Friday, December 11, 2009

Snow Tires and Small Town Perks

One of the things you notice when you live in a small town is that you run into familiar faces all the time, and up here, the people are so friendly that you are constantly making connections that are bound to crop up again at some future date.

Case in point - I went to get our snow tires put on and it's always a waiting process. You get there, assume your place in the queue, and wait. There are plenty of places where you can make an appointment and they'll take you at your allotted time, but there are also tire centers that only do tires, and they not only get in you in and out quickly, but certain ones do a good job and you learn to trust them. That's why we go to Interstate Tires, we have a good working relationship.

The only downside is they don't take appointments, so it's first come, first serve. I wasn't sure what time the opened, but I knew it was around 7:30, maybe 7:00. I figured I'd try to get there as early as possible so I left the house around 6:45. I was the first one there and learned that they didn't open until 8:00. I had about 45 minutes to wait and was considering going to either get some coffee or see if another option was open earlier. The only problem with this is you lose your place in line.

I had just started the car when a big truck pulled in and took position #2. He got out and asked me if I wasn't going to wait, and I said I wasn't. As I backed up, he moved his truck into position #1, and I immediately had to rethink things. Sure, I had to wait, but I was in the top 2, and I know people come from miles away just to get their tires changed here, which I still think is a bit much.

Either way, I decided to stay, and got out and chatted with the man. Super nice guy, and it turns out he owns on of the high end interior design stores in Hanover. Not only does he know high priced/sophisticated stuff, but he knows building inside and out. And he somehow recognized me, claiming he'd seen me in and out of Hanover. Then again, there aren't too many long-haired Asian guys around here. I get a sense he spends time at DHMC as well. We talked for awhile when driver #3 pulled in, and he got out and joined the party.

It just so happens the #3 was a contractor, as well, though retired. An old timer whose family spans several generations in Vermont, the kind with all sorts of interesting stories about the past. Well, I had a blast talking to them and listening to their stories about old Vermont and New Hampshire, with lots of discussion about hunting and construction.

AND, of course, they were more than happy to answer my onslaught of questions about building. I learned that you NEVER paint/stain only one side of a board, you have to do both or you'll ruin the wood, so it's all or none. Ironically, I was at a bit of a loss for words. Here I was with this golden opportunity to milk the fountain of wisdom, and I only had a few questions. Oh well, gotta be happy with what you can get. Besides, I'm finding that at some point, a little common sense gets you to where you want to be.

The only issue that struck me was that #2 should have let me back into slot #1 since technically I didn't leave. Of course I didn't say anything, and it didn't matter because the first three cars go in at the same time, but it did cross my mind. For all it's worth, he ran into some technical difficulties with his truck (I learned he has 12 vehicles for his business - that's a lot of snow tires) and I ended up being the first one out of there.

It was a huge relief to finally have the snow tires on. This is the latest we've ever done it, not that we're experts on the subject, but usually we have them on by Thanksgiving.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to David Schauer for the pic.

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