Standing in line at the burger joint in town, I saw a former student walk up with his dad and brother. We chatted and checked in. I asked him about his older sister, now in middle school, who was also a former student. They got their ice cream cones and left while I was waiting for my order. A few minutes later, I saw two teen girls approach. Peering past wild hair color and black-lined eyes, I realized they were both former students and one was the sister of the earlier boys. We chatted and then they left, too.
Working in a small town gives one a chance for deep connections. It's my favorite thing about small town teaching.
(My least favorite is running to the hardware store in the midst of a project looking less-than-my-best and running into parents who want to have a nice, long chat with you!