Every once in a while you catch a glimpse of it, that small town feel.

The guy in the motorized wheelchair going through a coffee stand, the barista happily handing him his mocha and calling him by name, or the person who drops a dollar bill and the person behind them picks it up and hands it back to them, people holding doors open for strangers, old friends meeting at the local breakfast spot in downtown, hugging and laughing and telling stories about their younger years.

There is probably 1 million things to say about this area I grew up in and I’m going to appreciate every single thing.  Maybe not all in this specific post, but…since my traveling is not going start until next summer I have quite a lot of writing to do in less than a year so I will see how far I get!

I think every once in a while we all need to be a tourist in the place we live so we can appreciate those things around us.  Everybody seems to just mill around and do their own thing, not realizing that others are watching or aware that there’s a big, big world all around us.  We tend to live in this little bubble, our own little reality.

Around here, for most people, it’s a pretty nice and easy area to live in.  Watching people help the elderly, helping children, helping each other.  Isn’t that what this world should be about?  Not being selfish and trying to always ask what others can do for me.  Those types of people remind me of the cartoon Finding Nemo with the seagulls screaming, “mine, mine, mine, mine”.

For those that know me, I like to talk a lot.  When I’m quiet it makes people nervous, so I pretty much talk a lot for everyone’s benefit (keep telling yourself it’s for other people Krista).   But it’s also nice to just sit and listen.  Listen to the wind in the trees, the birds chirping, the neighbor kids playing joyously outside, the waves crashing on the beach.  There’s something to be said about being able to just be still and to take in your surroundings.

One of my favorite things to do is to sit in a restaurant, a bar or any public place and just listen to the conversations going on around me.  Writing down what I’m hearing.  And no…not stalking or voyeurism (dirty minds, I said public places), but just being aware of things outside of myself.  Being able to realize that everyone has a bad day, has home, family and work issues.  That it’s not only happening to you even though it often feels that way.  Others have suffering too…no matter what people portray on Facebook.  And while I’m sitting and listening it is always interesting when people approach me and ask me what I’m doing.  I have the most interesting conversations with the curious.  Everyone has a ‘life story’ and most are very open to share theirs.  It’s almost therapeutic for both parties.

Recently I noticed a writer on his laptop sitting next to me at a coffee shop where a friend and I were catching up.  He seemed to be writing as he heard us talk.  I didn’t say anything directly to him, but I also made sure that I did NOT edit my conversation with my friend.  It was fun to be on the other end of that technique that I thought I was the only one using.  (there’s that ‘mine, mine, mine’ mentality again)  Wonder if I’ll see my ‘material’ on a TV show or a movie…hey, it’s happened before, I swear it has.

But I do very much believe that we live in the best country on this earth.  We have freedoms that most countries just don’t have and especially as a single female, I very much appreciate what I have.

I hope that everyone can at least appreciate one thing about their surroundings, but if you can’t then I strongly encourage you to sit in a public place without saying a word and just listen…

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