We're still pending the *official* contract on the Taj, but in the meantime, we decided to call around and get estimates on the new roof. Having lived outside Greater Mayberry for the last seven years, I had forgotten how these things work. Here on Gilligan's Island, we Google the service we need, call the guy whose business is closer to this side of town and work from there. There are so many roofers, plumbers, electricians, you-name-its that we rarely get a personal referral from a friend. Ask ten friends around here and you'll get the names of ten plumbers, so we mostly don't bother.
Not so in Greater Mayberry. I asked my sister the Farm Maven who they used for their recent roofing job and was given the name of Roofer A. I jotted that down and emailed my mother in law, who works for an insurance agency in Mayberry. She gave me two names of roofers they refer their insureds to. One was Roofer A. We called him and also called Roofer B, who, as it turns out, had done work for my sister's best friend and lived on the same country road as her in-laws. Thus begins the One Degree of Separation that is life in a small town.
Last Friday evening, we made the 3 1/2 hour trek from our home up to see the Taj. Shawn had not seen it in person yet and for some curious reason, wanted to lay eyes on his new investment. Go figure. Anyway, we were wandering around the backyard when the next-door neighbor hello'ed us from across the fence. We went over to speak and realized that (of course!) we knew the guy. Not only was he the father of one of Shawn's childhood playmates, but he was also music director at the church my sister the Farm Maven had attended. I may also have gone out with his oldest son once, but that is beside the point.
One of my favorite sayings is, "A small town is where everybody knows whose check is good and whose husband isn't." Truer words were never spoken.
In the end, we got four roofers to come look at the house. Three of them are quite possibly distant cousins of ours and the fourth guy got thrown in there because we like to be exotic.