|I love a good story, don't you?|
It's important to work and live together in harmony.
I think most people have a story and we only have to listen to share in it.
And... let them know they are accepted and valuable.
Inspirational quote: There’s the whole world at your feet.
These are stories I heard last week:
We met a couple near our age, at Barnes and Noble. We were looking through magazines and Milo was looking at people around us. A couple stopped and smiled at him, and he pulled to get to them.
It started a very nice conversation, and we have a lot in common despite growing up in different places and times. They moved here from NM 15 years ago and live about 10 miles from us. They have a one year old black golden doodle who looks like a stockier, hairier version of Milo. We talked about dogs and grooming, training and personalities. We talked about New Mexico, and about the east coast including Lake Placid, about places we've loved.
We talked about what makes for a happy living environment.
They said they lived in a nice neighborhood when they first moved to colorado but the people were not friendly or gracious.
They were not mean, they just saw no value in knowing each other.
Now they live in a neighborhood where people talk to each other, and life improved for them. They live in a small home with a tiny yard but they like it more. (And it's plowed, just sayin')
Milo leaned against their legs, had to jump up to see into their eyes (he very seldom jumps up) and licked their hands. We must have chatted for 25 minutes or so, like old friends.
I began to wonder if we might form a friendship with them, but its not easy to do with adults. I gave the wife my card, and asked several times for her to call to set up visits and playdates. She sounded very happy about it, so I hope she calls. It's not easy to ask for someone's number as strangers, to trust your information will be safe in their hands, and I wish it was easier.
After that we met a very different couple at Home Depot, again initiated by Milo but a result of my willingness to talk. A woman was unsteady on her feet and had just crashed a very crowded cart into a display. She didn't look like someone I'd normally be drawn to... this is important.
I might not think on the surface, that we'd have anything to talk about, but she smiled at Milo who licked her hand, and told me about her rescue Grand Pyranese/shepherd mix who was her service dog. He wasn't there but she was so grateful for his loving nature, and proud of his old age of 11, and she liked Milo.
We shared our love of dogs and shook our heads at the people who abused her dog before she adopted him. She told me about a recent surgery he had, and that the vet said whatever she fed him was working. I asked about the food, as one does, and they buy a big bag of generic dog food at the farm supply store near them, describing it as generic 'science diet' equivalent.
The husbands joined us and the four of us found common ground in love. Can't ask for much more than that on a trip to home depot.
As my husband was checking us out, Milo was drawn to two workers in orange vests. Over and over, he couldn't leave them alone. One shrugged him off and walked away. One of them smiled down at my pup who looks deeply into one's eyes, and he said, "I'll get you a vest if you want to stay here!!"
I looked at this 18 year old young man and smiled at his kindness to my pup. It was a short encounter, but each encounter that ends with a smile is a good thing, right?
(Milo gave his hand one more lick and wagged his tail on the way out)
Last weekend, we walked around a shopping area of Loveland. In one store, the kind where people share retail space, a woman sat selling jewelry. She reached out to Milo, and he rushed to her, snuggling right up to her legs.
She looked up at us, and said she her dog just passed away that week. She said she cried so much she had no more tears to cry, and petted Milo's soft head as she spoke. She was very open about her sorrow, and I was open with her about my loss of Chelsea and Cole-buddy. We both knew what pain felt like, and loss.
We knew we had no choice but to go on while missing the closeness we lost.
She was so sweet, then offered for us to take a free jar of jelly. Jelly she made at home, and wanted to give us. I think she was so happy to have shared a moment with us, she wanted to give us something in return.
She didn't know that her openness about real feelings was the gift I most need. Touching someone's heart out of kindness, person to person sharing what's real in life, was the real gift to me. Not feeling alone for a moment was the perfect gift.
While at that store, we also chatted with a woman who came in with a chihuahua in a sweater. She said he was the greeter at the BMW dealership near her. He had a lovely spirit, and he and Milo quickly assessed each other and began to inspect the store together. Since we were the only ones in there, along with the jeweler, we let them, and we 5 chatted.
She had met the jeweler at an event, where the jeweler bought her a glass of wine!
(and that's how connections can be made) (her husband stood by silently while we all chatted)
I learned this woman was about to do a show, she was a singer and a comedian. I asked what started her on the road to comedy??? (She looked, on the surface, like a plain person of a certain age, the kind most people ignore these days) If we hadn't shared who we were I'd never have known she spends her life seeking humor and connections.
After all, comedians are all about connecting with others, finding what brings joy to people and giving it to them. Laughing about the silly bits of life together for a show. She told me her parents encouraged the arts, and writing, and accepted what she wanted to do in life. A good start. We talked a while about her life's journey as the dogs enjoyed each other's company.
In another store, a young clerk looked longingly at Milo and shared she was allergic to dogs but loved them. I didn't know I had much in common with a 20-something woman raised in colorado but I love cats and am allergic to them... I told her, I got it. Another clerk came up and almost took Milo from us, so smitten with him was she.
there is a moment in the day when you make a choice to connect with another person, or walk by.
I say, make more moments ones of connection than of isolation. They might last only a moment, but wouldn't you rather walk away smiling than not?
If you have a story of a momentary connection with others, I'd love to hear about it. Write a little post and I'll link to your blog. I'm planning on doing this each Tuesday. "Reach out and Touch-Tuesdays.