As I was standing in front of one of the three large refrigerators at the local convenience store in the one light town where I was doing a rural appraisal; I was frantically searching for my morning pick-me-up since I couldn’t get my morning coffee that day.

Pacing back and forth there was no cold Mocha Frappe Chino-thingamajigger in a glass bottle by Starbucks anywhere on the shelves. At this point, I had reached maximum panic mode and was going into cold sweats. Without some form of caffeine in the morning, I am not one to be dealt with.

A person passed in front of me kindly apologizing for “getting in my way”; I gingerly said, “absolutely no problem at all, you’re not bothering me, I’m just looking for my morning coffee drink.”

She too continued to search for her needed libation when she turned to me and said, “It’s so nice to be out of the big city and around people who are nice and care and aren’t snobby and stuck up.” And I smiled and asked her what she meant.

“We just moved down here from Ft. Worth, and everybody in the big cities seems so busy and stuck up and rude these days.” She went on.

I couldn’t have agreed with her more, and so into a conversation, I dove, with a complete stranger. But those are the best kinds of conversations sometimes. We talked about cell phones cutting people off from the three-dimensional world, and people being in such a hurry all the time, and just the protective wall that humans, in general, have built around themselves as they move through life. We agreed on the finesse, and care of human compassion had all but disappeared from the hearts and souls of people, especially in the bigger, faster-paced cities.

It was a lot to cover with a complete stranger, before my morning coffee drink, but so true. And it made me feel good to know that this little country girl with a thick drawl and a kind nod of my head to a passer-by made her feel welcome in our neck of the woods, her new home to which she was moving to.

She was so excited to be moving down here, out of the hustle and bustle of city life; and she told me I was the second person that had really been genuinely nice and welcoming, and not stuck up or snotty.

So that got me thinking about our little community, our county, our neck of the woods. She was right. We all may move a little slower, talk with a little more cotton in our mouths, have bigger arm holes in our tank tops than we need too, or have mufflers on our trucks the size of well…. you know…Texas.

But one thing is for sure. Our hearts beat at the same pace as those city folks, but I think they are just a little bit bigger, have a little more empathy, and know when one of our own is hurting, happy, or just needs a friendly hello.

So, forget about the potholes in the roads, or the fact we don’t have a mall the size of NorthPark, or the fact that every restaurant we could desire is 45 minutes away. We have each other, the smiles we offer, the hardy hellos, and the kind “excuse mes” when needed; something I think those concrete parking lots, they call cities, to the north of us may be missing just a touch of these days.

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