This is something I’ve wanted to write about ever since I moved to my small town. Around every corner it seems I find a new way to fall in love with living here all over again. Here we go!
Courtesy – What is that?!? Remember courtesy? It was something your grandparents did. When strangers were polite to each other because that’s how we were taught to be. When it was nothing to pass someone on the street you didn’t know and share a genuine greeting. It’s kind of ridiculous I’m even writing this! To be so overjoyed when I get a taste of old fashioned home grown courtesy, it just makes my day. So much so that I have to sit down and immediately share. How did humanity get so far removed from the things that make us human? Yet here we are, in a self-absorbed, unforgiving, judgmental, and wary world, trying our hardest to keep each other farther than arm’s length from each other. I know, I’m one too, and I hate it! But it’s hard not to be with all that goes on outside our windows. It’s impossible to look a stranger in the eye on the street let alone smile at them. They might be a psycho killer, pervert, or, god forbid, someone who wants to sell you something! “Excuse me, I just want to ask you a couple of questions!”Ick!
There is something about a small town that seems to removes those barriers. People who have always lived there, never really stopped being kind to each other, and those of us who are transplanted seem to pick it up very quickly. After a long day of child abuse… and by that I mean me being abused by my very inconsiderate ungrateful students, I had to swing by the store for some spaghetti sauce. The IGA down the street is an easy stop on the way home for me. Many times I’ve come upon an elderly gent sitting outside the doors with a can of cash, taking donations. I believe it’s veterans related although I’ve never asked since I’m usually too broke to donate. Even still, he never pushes his cause and always greets me (and I’m sure everyone else) with such courtesy it deserves a gold star (and a blog post). As I wander up he says “Good afternoon! How has your day been?” It stunts my busy train of thought and yet somehow I recover, smile and say “Very well, and you?” “Not too shabby” he replies. With that I go into the store smiling. When I leave he says to me “You have a wonderful rest of your day, ma’am!” to which I reply, “Thank you! You too!” When was the last time you had an exchange with a stranger like that? I can’t remember. It completely turned my day around, that simple bit of courtesy given by a perfect stranger.