Here starts my adventure in Mcdonald, PA. As I have only lived here for one day, I haven’t seen much. On my quest to get my apartment keys copied I encountered the wonders of a new place. Let me set the scene for you.
Out in the sunny winter afternoon, the snow and ice made little rivers in the road. I stomp in the slush as I passed two pizza places. Turning the corner, I delight in finding a post office only a minute away from my apartment. What a momentous discovery. Before beginning my adventure, I had spent several minutes scoping Google maps to see where the hardware store and other businesses were located. I didn’t see this on there.
The excitement continues as I make my way to the Mcdonald complex, which houses a liquor store, pharmacy, dollar store, and a bank. Across the street there is a medium size building with paper letters in the window spelling library. Making a mental note to check the library later, I walk into a regular dollar store. Picking up the item (hair brush) I was searching for, I wait in line to pay. Once done with the first errand, I encounter my first conundrum.
Google maps said that the hardware store was across the street from the dollar store, but the library is there instead. The aha moment came when I realize there must be another dollar store down the street that Google maps indicated. I switch directions and head for the main road (S Mcdonald) and proceed to walk further down and see a Family Dollar. AHA! I quicken my pace confident that the hardware store is near. I maneuver around big puddles of water and stop at the sign directing me down a long muddy alley to the store.
Hesitant at first, I walk around the corner to see if there is another entrance. None. As I muster up the courage, I begin walking on what looks like old train tracks. To my left I see large cargo crates with bails of stray and other out of place items. Finally, I get to a darkened ramp that leads to a door. I enter to find a sweet elderly woman leaving and an older gentleman behind the counter.
I ask some questions and he starts chatting with me as if we have met before. I tell him I just moved here from Johnstown, PA and the friendship is made. He knew some people from my hometown and begins telling a story of when he played in a band. He plays guitar still and we shared stories about the lack of care going into rock music nowadays. I talk about my past as a singer (nothing much to tell) and he responds with an invitation to “jam some time”.
As he finishes my order, he tells me to come to him if I have any problems and that he will take care of it because I’m a nice young lady. He gives me a discount on the copied keys since I’m new. I leave knowing one new person in the town and that there is a sense of belonging still left in small towns. I smile as I walk back to my apartment. My adventure ended finding a new friend and renewed faith that small town gives newcomers a warm welcome and encouragement to stay and become a regular.