Sweating from the summer sun, we’d drive the station wagon into town, fitted in our jeans and sneakers and as we walked into they store they would wave and call us by name. They knew who we belonged to, so to speak.
We could put the groceries on the “Ledingham tab” and the owners knew it would be honored. As a teenager, I would run “downtown” to pick up the mail on my lunch break and the postmistress would ask me about my parents. It was local. Like Cheers, everyone knew my name. (I know, I know, going to get the mail on lunch break in high school is SO not cool, but it was my roots and I wouldn’t change it for anything!)
Somewhere from youth to adulthood my path took me from a place where the grocery and post ladies knew my name to a big city of thousands, and then to even bigger cities, where no one knew my name – where I was literally, one in 8 million people fighting for a seat on the tube.
Those moments of observation while travelling, when I craved conversation and touch, made me realize how wonderful and wholesome “local” is.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking with a lady about joining a board for a local children’s theatre. Later, after a night out with friends at a hilarious movie at the cheap theatre, I parked my car at home and ran two minutes to the local, not franchise, grocery store. It was 8:58 and they were closing at 9:00pm. The lady at the counter smiled and let me grab a few things, then bid me a warm good night as I raced out the door with my five items, thanking her for the extra time.
It was a good day. It was a reminder of how awesome local is, and that everyone needs that sense of community to feel like a place is home, no matter how big your city or town is. Something about the simplicity of it beckons me away from the big-box-store-line-ups where people get irritated and rude and there’s no experience offered within it. When adventure calls, the joy of it sure is multiplied when you have community!
A ‘lil local is okay.
What’s your favourite community memory? Anything embarrassing or heartwarming?
Leave me a comment so I know you stopped by this one! 🙂