Tuesday, December 3, 2019

together tuesdays

I love a good story, don't you?
I'm starting a new series,  stories of connection.
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. 
Mary Poppins

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.
That's endearing.
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.

Love, LeeAnna
Linking to
all seasons

18 comments:

  1. great that they won something with getting a good hood ;O)

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  2. This is a lovely,life-affirming idea and I have enjoyed reading about your encounters this week. Living in a village I can go a week at a time without meeting anyone I don't already know.

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  3. We like to take our little Buddy with us when the weather isn't too hot or too cold. He LOVES going for rides in the car and will dance circles around my legs, sometimes almost tripping me, when he finds out that he gets to go for a ride. We do have to leave him in the car at most of our stops, but he's ok with that - he knows it's his 'job' to guard the car and that we'll be back as quick as we can. We've also gotten into some nice conversations with strangers over dogs/cats ( we have both).

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  4. This is fantastic LeeAnna! So meaningful to read about your encounters. I have to get better about talking to people out in the world. Thank you so much for sharing, it made my morning.

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  5. I love these stories, LeeAnna. Connecting with each other is so important. It always makes my day when I have a little chat with someone even the Walmart greeter or the checkout ladies. I also try to find something to comment on...nice earrings or hair. I find people love little compliments. I can't imagine going through life being otherwise. But Milo with you is a sure intro. Thanks for this.

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  6. People connections - this is what I miss the most since working from home these days. I go days sometimes without talking (in person) to or touching a human being. And being a shy person, I have never been good at initiating a conversation with a stranger. I envy that talent.

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    1. Sorry about the previous comment. My service went out just before I published it. What I meant to say was:
      These are delightful stories. I'm glad you're making connections. It's so much harder without kids but Milo helps. I laughed to think of him in an HD vest.

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  8. What wonderful connections. Clearly the 4-legged were a very connecting source-they sure help break the ice and get humans to realize they have more in common with people then they might think. Keep up with the reaching out. You may just find your next BFF with a leash in her hand. 😍🐩

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  9. What a joy to read of your encounters this week. I too, like to leave with a smile, it takes not more effort.

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  10. I love your connections to others. I am working on starting up conversations with strangers, but it is not natural for me. I really like the idea of having a card to hand out. I will have to work on that item.

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  11. I think one of the great thing about having a dog is meeting other people who respond to them. Milo is a natural ice breaker!

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  12. LA - a wonderful idea. I am woefully behind on linking to other people's linky parties, but I will be with you in spirit always, and will link if I can.

    I came to the realization a couple of months ago that I am stingy with my time, so if I want to stretch myself, I need to give away time. We met a lovely couple on the plane from Cincinnati to Denver. I could tell the hubby needed someone to talk to, so even though I had "things" I wanted to do, we chatted about wide-ranging topics and it helped to pass the time in the very last row of a very crowded airplane. I think the best gift we can give people is the one they need in their moment. I hope the rest of this week brings you more good connections!

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  13. You are so good at drawing people out and being able to connect with complete strangers. I'm the wallflower at parties. I just can't walk up to people and introduce myself or carry on small talk. Your stories of connections are appealing and I look forward to hearing more of them.
    Pat

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  14. This is a great idea. Reaching out is a good thing and you never know the joy it may bring until you do.

    You know how much I love Milo.

    Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday. Scritches to Milo. ♥

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  15. I love your connection stories, LA. We need reminders of sweet humanity.

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  16. This is a wonderful endeavor. I look forward to reading the stories. It seems like you have a special gift to be able to connect to others on a more personal level. That is such an enriching talent to have. We are all created to have personal and community relationships. More people need to realize that!

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