Sunday mornings in our house always start out the same way, but not this morning. For the first time in years I slept in an extra hour. I'm writing with just a little more energy than usual, and I've got just the topic.
At the end of last June, Sheila and I started walking every morning for half an hour. We were both tired of the aging process and decided to get back into shape, modify our diet and it's working. Except for the flu battle after IUSA, we're feeling great - lots more energy, but there's been a side benefit, perfect to share this morning.
Wherever we've lived we've never taken the time to really get to know our neighbors. We had our lives and they had their's. So, beyond the houses on either side, that's always been pretty much it. Walking every morning we've made it a point to introduce ourselves to everybody who was out.
We moved just over a year ago to a smaller community with a wonderful mix of younger couples, kids and a few retirees sprinkled here and there. Sometimes I've taken a camera with me, other times if there's something I want to photograph I'll grab the camera and head back out, but here's the fun of it all.
All of us live busy hectic lives. We rarely take the time anymore to stop and talk, especially to people we don't know. I'm convinced the hat I wear has been the icebreaker we needed and here's a perfect example.
Our son is military and gave me this baseball hat which I'm rarely without. I know I talked about it in a past post. It means a lot to me and I wear it with a great deal of pride. It's also an interesting conversation starter wherever we go.
On morning walks over the holidays we met "Rob." He walked about the same time we did every day. We thought we were meeting a new neighbor, but as it turned out, he was visiting his son a couple of streets over for Christmas and New Years. He asked about my hat and a week after he left we got a package in the mail.
He sent us a Service Flag to hang in our front window. The Service Flag is an official banner authorized by the Department of Defense for families who have a member serving in any branch of the Armed Forces. He had mentioned he was going to send us one, but people always make promises they don't keep. So, when it arrived, Rob's follow-through confirmed a lot about our instinct that he seemed like a good guy.
So, here's my point this beautiful Sunday morning. Let's all slow it down a little and get to know the people around us - the neighborhood. If you have small children it's easy to get to know your neighbors, but I'm betting if you're an empty nester you know far less people in the immediate area than you did when you had kids at home.
I get that I'm sounding like Mr Rogers singing, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood," but as sappy as it sounds, it really is. Your neighbors need to be in your network. It's important for you to know them and they need to know you. Plus, I'm betting most of you are out of shape - and walking just a half an hour every day has repeatedly been proven to be life-extending!
Wishing everybody a wonderful Sunday and time to slow things down a little. Take the time to have a conversation with a neighbor. Let's all work to expand our world beyond texts and emails and shake a few hands! And as always, go for those eleven-second hugs with the people most special in your life!
Happy Sunday everybody!
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