeff's co-workers asked if I was much younger than he is. I am. So of course Jeff wondered why he was asking and he mentioned he saw me at the railroad tracks the night before. I had hopped in the car to try to get out of town to take some photos of a beautiful storm system, but a train came to a complete stop right in the middle of town. Jeff's co-worker must have been in a vehicle ahead of me that turned around when this happened. He recognized Jeff's car with out-of-state plates and a "young" woman driving it.
It's almost creepy. People we don't know, know what we're up to. It's a town where everyone knows everyone's business. Now of course that can be a positive thing when you want someone checking up on your child, but on the other hand it can lead to some unnecessary gossip (okay, all gossip is unnecessary). This is just a bit of an adjustment for me. I think I've been a bit too aloof in the past. I just need to warm up to the idea that in a small town everyone can be