There are two types of people here in Arnold. Locals and vacationers.

I think we are becoming locals.

When Mike and I go on our daily morning neighborhood walks (on a weekday), nearly all the houses we walk past are closed up and empty. There's an occasional house with a local but for the most part, nearly every house is sitting and waiting for a weekend vacationer.

Yesterday I was out and about running a few errands. First stop our local dump (refuse transfer station) to drop off a few bags of trash. Because our dump is only 5 minutes away and free to locals, we've opted to forgo the curbside service and expensive bear bin for the cans. Because of the free status, the staff requires an ID check at the entrance kiosk, but we are easily recognized in our distinctive Land Cruiser, and he just smiled and waved me on through. Local.

Side note, if you ever want to see the nicest dump ever, come along with me on a trip. It's so insanely neat, organized, friendly, helpful and they even have music piped outside. You can get rid of nearly everything there too and they're hyper diligent about recycling in the correct bins. Just the other day, I happened to witness a full-size couch get munched by the compactor. It was a sight!!!

Next stop the post office to send off a couple of packages. So here's some small town stuff! Because of the rural nature and probably because of the snow, no locals have curbside mailboxes. All locals have a PO Box. We opted not to get a PO Box because we have one in Sonoma so any mail or small UPS/Fedex packages addressed to our street address gets delivered to the Post Office and goes into General Delivery. 

The clerk noticed my last name, or recognized my face and said "I know you have occasional mail, want me to check and see if there's anything waiting for you in General Delivery?" So nice, but also more evidence of becoming a local and I'm just not sure I want that title.

Last stop was the Big Trees grocery store. As I checked out, the smiling clerk looked at me and said, "Are you here for the Tuesday discount?" I knew what she was asking because I've had this asked before at the Sonoma Wholefoods - on a Tuesday. "No" with a smile. Even though she was asking if I get the senior discount (which is totally unacceptable) it kind of warmed my heart because I felt for that quick moment I was back in the vacationer category.

Megan (local and vacationer)