No matter what the weather, I'm out and about walking briskly through Madison...our Golden Retrievers see to that. The dogs are not the least bit interested in any excuses from me...thankfully. No matter what, Daisy and Fitzy see to it that they get out and about to check out the world around us and I'm the one who benefits. I meet the nicest people.
Daisy is almost ten so we've covered lots of territory in more than at least 7000 walks. Rain or snow or sleet or.....yup, we've done it. Depending on our morning walks, we see lots of neighbors and friends who are driving to work, to the gym or running errands. Sometimes we see a Madison Police Officer, a fellow dog walker or runners. I always wave or stop to chat. Sometimes, I don't even know their names but know their dogs names. Sometimes I just recognize the cars and give a wave. We live in a friendly town....if we stop and take the time to notice.
We moved to Madison when our children were small. My mom always said, "You meet friends through your kids when they go to school." She was right. We've also met dog friends...people we know thanks to our dogs. We know their dog's names and they know our dogs.
Kids and dogs surely help to meet people. I think the kids and the dogs get us outside....out and about. It seems in our fast paced, hurry up and rush world, we've forgotten how to slow down. Our dogs have taught me to stop and smell the roses....literally. They make me take note of the people around me. Really, they do.
I believe the friendly nods, kind hellos and little chats are what keep us feeling connected in this busy life. Our kids tease me when I wave or chat with a local police officer. They ask if I do that so I won't get a ticket. Again and again, I tell them that's what keeps our town feeling like a small town. I tell our kids that a friend saw them at the beach or in town. They laugh and call us the mommy mafia.
Take a walk. Get outside. Say hello to your neighbor. Sit on a bench in town or at the beach. Even in the winter. Especially in winter. Stop and smell the roses. Get outside. Look around. Enjoy our small town. Thank a fireman. Call a grocery clerk by name...they wear nametags. We'd all better make an effort or our small town living will change. It's those friendly waves, a smile as we pass a mom in town with her new baby, a helping hand for someone elderly with groceries or mom with toddlers.....get outside. Look around at our beautiful town...say hello or smile. Usually, people say hello....or return the smile.